Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy @ Atkins (WSPA) is housed in the former Atkins High School. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Atkins High School was dedicated on April 2, 1931. WSPA was created as a magnet school to attract highly motivated students whose primary interest is to prepare themselves for a 4-year university education.
The former Atkins High School owes its name to Dr. Simon Green Atkins. Dr. Atkins was instrumental in founding, in 1892, the precursor to what is now Winston-Salem State University. The Atkins name was transferred to a new "Simon G. Atkins Academic and Technology High School" in September 2006 but the spirit of Dr. Atkins lives on at WSPA.
Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy (WSPA) opened in the fall 2004 under the leadership of Mr. Dennis Walker, WSPA's first principal. WSPA graduated its first class in 2008 with the expectation that 90% of its graduates would enter a four-year college program and that expectation was met. WSPA regularly maintains one of the highest graduation rates in the WSFCS school system.
All students in WSPA are enrolled in the College/University Prep Course of Study. WSPA's curriculum is designed to prepare students to meet the admissions requirements for the college of their choice. Students have access to all core courses including foreign language as well as electives that include computer science, music, art, and College Prep I. Each student has access to a laptop computer to enhance his or her learning and technology is integrated throughout the school's curriculum.
A small and personalized learning environment is the centerpiece of the Gates Foundation attributes and principles. Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy enrolled 100 students for its first ninth-grade class and opened the 2005-2006 as a 6-10 school due to the merger of Atkins Middle School with the Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy. The addition of grades 6-8 allows WSPA to start preparing students from grade 6 for college. We are extremely proud of our tight-knit learning community.
Richard Watts assumed the role of principal in 2007. Larry F. Lewis continues to serve as Assistant Principal for the High School. Mary P. Ranson was the first Assistant Principal for the Middle School folowed by Ms. Brown and Ms. Beverly Hughes.
As of 2017, Mr. Reggie Hunt has assumed the role of principal, Mr. Larry F. Lewis continues to serve as Assistant Principal for High School and Ms. Natassha Jenkins is the new Middle School Assistant Principal.