Montgomery Academy (MA) prides itself on outstanding academics. Our Upper School offers more Advanced Placement (AP) classes than any other private school in the area. Our college acceptance list is impressive—with seniors admitted to some of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities.

This excellence begins in kindergarten.

Faculty is MA’s strongest asset. They are highly skilled, dedicated, caring, creative and passionate educators. Teachers place a priority on seeing each child as an individual and tailoring their teaching style to target his or her strengths, interests and areas for improvement.

Instructional Coaches in the Lower School and “coach classes” in the Middle and Upper Schools provide customized learning opportunities for students who need either enrichment or extra help. This personalized approach extends beyond the classroom into the art studio, music room, playing fields as well as the college counseling process.

Technology is incorporated throughout the Lower, Middle and Upper School curriculum in intentional and strategic ways to enhance teaching and learning.

MA students learn to learn. They develop the critical thinking and communication skills, problem solving, character and habits of mind that set them up for success in college and in their lives.

Academics Fast Facts


faculty members hold advanced degrees


Advanced Placement (AP)

courses offered

57,000Volumes in our two libraries

230 National Merit Semifinalists with 213 Finalists since 1966

Upcoming Academic Events

RSA Plaza Terrace

Division Directors

Sarah Housley
Lower School Director
  1. 334-273-7175

Sarah Housley is the Interim Lower School Director at The Montgomery Academy. She earned a bachelor's degree in General Education (K-6) and Special Education (K-6) through the Multiple Abilities Program at The University of Alabama in 2007. In 2012, she completed the Reading Specialist Program at The University of Alabama and earned a master's degree in Secondary Education, Curriculum & Instruction. Sarah has served in public education for five years and independent schools for five years.

Sarah Barton Thomas
Middle School Director and Director of K-12 Professional Development
  1. 334-273-7165

Sarah Barton Thomas, is the “Lead Learner” (aka Director) of the Middle School Division at The Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. Her fifteen year teaching journey has led her from the music classroom, the opera world, the computer lab, and the coaching field. She is a born and raised Marylander who took detours in Missouri, Iowa, California, and Texas before making her way back home again to teach in the metro area. Sarah was an NAIS Teacher of the Future for 2014-2015 and has participated in the Aspiring Leaders Institute at Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Klingenstein Summer Institute and was an OPERA America Fellow for Education in 2002. Sarah is a proud Bearcat of Northwest Missouri State University where she received her BS.Ed in vocal music education and a cheerful Blue Jay of Johns Hopkins University where she obtained her MS.Ed in School Administration. An Ironman triathlete and marathon runner, Sarah uses her love of running to coach the MA Cross Country Team.

John McWilliams
Associate Head of School and Upper School Director
  1. 334-273-7172

John McWilliams '96 has been a member of the MA community for over 25 years as a student, alumnus, teacher, speech & debate coach, performing arts department chair, division director, Acting Head of School and Associate Head of School. After graduating from MA, John received his bachelor's degree in history from Yale University in 2000. John also received a master of liberal arts (MALS) degree from Dartmouth College in 2012. John was the 2004 recipient of MA's McLemore Award for Excellence in Teaching. Outside of school, John enjoys singing, acting and playing tennis.