Sage Ridge School Celebrates 25 Years: Community Members Reflect on a Legacy of Academic Excellence

  • Academics
  • Accomplishments
  • Sage Ridge Spotlight
Sage Ridge School Celebrates 25 Years: Community Members Reflect on a Legacy of Academic Excellence
Alexandra Chuck

As Sage Ridge School marks its 25th year, a powerful story emerges—a narrative of evolution, steadfast support, and an unyielding dedication to academic excellence. 

Former Board President Alan Hoffman talked about how his son David Hoffman ‘05 joined Sage Ridge in 1999 as a seventh-grader, a year after the school opened in 1998. 

"From there, it was a snowball effect of greatness," Hoffman said. “Best education he could have gotten, hands-down.” 

Hoffman, a realtor in Northern Nevada, says his son learned that “the real world is the world he designs” and shared details about his son’s Sage Ridge experience with joy. From international trips to Machu Picchu and Prague to the robotics team and coding to writing classes at Columbia University in New York as a high school student, Hoffman highlighted that Scorpions learn how to think critically and creatively and emphasized the impact Sage Ridge faculty had on his child and his son’s 2005 graduating class. 

"Amazing that these adults want the very, very, very best for these kids," Hoffman said. “Speaks volumes about Sage Ridge with the teachers they attract. They show them (students) the path that they can take...all these kids that graduated from this class all have such wonderful lives. They have become massive contributors to society.” 

Parent and former board member Erin Mulvaney says the school attracts families who are “go-getters” looking for high-quality, boarding school-style education for their children—but at home in beautiful Northern Nevada. 

"The families and the kids who buy into the character, the values, our pillars, and academics as our highest priority, those are the ones that soar," Mulvaney said. 

Erin and her husband Ted, also a former board member, previously co-chaired Sage Ridge’s AIM Capital Campaign. The AIM Capital Campaign made the Sage Ridge community’s dream of a 24,000-square-foot Student Activity Center a reality this fall. 

"If you go to the parents and tell them that there is a need, they will get behind it and make it happen, and it is so amazing," Hoffman said. 

Reflecting on her time as a board member, Mulvaney mentioned how parents and graduates would reach out to her to share their appreciation for Sage Ridge and the carefully curated curriculum that prepares students for college with a “profound belief in themselves.” She also stressed the importance of the time management skills introduced to students in Middle School that allow Scorpions to take advantage of their college experience.  

"They have the time to get so much out of college," Mulvaney said. “They’re not overwhelmed.” 

Hoffman echoed Mulvaney’s sentiments. For his son, David, Sage Ridge set him on a trajectory where college learning mirrored the depth of knowledge acquired as an Upper School student. David Hoffman earned a Bachelor of Science in Learning and Organizational Change from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, Hoffman and two classmates created a data analysis tool for the music industry that they sold to Pandora Media, Inc. in 2015. Currently, David is co-founder of Next Big Shop, a direct-to-consumer data analysis tool for public and private brands in e-commerce. 

"You tell me that Sage Ridge isn’t the best thing that happened to my son’s life," Hoffman said. 

The Mulvaneys are parents to three Scorpions: Nate Mulvaney ‘21, Elizabeth Mulvaney ‘23, and Junior Caleb Mulvaney ‘25. Nate, one of six Golden Scorpion Award winners in Sage Ridge’s history, attends Duke University, majoring in economics with a minor in statistics and is a member of Duke’s soccer team. Elizabeth, a 2023 National Merit Scholarship winner, is a freshman at the University of Chicago—a school that reminded her of Sage Ridge—and is on the university’s Track & Field team. Caleb is enrolled in five AP and honors classes, on the Scorpions’ Varsity Boys Basketball team, and played on the Varsity Boys Soccer team in the fall. 

"I think it is a very emotionally safe environment for the kids to grow, and part of that, the kids create,” Mulvaney said. “The teachers have them speak in public all the time. They have to learn to look at each other and have compassion. Huge place of respect which is a counterpunch to social media where there is no accountability.” 

Mulvaney says the environment at school allows students more time to discover a sense of self and personal values with confidence before they enter the world of college and careers. 

At a school that is constantly growing, what remains from its founding in 1998? Hoffman and Mulvaney quickly responded that the deep commitment to academics, character and caring for the whole child remains. 

"We show that through Outdoor Education, athletics, debate, mock trial, we have incredible programs where we ask people to take a risk and try something,” Mulvaney said. “Most incredible faculty and staff. They are all heart…they really show up for the kids, care for the kids, make time for them and connect with them.” 

What should families considering Sage Ridge School know about our community? 

"You’re choosing academics and character first and always,” Mulvaney said. “If that’s your highest priority, this is the right school for you.” 

Hoffman said when people come to him looking for real estate in the area and are concerned about education, he says, “First stop is gonna be Sage Ridge School." 

"There is a high bar, but you’re supported to achieve it…kids literally don’t slip through the cracks,” Mulvaney said. “This has been a ‘til death do us part’ is how I feel about this school. A debt I can’t repay…what they’ve done for my kids and my family, you can’t pay for that…I love it as much as the first day. I will always love this school.”

"Helping children to become the best they can be, I think that’s one of our crown jewels,” Hoffman said. “When it comes to raising kids there are no second chances.”