The Judge Family, The Grayson School
Learn more about the area's only school aimed at gifted learners.
When Logan Judge was a very young child, people told his parents, Julie and Nathan, that he was different. Julie didn’t see it, even when he built a K’Nex kit designed for a 16-year-old at age 5.
“It became pretty apparent from an early age — apparent to everyone else, but not to me,” she said. “He was my first child.”
Still, the Judges had gone to public schools themselves, and were committed to sending their kids there, too. They thought the local school could handle Logan’s bright mind, but by first and second grade, it was clear things weren’t working.
“He was not being challenged, he was different, he had interests that were different from other kids his age,” Julie said. “Then it turned into a social issue.”
The Judges did research, discovering that Logan learned differently from his peers, and was well above average in some areas but not in others.
“The phrase, ‘Well, maybe your child is a gifted learner’ came to light, and at the time, Grayson was hosting open houses, to drum up some community interest,” Julie said.
She met Melissa Bilash, The Grayson School’s founder, as Bilash was putting the pieces in place to open a school for gifted learners.
“I remember sitting in that open house, and I just kept nodding my head, because everything she was saying was what I was experiencing with my child,” Julie said. “This seemed like a fabulous fit. I knew by the time that was over that if that school opened, I was going to be there.”
It did, in the fall of 2015. And Logan was one of the inaugural class of 12 students, entering as a third grader. He’s now 11 and, Julie said, thriving at Grayson, which has grown to more than 50 student this fall in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades, with plans to add the high school grades.
“What it’s done for him is tremendous,” Julie said.
“It wasn’t until he entered Grayson and has unwound some of that social anxiety that we’ve realized that ability that he has.”
At Grayson, Logan can learn through projects, whether it’s robotics, coding, engineering, or other interests. His teachers understand all the aspects of a gifted personality, Julie said, and have worked with him. For example, she said, Logan learns better through visuals, and also can be sensitive.
Socially, because he’s around other kids with similar interests, Julie said, the exclusion he sometimes felt has disappeared.
“Prior to having Logan, I think I, like most of the population, thought a gifted child was a child who was able to really soar academically,” Julie said. “I’ve learned through him and through this school community that it’s so much more than that.”
She said it’s been wonderful for her to have the school community as well.
“I don’t feel so alone anymore,” she said.
As a measure of how far Logan has come at Grayson, Julie offered this: for the first time, Logan went to a traditional sleepaway camp this summer.
“If I reflect on Logan three years ago, it’s such an improvement over where we were,” Judge said. “He knows who he is.”
Want to know more? Visit Grayson online,
or join us for an open house this fall:
Middle School: November 9, 9:30 — 11:30 am
Or come meet representatives from The Grayson School at the
Main Line Parent Early Childhood Education Fair!
Hosted by the NEW St. David’s Episcopal Day School
765 S. Valley Forge Road, Wayne
11 am — 2 pm
Photographs by Casey Kallen.