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Auldern Academy

Private School | Grades 9-12
990 Glovers Grove Church Rd
Siler City, NC 27344
(919) 837-2336

About This School

Auldern Academy is located in Siler City, NC. It is a private school that serves 48 students in grades 9-12. Auldern Academy is all-female and is nonsectarian in orientation. The school belongs to the National Independent Private Schools Association.

In 2010, Auldern Academy had 6 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The North Carolina average is 15 students per full-time equivalent teacher.

Student Ethnicity (2010)

Students (2010)


Students Per Teacher (2010)

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Auldern Academy Reviews

Thankful for my time at Auldern

By a Former Student on

I graduated from Auldern in 2012, am now working towards a degree in social work, and don't know where I would be without the unwaivering love and support of the therapists, teachers, and other staff members. As a student, it's not always easy to be at Auldern because you would rather be at home, but after leaving I missed it so much. After graduating the Auldern staff have continued to reach out to me and offer support during difficult times. People leaving negative reviews on this site are probably parents and students who didn't follow Auldern's recommendations and take advantage of the opportunity given to them. I'm thankful everyday for Auldern and the team that gave me my life back.

I LOVE my job!

By on

I'm very fortunate to have discovered my "calling in life" at such a young age!  I first started at Auldern Academy in 2007 as a part-time PE teacher.  Trying to make ends meet while I was in graduate school, I never would have imagined my part-time teaching position would have turned into such a fullfilling career.  From day one, I have been truly inspired by the dedication of my co-workers, quality of care for our students, and life-changing transformations that take place every day on our campus.  I am blessed to work for Auldern Academy where I feel like we make a difference in the lives of our students every single day - we are giving them far more than just an education!  If you are questioning whether or not Auldern Academy is the right place for your daughter, please give us a call to schedule a tour so you can see first-hand the amazing things that are taking place on our beautiful campus!

Auldern has the most caring and compassionate people ever!!

By a Parent on

I owe my daughters success today to Auldern.  Don't get me wrong you must continue the positive energy and love at home to ensure your child's success.

My daughter spent a year and a half at Auldern after graduating from an 80 day wilderness program.  It was the hardest time in her life and our families life.  Yet sending her to Auldern was the best decision we ever made and it literally saved my daughters life.  
When she got there she was angry, lost and hated school.  I didn't even know if she'd graduate high school, her self esteem was so low.
The teaching staff is extremely dedicated and they TRULY CARE.  They turned her life around in school. They spent one on one time with her to make sure she learned.  The classroom size is small so they really get some great one on one time so they really understand how your child learns and what their struggles are.  She finished with great grades and is now in her freshman year at College and  a college athlete!

The therapist that my daughter had was also extremely caring and knew my daughter better than she knew herself at times.  She was absolutely wonderful.
The staff and the Head of School I could not say enough great things about them.  The one word that I would say sticks out the most is CARING.  They truly care about your daughter, her well being, her future and what happens to them when they leave Auldern.
If you have any doubts on whether or not to send your daughter to Auldern call references and hear it first hand.  They are wonderful and you won't regret it.  Academically, therapeutically and the sense of love they get is second to none.  
I would not change a thing and my daughter feels the same.  She said Auldern saved her life, from the teachers to the staff, especially the Head of School Angie Fusco.  They may not feel that way when they are there at times, but when my daughter left she looked back and said "thank you mom for all you did to ensure I am where I am today".  That is the best gift you can hear from your daughters.

Difficult but right decision

By a Parent on

We never wanted to send our daughter to a therapeutic boarding school, but following her treatment in a wilderness program, it was the recommendation of her therapist and our educational consultant that she have at least a year in a residential setting before we thought about transitioning home.  This was a very difficult decision as she had already made such tremendous progress in her wilderness program.

As impressed as we were with Auldern from the very beginning (and we visited Greenbrier and Montana Academy), it was not always an easy journey for our daughter.  Of course, she was initially upset with us for "sending her away" instead of letting her come home.  This was very clear on initial phone calls when she would tell us how much she disliked being there and didn't have the same problems as other girls.  With time these types of phone calls diminished and she started making significant progress.  It was nice to see our daughter establishing healthy friendships with peers who understood her struggles and could support her.  If it hadn't been for our daughter's therapist, Gail, there is no telling where she would be today.

We did experience a bit of a turbulent time as there was a change in the Head of School during our daughter's time at Auldern. While we were nervous as parents about this change and whether or not that would mean there would be significant changes to the philosophy of the program, we felt as though the school handled this the best way possible.  Initially during this time, our daughter complained that there were a lot of rule changes, and that sometimes staff members didn't even know about all of the changes; however, she would also tell us that there were positive changes that gave students more input around campus.

Therapeutically our daughter really made a transformation while at Auldern, though I don't think she, nor my husband and I could really appreciate the changes until after she graduated.  We wish there had been more family therapy offered and would have liked to of had more phone calls with our daughter.

Academically you will not find a more dedicated group of educators.  The teaching staff at Auldern Academy are experienced and will really take the time to get to know your daughter.  In many ways you feel like they become a part of your family because of how much your daughters will talk about them - Mr. Will and Mr. Phillips in particular.  They go above and beyond what you will find in most therapeutic settings to help prepare your daughter for college!  If there was one area of improvement, it would be physical education.  During the time our daughter attended Auldern, the PE teacher on staff did not seem motivated; however, this teacher left shortly before our daughter graduated.

The residential life counselors are primarily comprised of younger individuals (in their late 20's). If there is one area of improvement for this department, it would be communication!  Sometimes it was hard to reach the staff on nights and weekends and our daughter would complain at times that one staff member would tell her to do things one way only to be told a different way by someone on the other team.

When writing this review, my husband and I debated between giving Auldern 4 stars or 5 stars, so we sent a text to our daughter and asked how she would rate Auldern on a scale of 1 to 5.  We received the following response: "5!  If it wasn't for Auldern I don't know that I would be alive.  How could you give them anything less after saving my life?"  WOW!  She was so right!  If it wasn't for Auldern Academy, we don't know where our daughter would be, but one thing we can tell you is that she wouldn't be successfully navigating her freshman year of college if it weren't for the dedicated faculty and staff, and safe, nurturing environment of Auldern Academy!  We are so grateful for the decision we made!

quality is slipping

By a Parent on

Things seem to be slipping - not nearly as tight a ship as it once was.  

Listen to your kid, trust them even if it's hard, they are the ones living there

By a Former Student on

This program was not the right place for me. This program utilizes shaming the student into complying with the program. The girls who have been in the program for a while will be rewarded for bullying the girls who do not make progress in therapy. Therapy was not confidential, the girls I shared a room with knew everything I would tell my therapist. Its one thing for them to tell the residential staff but other students was not acceptable. One thing to really watch for is medicine overdosing. The nurse did not regulate prescribed medicines and when I left, my new doctor was horrified of my medicine doses and combinations. My parents were also given misinformation about my stay there. They have sense apologized and said they were at a loss and were guided here and even told this was not the best place for a person like me. I have since gone to college and made a life for myself and the year I was at Auldern was the worst year I have ever had.

By a Parent on

Our daughter has been at Auldern for the past thirteen months.  She went there as an angry, confused and depressed teenager, and over the course of time she has been at Auldern she has blossomed.  The therapists and teachers are very caring and professional,  taking an active interest in each of the girls.  The setting is tranquil and calming, and the staff have been wonderful to work with.  We have had no complaints, other than it is very expensive.  This school has helped our daughter tremendously, and she is looking forward to graduation and college.  

By a Parent on

Auldern helped prompt a huge improvement in our daughter's and our family's life.  Any school with an at risk student population is going to have difficult issues to manage on a day to day basis; perfection is simply not attainable. Jane Samuel is strong at minimizing the glitches and running a good program.  The counselor assigned to our daughter managed to make a connection with her and prompted some very positive change. Her academic motivation going in was non existent and the very sound teaching staff managed to rekindle it.  Our expectations, while quite modest going in, were exceeded. No regrets here.

By a Parent on

Auldern Academy was the worst decision we have ever made. Our daughter relapsed instantly after 2 years there. Apparently most of her friends have relapsed too. They do not have a strong substance abuse program. Our daughter went to meetings once a week and said they were sub par. The school made us doubt our daughters word and convinced us that she was manipulating us, when simply she was explaining the harsh treatment the girls get there. I have stayed in touch with other girls parents whom agree Auldern was a huge mistake. If you want to help your daughter look at the Oakly School. That is the one therapeutic school that I have heard only good things about. My husband and I regret our decision and feel as though any place would have been better. Auldern worsened our daughters problem. She has since picked herself up and gone forward but not because of Auldern.

By a Parent on

Auldern Academy saved our daughter's life.  Plain and simple.  She was headed down a road of self-destruction, and despite my husband and I's best attempts to help her, we were not equipped with the tools and knowledge to do so.

Our daughter was transported to Auldern and spent the first few months of her time there very angry with us for making that decision.  At times she would refuse to speak to us, but the therapist working with our daughter did a great job letting us know how she was doing so we did not second guess the decision we made.  It was a very long process for our daughter to come to terms with her out of control behavior and really gain insight as to why she was partaking in such risky behaviors - but she did.  We remain proud and amazed at the positive transformation she made.

Our daughter is now a senior at a small liberal arts college and has taken a great interest in the field of psychology.  She entered Auldern as a lost soul who was seeking acceptance in all of the wrong places, but she left Auldern as a strong, self-confident young woman ready to take on any challenge she may face.

The campus is clean, the staff are dedicated, and I would imagine the majority of the students there make significant strides in bettering their lives.  Sending our daughter away was one of the toughest things we have ever had to do as parents, but it is a decision we are thankful we made!

By a Former Student on

Although I did not want to be sent to therapeutic boarding school, I am glad my parents sent me.  I was not headed down a very good path.  I was rude and mean to my parents, stopped caring about school, and started doing drugs.  I first got sent to wilderness and from there went to Auldern.  I was at Auldern for almost 2 years and graduated from there.  I am now completing my sophomore year in college.

There are 3 main parts to Auldern - Academics, Therapy, and Student Life.  Showing that you can balance these areas and meet expectations is how you show you are ready to leave.  Sometimes, however, it can feel like there is a disconnect between departments and that could be frustrating at times.

Academics is like regular school except it is a lot smaller.  You get to know your teachers really well and they do a good job of trying to make sure are doing well.  You definitely don't get that kind of attention in college which has been a big adjustment for me.  Some of the classes are harder than others.  We had a couple of different math teachers while I was there and there never seemed to be any real explanation as to why they left.  They would just make an announcement that someone was leaving.  Overall, the academics were what I needed at the time.  I had been refusing to go to school before and Auldern helped me to actually care about school and my future.  It was a hard adjustment for me to go from somewhere so small to a big college, but if I hadn't of gone to Auldern then I wouldn't have made it to college.

Therapy is like any therapy.  You meet with your therapist once a week and then you have group or community therapy twice a week.  I personally never found the groups to be shaming or embarassing.  If you were getting called out in groups it was because you had done something you weren't supposed to and your friends were holding you accountable.  I liked that the therapist were always there during the week, so if you needed something you could talk to them unlike wilderness where the only time you see them is when you have your session.  I had a really good therapist (who I still talk to some to this day), but some of the other girls who were there when I was didn't seem to mesh too well with their therapist.  Sometimes they would change your therapist if this was happening, but sometimes not.  Some of the girls would really make a lot of progress in therapy, but I feel like other girls would just tell their therapist what they wanted to hear so they could try and leave faster.  You are only going to get out of therapy what you put in.

Student life was kind of like the residential staff.  They are the ones who would take us on outings (mall, target, movies, museums, etc.), make sure we were doing our chores, and oversaw the dorms.  There were some staff who had favorites and they would not be as hard on their favorites.  A lot of girls would play staff and go to one staff if they didn't get the answer they wanted from another staff.  This was kind of easy to do because the staff work in different shifts that come in every few days so it was just easy to say that staff from another shift said something was okay to do.  I always hated that we had to get up so early on the weekends to do community service, but all of us would have stayed in bed all weekend if we had the chance.  When I was at Auldern it was very structured and I actually wish we had more free time, but that is what every teenager wants.  It was a little hard for me adjusting to college because I didn't know what to do with my free time.  Out of all the staff, I think I (and most of the girls) got the closest to student life staff.  Although they were hard on us and made us do things we didn't want to do, I think they cared about us the most out of all of the staff there.

I think the school was being run okay when I was there.  Jane Samuel was the head of school then.  I think she cared about us all a lot, but sometimes she would say one thing and then twist her own words around to fit what she wanted in certain situations.

While you are there you don't think the people you are around are your friends because you miss your old friends from home, but some of my best and most supportive friends are girls I met at Auldern.

It wasn't an easy thing to be at Auldern, but I am greatful for my time there.  I don't know how much money my parents spent for me to go, but we are a lot stronger as a family now and I truly think that is because of the growth I had in wilderness and at Auldern.

By a Former Student on

i would highly advise against it in all honesty. for the year i was there, it was extremely disorganized in terms of structure and i would say that some methods of "treatment" are questionable, relying heavily on shaming and embarrassment in a group setting. methods of "punishment", for example, can involve being pulled out of classes for weeks at a time and doing manual labor projects while not being allowed to communicate with any peers for any period of time as determined by a therapist.
the education was sub-par as well, they cut a lot of corners in whatever bare minimum of a curriculum they claim to follow (although the teachers are perhaps the most competent members of the staff, they have no competent leadership). i found many things to be dishonest about the way the program was run, much of it being misinformation i feel was given to my parents.
finally, when my mother began looking into removing me from the program before the mandatory 1-year contract was over, she was manipulated by the staff both emotionally and financially, as she was informed that she could not remove me from the program without losing thousands of dollars. i was stuck there long after i should have been home.
it was a really, really miserable time in my life that i would not wish on anyone. my mother has since apologized to me, saying "i did what i thought was the right thing, but i was wrong."

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