Headmaster’s Welcome

Welcome to Peoria Academy!

As you begin to explore Peoria Academy, you’ll meet students, families and teachers, all of whom truly love our School.

You’ll come to understand how deeply Peoria Academy’s teachers know, see, hear and understand their students. You’ll learn about an innovative teaching and learning environment that’s reflective of current neuroscience research and a curriculum that is innovative and focused on looking to the future. You’ll discover a diverse community that draws great strength from our wide range of backgrounds, talents, and interests. You’ll be inspired by Peoria Academy’s great momentum and success of our graduates at area schools. And you’ll appreciate that Peoria Academy is a school that stewards its resources responsibly and considers our families first, ever mindful of the costs associated with education. All these pieces – among many others – will lead you on your own path to loving Peoria Academy.

My introduction to independent schools was facilitated by my own family who enrolled me in an independent school when I was 6 years old. Little did I know at the time how transformative the next 12 years would be, even to this day. I am forever reminded of the power of the caring adults who looked out for me, gave me space to grow, reined me in when I needed counsel, and fostered a love of learning, love of my teammates, and love for my school community. These qualities are a permanent part of me.

When I first visited Peoria Academy, I immediately saw teachers doing these same things for their students. The faculty here is unyieldingly committed to our school and students. And this dedication has fostered in Peoria Academy students and families a love of learning, love of their community, and love of their School.

Come visit us! You’ll find that our focus, commitment and passion are the right ingredients for a unique and inspired education.

Sincerely,

Jay Riven
Head of School

Peoria Academy welcomes Jay Riven as Head of School in 2019.

Jay Riven has served in a variety of roles in independent schools over the years, most recently holding the positions of Head of Middle School and Advancement Associate at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas.  He has also taught Literature, Writing and Composition, and coached cross country, basketball, tennis, and soccer.

After a career in social work specializing in addictions and forensics in the Northeast, Riven moved to Atlanta to create the Middle School Division at Pace Academy where he also served as the social emotional counselor, academic dean, and assistant head.  While serving as teacher, coach, and Middle School Division head at Valwood School in Valdosta, Georgia, he published The Heads Handbook: A Guide for Aspiring, New, and Experienced Heads of School through the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).  He has also been instrumental in creating advisory programs, travel national and international student abroad programs and creation of STEM curricula.

A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Riven earned his B.A. at Northwestern University, a Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Masters in Educational Administration from Georgia State University.

Riven and his wife Jennifer have two children: Hailey (9th Grade) and Zach ’21.

It is an exciting time at Peoria Academy, and we welcome Jay Riven and his family!

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