Dr. Philip Spiva founded Valley View School in 1970, based on his vision of a therapeutic boarding school–a term that did not even exist at the time.
As an undergraduate studying psychology at Boston University, Phil worked at the prestigious Judge Baker Guidance Center in Boston, where he learned about direct child-care. He also spent several summers as a counselor at Camp Wediko in New Hampshire, coming to understand the problems faced by difficult youth.
While pursuing his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Oklahoma, Phil envisioned a small boarding school for boys with a structured environment and a strong academic commitment, where boys could mature at their own pace, guided by an empathetic staff, away from the pressures of the outside world.
From that modest beginning, the school has grown a great deal, but its basic philosophy has remained the same: a distinct mix of structured residential life, academic strength, and a therapeutic milieu fostered by the school’s solid, enduring values. Valley View is now a 210-acre campus of four dormitories, a full size court gymnasium, two academic buildings, an administration building, as well as tennis courts, a climbing wall and a soccer field.
Based on Dr. Spiva’s trailblazing work, Valley View is positioned to continue its work far into the future, led by Dr. Tom Nowak and a dedicated team of individuals in the residential, academic and experiential programs. They represent the evolution of the Valley View philosophy, developed over more than four decades, and uniquely suited to confront the challenges that our fast-changing culture presents to boys who need special guidance in order to mature and flourish in today’s world.