We discover a world of possibility.

Jahlil Puryear

Jahlil Puryear {linebacker & biologist}

I came to Blue Ridge School with plenty of questions. Could I do this? Was this right for me? Would I fit in? All the questions were answered pretty quickly I think. I used to be shy, but the accepting atmosphere made it possible to be outgoing. I guess I discovered that about myself. I knew academics came first here, but I truly appreciated that there is so much more to it. And who knew that Biology would be my favorite class.

It’s also kind of funny how in touch with nature I’ve become. Last year I took an Outdoor Living Skills class and spent a solo camping night in the forest. I never thought I would be able to do that. I was surprised I made it through the night – that I didn’t run back to the dorms. This taught me that I’m growing into an adult. At Blue Ridge School I play football and basketball, and tried track last spring – something I tried in middle school but didn’t enjoy at the time. The boys who have helped me the most are Clayton Turner and Mikey Gerry, “I love them both because they were my proctors in the freshmen hall last year. They would leave me in charge when they had to leave for the weekend, they trusted me and if I had a problem I knew they would help me whether it was school work, girls, or just me being home sick. They both contributed to keeping me happy and making me feel comfortable as if I have a second family here (which I do).”

Jahlil's Team

Jynan Williams

Jynan Williams

{Jahlil's mom}

I see a dramatic change in Jahlil. Since enrolling him at Blue Ridge School I can tell how much he appreciates me as his mother as well as life in general. He has matured greatly. I can attribute this change to the separation from home and his family. Jahlil is solely responsible for himself and his actions at Blue Ridge School and he has managed those on his own. Jahlil has always been a quiet and reserved child but to see him involved in school spirit and establishing lifelong friendships is a delightful surprise for me.

The idea of a boarding school wasn’t my first option but I wanted what was best for Jahlil. He knew he wanted to go to a school that would help him athletically and my focus has always been academics. Blue Ridge School gave us the best of both worlds. Academically, the smaller school and class sizes were exactly what we are looking for. The final decision to attend Blue Ridge School was made by Jahlil himself, as I couldn’t grasp the idea that my first son would be three hours away from home. I’ve noticed that while Jahlil has been at Blue Ridge School he has taken more initiative to make his academics a priority and he challenges himself each year to become a better student. As a parent I couldn’t have asked for a better educational foundation for my son.

Mr. Bryan Puckett

Mr. Bryan Puckett

{basketball coach}

I’ve known Jahlil for about a year and a half now. I was his freshman dorm parent, so he lived in my hall. I also coached him in basketball and I got to see him play football. He’s a hard worker and a great leader in and out of the classroom. I can tell that he’s a good student and really focused. He leads by example. Last year, as a freshman, he got elected to student council and took on a leadership role in his hall. He helped the guys to settle down at night and study. It was like having an extra junior or senior to lead – and he was a freshman! I never had to worry about anything going wrong because he did the right thing and got down to business. Jahlil is definitely one of the top players and leaders on the JV basketball team. He’s one of the more mature kids we have here. He definitely gets things done and you can tell that he’s confident in the way that he carries himself. He’s a leader on the court, on the field and in the dorms.

{Mr. Puckett has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Teaching Mathematics from John Carroll University and a Master of Teaching from James Madison University.}

Mr. Paul Fehlner

Mr. Paul Fehlner

{biology teacher}

I knew of Jahlil as a freshman, but I didn’t really get to know him well until this year in biology class. Now, he is one of my model students. He works hard to complete his assignments, he is attentive and cooperative in class, and always seems to have a positive attitude. I believe he has come to realize the importance of working hard both in the classroom and in preparation for athletics. He has become very goal-oriented. He wants to play football in college and hopes to earn a scholarship. If he was a leader last year I did not notice it. This year he most definitely attracts the attention of other students. They have noticed what his hard work in the weight room has done for him physically, and they tend to listen when he speaks, and they respect him for what he says. He is supportive of our code of conduct, and is a young man of good character. I think an all-male environment works to his advantage because there are no young ladies to distract him or to distract other students from noticing him – it changes the priorities, if you know what I mean. It also works to our advantage because I think it makes it easier for us to develop leaders, and there are benefits to that.

{Mr. Fehlner has a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Maryland.}