We take aim at higher goals.

Spencer Ammen

Spencer Ammen {outdoorsman and volunteer}

Blue Ridge School has been a good fit on so many levels. My favorite teacher, coach and advisor is Mr. Bruton, because he motivates and inspires me to be the best I can be. And for me that means never doubting myself in a new challenge, whether it’s carpentry, archery or stepping up in the local community and volunteering for Meals on Wheels.

I decided to take charge of the Tuesday meals program because I have been very blessed with loving parents, friends and teachers who have helped me along the way. I realize that I have been given a lot and now I have a great opportunity to give back to the community and to people who are struggling to find their next meal.

Before coming to Blue Ridge, I never would have pictured myself playing football, building a cabin or joining the Outdoorsman Program. But every day seems to bring something new here.

[Spencer is an honor student at the University of Tennessee.]

Spencer's Team

Tammy Ammen

Tammy Ammen

{Spencer's mom}

The school has given him the self-confidence to take difficult classes each year and try new things. He now sees the advantages of setting his goals high and is enjoying the sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting them. Each year Spencer has raised his personal standard for success. He has matured tremendously socially, athletically and academically. He’s also learned time management and truly developed a love of learning.

Blue Ridge has developed a unique formula for encouraging young men to push themselves in all areas, and to be independent—yet with a strong safety net if needed. All of the faculty know each student and seem to genuinely care about them. While academics are the center of Blue Ridge, they aren’t the sole focus. The school’s mission is to prepare the young men in its trusted care for life, while promoting ethics and a strong sense of giving back. Our elder son, Tyler, graduated in 2010, so we know with certainty what a Blue Ridge man can accomplish after leaving the school.

Boarding school for both of our boys has allowed us to become even closer as a family. With the all-boarding concept, school breaks are frequent and lengthy, so we do still have the quantity of time together. Thanks in part to Blue Ridge, the quality of our time is even better than when they matriculated to the school. In summary, our family couldn’t be more loyal to Blue Ridge, and we will forever feel a debt of gratitude to this incredible place. 

Robert Guo

Robert Guo

{roommate}

I got to know Spencer last year during JV basketball practice. We discovered we had a lot of interests in common. My English wasn’t that good (I am still working on improving it) and Spencer has been really helpful teaching me American slang and local words. He and I are roommates this year and we often go to dinner together. We talk a lot about politics and he’s taught me a lot about US government—a topic I didn’t know much about before coming to Blue Ridge. I admire Spencer because he’s such a good person and he really works hard academically. He’s been a good roommate and an even better friend.

Mr. Vinton Bruton

Mr. Vinton Bruton

{teacher, coach and advisor}

I’ve gotten to know Spencer really well over the past two years. I am his advisor, so I see him every day. I was also his older brother’s advisor (Tyler Ammen, Class of 2010), so it’s been great to work with his family again and get to know them even better. This year, Spencer participated in the fall Outdoorsman Program, so we spent a lot of time fishing and paddling together. Some of the activities pushed him beyond his comfort zone, but he responded well to the challenges, from map reading to fire building to archery. I am also Spencer’s history and literature teacher. He’s been a focused student since he arrived, but he’s taken it to a whole new level this year, earning As across the board. I’m also proud that he’s taken on the job of coordinating student volunteers for our Tuesday night meal delivery program for our neighbors in need in Greene County. He’s a great citizen who is taking advantage of all the opportunities we offer here.

{Mr. Bruton has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Wake Forest University.}