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In Her Own Words: Why UMS-Wright is so special to Kelsey and the Moody Family

The task to take care of and lead our children can be daunting, especially when you consider the small amount of time we actually have with them before they leave our nest. Therefore, finding the right fit in a school where children will spend their formative years was a decision that we did not take lightly. Through the search process, it became very evident that our children’s clearest path to achieving their potential would be at UMS-Wright. When on campus you truly feel a family atmosphere as well as the joy the faculty and staff exude. It’s challenging to explain what parental peace we felt after making our decision, but I will do my best to translate some foundational reasons why UMS-Wright was the only choice for our family.

Knowing they start each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Student Prayer is a routine that helps establish HONOR. Reverence for those who have come before and protect our daily liberties is almost lost in our culture, and we desperately need our children to understand this principle. UMS-Wright also has an Honor Code that our boys have come to truly understand. The other day I was so proud of my 5-year-old for sticking up for a kid. I could see something brewing when I overhead him telling another kid, “We are kind and respect others.” I knew right then The Honor Code had been written on his heart!

Seeing all the options offered in the curriculum as well as after-school enrichments we knew our children would be wholly educated. The educational standards help to educate their MIND. I am blown away by their early reading skills and how they can problem-solve. Decision-making is such an important skill and we see it coming to life every day. The exposure they gain during activities in PE and after-school enrichment helps them to develop their BODY. As a parent, I’ve always feared missing out on a gift my child has, but with the options on campus, it gives them a chance to explore and gain new skills. Also, with these options offered on campus, it helps us as parents logistically. Through these programs and having the older children help at carpool, relationships develop among grade levels and a true SPIRIT is gained. I am amazed when my boys high five another kid in middle school or one calls them by name or even better yet at dinner they tell me about their “best friend” who I later find out is the kid who helps him in the cafeteria. The comradery on campus between grade levels is something we knew would help our kids develop relationships and give them opportunities to be role models down the road. They are gaining confidence and developing CHARACTER that is preparing them for the next stage of life.

Speaking of down the road, I try not to look too far, so that we can enjoy the now. However, it’s hard not to think how quickly these first four years on campus have flown by. Seeing how much our oldest child blossomed in his first year of K4, we knew starting our youngest earlier in the new K3 program was an easy decision. As dual working parents, UMS-Wright has always been able to deliver and meet the needs of our family. Having options for after school and during the summer assures us that our children will always be with people who know and love them. UMS-Wright is the best extension and environment we can provide when our children are away from home. It has been said many times, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and I am so thankful UMS-Wright is a part of ours.

- Kelsey Moody


As the school year begins, I realize that we are starting our fifth year at UMS-Wright.  This year our children will be in 5th, 3rd and K5.  When we selected UMS-wright for our family, we knew it had an amazing reputation. Over the past four years, we have come to love so much about the school.

In addition to exceptional classroom learning programs for Math, Reading, English, STEM and History, there are numerous extracurricular activities and enrichments to participate in.  Our children have been part of amazing Lower School music and drama programs each year, teaching them to perform in front of classmates as well as teachers and parents.  Foreign language, Art, and counseling programs begin in K3 to start the fine arts foundation and allow kids to expand on their own creativity.  The athletics programs are outstanding and all teams perform at the highest level creating a winning environment that everyone wants to be part of.  Also, academic support function has been remarkable.   Knowing that we can talk to the administration and the academic support team to ensure our children are on the appropriate educational path has ensured us that we are at the right school for all of our children. 

In the past four years, we have gained so much more than a school; this is our family.  Not only have our children made great friendships, but my husband and I have as well.   We look forward to school functions and events to meet new families and catch-up with old friends.    I cannot wait to see what the next twelve years hold for us and UMS-Wright.



Mind. Body. Spirit.  These qualities resonate throughout the halls of UMS-Wright.   You can hear them echoing in the classrooms, in the school prayer, in the honor code, in competitions, and in the arts.  At the conclusion of every musical, ballgame, and honor assembly we attend, my husband and I look at each other and say, "there’s just no comparison.”

It was important for us to find a school that emulated our desire for educational excellence and character development. These priorities run deep in our family and in the traditions of UMS-Wright.  This was evident the day we stepped onto campus for our tour.   The light in our daughter’s eyes when she saw Dunlap Auditorium was the day my husband and I knew what we needed to do.  There was no denying that UMS-Wright was the best gift we could give our children, and we were determined to make it happen no matter the cost.

Looking back, what we have given our children is much more than an excellent education. UMS-Wright is cultivating confidence, honor, leadership, integrity, honesty, and loyalty in our children. Because of UMS-Wright’s tradition of developing mind, body, and spirit, our children have identified with this culture of honor, and it has given them a sense of belonging. This gift is immeasurable, and once we realized that, we were unwilling to walk away from giving our children a gift that will change the trajectory of their lives.  Our only regret in coming to UMS-Wright is that we did not make the move sooner.  There really is no place like home. 


Welcome back!

Welcome to UMS-Wright. From its beginnings as University Military School, and Julius T. Wright, UMS-Wright has continually enhanced its legacy of excellence in teaching and learning while striving to meet the mission of educating the whole student in mind, body, and spirit.  In my time here since 1993, I have witnessed what I feel to be the bedrock of the successes our students enjoy from K-3 through their senior year: RELATIONSHIPS.

The opportunities our students enjoy have so much to do with these relationships. The K-4 teacher who offers a welcoming hug to students as they become “Bulldogs” on our campus; the thrill a student feels when he is able to complete his first reading assignment; the joy shared between the teacher and student when multiplication tables are mastered; the satisfaction felt as middle school teachers and students complete service projects together; the shared accomplishment felt by our sophomores and juniors as they celebrate with their teachers the excitement of the first ACT scores; the jubilation parents and students share with our college counseling department after learning they are accepted to their choice college; the encouragement offered by our coaches as these young people learn to “play the game with honor”; the presentation of flowers presented by our students to the director of the play after so much hard work and preparation.  All of these successes are not germane only to UMS-Wright and there are certainly schools in which students succeed.  But what I have come to see as common occurrence is the sincere appreciation expressed as our recent graduates and cast of alumni time and again speak of their opportunities at this school and the influence their teachers and coaches made in their lives…. RELATIONSHIPS. Relationships that challenge and support at just the right time in the lives of the students we serve.

We certainly understand the connections that are made between students and teachers are critical to the confidence our students possess which allows them to explore concepts, take on tough problems, perform on the athletic field and courts, accept the lead in the play, support a friend in need, and give back to their community.  This confidence ultimately allows them to become individuals who reach their highest potential in mind, body, and spirit.  I welcome and encourage you to visit our campus and see how RELATIONSHIPS truly set us apart and set our students on the path of success. 

Doug Barber

Head of School


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  • The yearbooks will arrive when we return from the holidays! Due to a printing error, they will not be delivered before the holidays. Students may expect the yearbooks during the first week of school in January.


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65 Mobile Street, Mobile, AL 36607 |
Telephone: (251) 479-6551