Waterloo Officially Accredited by TAAPS

November 23, 2022 | Craig Doerksen


As we are in the middle of Thanksgiving break and on the eve of the day itself, it is with much gratitude that I share that Waterloo is now fully accredited! The Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS), the oldest private school accrediting body in Texas, has accepted us as a member school.

Accreditation confers a number of technical benefits I’ll list below, but for us this week, the gratitude is more personal. When we set out to start Waterloo, we quickly realized we were setting out to straddle two worlds—one, the world of established, proven, recognized excellence in academic and college preparation. It’s the world of our own academic careers, the world of credibility, recognition, and standards.

The other: a world of much-needed innovation, change, and personalization. It’s the world that recognizes that much of school activity has become wasted energy, irrelevant culture, or downright unhealthy for many students, all while providing little real-world, whole-person growth and preparation.

Most people say you have to choose one or the other. We set out with the premise that our students can have both. We built the school with the standards in hand, but with a metaphorical ‘firewall’ between the student experience and those impersonal, institution-serving ‘standards.’ Yes, our students should be able to show colleges a familiar, quickly-understood transcript of credits and grades. But no, the transcript and grades can’t ‘wag-the-dog’ of learning, discovery, and value-creation.

We’re grateful because TAAPS accreditation means our refusal to compromise means our students get to benefit from both—human-centered learning from an accredited-recognized institution!

  • Our credits are now recognized and accepted by any Texas-accredited school, public or private.
  • We have access to resources provided by organizations and companies who use accreditation as criteria for qualification (Google education, Sketchup, fusion360 are a few examples)
  • (This doesn’t affect college admissions as much as people often think it will. Colleges admit individual qualified students, not ‘high school products.’)
  • We have a voice with Texas state education policy-makers—and insights into trends and activities that will affect our families.
  • We are a part of a community of Texas private school leaders, mentors, professional development, and wisdom.

Accreditation is a milestone along the way of building Waterloo to be the best school for our students and parents. We’re grateful to reach it—grateful that we can marry credibility with relational integrity and depth. Grateful that you get to be at a school that does both.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Don’t eat too much turkey. Or maybe, do ; )

Craig Doerksen

Craig Doerksen

Prior to becoming the director of Waterloo School, Craig provided leadership for a number of prominent institutions, including Regents School of Austin; the Bluetower Arts Foundation in Eugene, OR; and Trinity School in Raleigh, NC. Craig holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Ireland and graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in English.