For over 40 years, Mill Springs Academy has welcomed students who learn differently and prepared them for success in school and in life. Our alums are accomplishing great things, and we invite all alums to stay in touch.



Alum Spotlight - Tucker O'Brien

Mill Springs Academy put me on the path for success. With the combination of the levels system and the caring, nurturing teachers and staff, I was able to realize a future that likely would not have been a reality were it not for the school’s very unique environment and structure. 

When I entered in the Fall of 2001, I knew how to cause trouble; I was rambunctious, I was a verbal bully, I had little-no-self control. I knew how to push people’s buttons and I leveraged that whenever the opportunity presented itself. As I write this, nearly twenty-two years after my first day at MSA, I reflect back on the incredible fortune that was having found Mill Springs. 

The levels system gave me the proper guidance I genuinely needed to go from being an arrogant, bossy young boy to a young man who was a leader. Granted, this was not an overnight process—it took a few years at least—but it has stuck. Receptiveness to feedback has worked very well for me in the corporate world, in addition, which I absolutely attribute to those countless Friday morning levels meetings!

Playing sports at Mill Springs instilled a particular level of work ethic and perseverance you can only find in environments like the baseball diamond or the basketball court. Having those avenues wherein I could not only push myself physically, but develop strong bonds with teammates through hardship in losses and exuberance in wins, forged lifelong friendships. Playing baseball, I led the team as a starting pitcher— a fond memory having pitched a winning game, shutting down a much larger Atlanta-area private school that was well outside of our conference. In basketball, I was able to lead through demonstration of a level-headed, positive mindset (and comic relief, lest we forget).

Success can be measured by any number of yardsticks depending on who you ask. I measure success on happiness and quality of life. I am genuinely happy and have a life for which I’m incredibly grateful. I was successful in school— after finishing a Bachelor of Science in biology, I went on to earn my MBA. My corporate journey post-MBA has been similarly successful over the past eight years.

I’m an adamant believer in giving back, whether materially, financially, or a simple donation of your time. My volunteer roles of coaching baseball for boys and girls with disabilities—and previously a long tenure in volunteer teaching ESOL to adults in the evenings— have been successes, as well. 

The incredible teachers and staff at Mill Springs, with their guidance, mentorship, kindness, and untold levels of patience, helped me to become who I am today. The friends I made at school, my peers who could comfortably give me candid feedback that shaped me into a respectful young man, had an equally-great effect. I owe much of my success to Mill Springs Academy and its resulting impact during those critical years.

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