Waverly Academy is a boarding school in the state of New York near Lake Placid. It was founded in 1866 by Rita Hallowell, Harriot Ramsey, Jebediah Ramsey, Esther Abbott, and Mabel Whittier.
Whenever something strange happens at the school, Hallowell's black cat seems to show up. It disappeared the day of her funeral, after she suddenly died. It was rumored that a student's practical joke had accidentally killed her, since she was so detached when not teaching. Hallowell had also set up a tradition of students dressing in black cloaks and calling themselves the Blackwood Society, chanting a riddle that would someday help someone find what she had hidden in the school.
Each of the students is assigned a work study job and is required to participate in three after school activities. Being the valedictorian of a class means that one gets a full ride scholarship to a school of their choice. As such, the Academy is such a big deal that it warrants the headmistress calling in a private detective, Nancy Drew, to investigate little threatening notes from "The Black Cat" in 2009. Nancy calls herself Becca Sawyer, a transfer student from Lyons, France, and stays in the valedictorian candidate hall during Prep Week Break.
At the entrance to the campus, the hall made specifically for senior valedictorian candidates, Ramsey Hall, proudly stands (the only hall Nancy gets to explore). It houses the snack shop and the Jasmine Ivy library. Other than that, Whittier Hall is the dormitory for seniors, Hallowell Hall and Abbott Hall are the dormitories for the sophomores and juniors and Parker Hall is the dormitory for freshman. The school is complete with a track, tennis courts, a lake and even stables with 20 acres for an equestrian program.
The school also features its own pet albino squirrel, Casper, who lives in the oak tree in front of Ramsey Hall. He had previously appeared in Resorting to Danger! being taken care of by Helfdan Helgason for concerns about light sensitivity due to minimal eye pigmentation. It says that the solution to the problem is tiny sunglasses that are being created for him at an offsite manufacturing company. It also says his favorite treat is nuts.
- Caitlin O'Brien (1934)
- Beatrice Hotchkiss (1962)
- Quigley Kim (1991)
- Kyler Mallory (1995)
- Heather McKay (2003)
- Jasmine Ivy
- Isabella Romero (2010)
- Mel Corbalis (2010)
- Leela Yadav (2010)
- Rachel and Kim Hubbard (2010)
- Megan Vargas (2010)
- Corine Myers (2006-2009)
- Danielle Hayes (2006-2009)
If a family has attended Waverly Academy for several generations, it is considered a "legacy". Children descended from legacies are automatically accepted to Waverly. There are several such students throughout the school's history, including:
- Mel Corbalis's great-great-great grandmother was a part of Waverly's very first class, which contained only fourteen students.
- Tara Moore is possibly descended from Madeline Moore, who wrote The Story of Four, a book about the school's founders.
- Rosemary Ivy may be a relative of Jasmine Ivy.
- Kyler Mallory is the grandniece of Caitlin O'Brien, through her marriage to Brendan Malloy.
- Waverly Academy is located on 523 N 7th street, Averyville NY.
- The school's motto is Dignitas in Omnis, which is Latin for "Dignity in all".
- Waverly's mascot is the raven.
- An Elinor Penvellyn attended Waverly at some point, perhaps a descendant of her possible namesake, Elinor Penvellyn.