Welcome to the Upper School

Alexis Stern, Head of Upper School at Fort Worth Country Day

At Fort Worth Country Day, we know that the high school years are a period of significant growth – both academically and personally – for each student. The Upper School excels at providing important growth opportunities by having clear, high, and achievable expectations appropriate for each individual, and by including significant support for these young adults in reaching their potential. We seek to know each student and provide a safe space where they can share their talents and learn from and have fun with one another. 

Perhaps most impressive and important about FWCD is the sense of community that is felt by all. It was the first thing I noticed when I stepped on campus, and I feel it every day. This close-knit community results in all being known, seen and heard – all are valued for their contributions to FWCD. Being part of this nurturing community means that when students face adversity, they have many people to lean on. It means that we all share and understand the responsibility of ensuring that the Upper School experience is good for each student. And, it means that we can continue long-standing traditions while also recognizing areas for growth, academically and otherwise, charting that path together. The Upper School’s purposeful 3A’s curriculum (academics, arts, athletics) and intentional auxiliary programs help students learn their responsibility to one another, and teaches them how to be upstanding citizens of the larger communities in which they’ll enter and embrace later. Students here understand the meaning and importance of abiding by FWCD’s core values (integrity, kindness, courage, respect, responsibility, scholarship). And, FWCD works to ensure that all feel welcome and is committed to the ongoing and vital work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion.

While many institutions may be quick to adopt trends in education, FWCD is unique in that the community can effectively discern between a passing fad and an educational best practice from which our students will benefit. FWCD makes smart, deliberate changes instead of seeking to set trends. The School is confident in its ability to provide a rigorous and engaging educational experience – and rightfully so – as decades of alumni have returned to share that they were well-prepared to enter college and their careers as thoughtful, responsible, hard-working leaders. We know what works at FWCD, and, at the same time, the School and its community have the reflective capacity to make changes that are grounded in research and have proven effective.

I hope you get the opportunity to visit and see the amazing educational experience in action, feel the community’s strength and support, and interact with our incredible faculty and students. Once here, I know that you’ll understand why at FWCD, we fly higher.

Head of Upper School
Upper School is a pivotal time for students as they prepare for the challenges of college and beyond. During these years, leaders are born, career paths become clear and students develop a grander vision for their future.
Upper School Program distinctions include:
More than 100 course offerings

Core Values incorporated into daily life

Elective course in Engineering Design

College Counseling Office, twice monthly college counseling classes for juniors and individual appointments for seniors
Extended period schedule
with four 75-minute classes daily

Bring-your-own laptop program

Full program of visual and performing arts
Link Crew, peer mentor program
TEAM Service, student-led community service group
22 Advanced Placement classes

Malone Schools Online Network through Stanford University Online High School
Sophomore Washington, D.C. trip
Full-time learning specialist and health and wellness counselor

Administrative Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Alexis Stern

    Alexis Stern 

    Head of Upper School
    (817) 302-3222
    University of Texas - BA
    Harvard University - EdM
  • Photo of Peggy Wakeland

    Peggy Wakeland 

    US Assistant Division Head
    (817) 302-3235
    University of Texas at Arlington - BA
    Texas Christian University - MEd
  • Jennifer Bourgon 

    Registrar and Administrative Assistant
    (817) 302-3206
    University of Texas Arlington - Bachelors
  • Photo of Rita Zawalnicki

    Rita Zawalnicki 

    Administrative Assistant and US Community Service Coordinator
    (817) 302-3203
    Valparaiso University - BA
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a JK-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.