Tag Archives: Boarding School

A Moment of Peace

132 – Kristin. 134 – Kim and Francie. 136 – Donna and Jenny. 138 – Amanda and Hillary. And so on.

Those were some of the kids on my first corridor, way back in 1985. Of course, those kids would be in their mid-40s now, much closer to my age than to the age of the kids currently living there. But the memories are still fresh. For example, the time there came an unmistakable meow from one of those rooms as I was doing check-in at the beginning of study hall. A little investigation uncovered – you have perhaps guessed – a cat, its container covered by a tapestry so I wouldn’t see. Suddenly, several kids from the corridor were all in the room, begging me to let them keep it. It had been lonely, lost, wandering around. It needed a home. It needed love. I asked where they had found this poor, lost, homeless cat. The parking lot in Friendly’s, the old one on Federal Street. The one, I pointed out, smack in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. I convinced the kids, not without a fair amount of effort, that the cat might actually have a home and that those people might be worried. I drove it down to Friendly’s and, waiting for an opportune moment so no one would see me and think I was abandoning it, released it, hopefully indeed back to its home.

rachelcourtneydorm_72dpiI moved off that corridor in 1988 to a bigger apartment (actually, not very much smaller than my current house), by request taking what by then was the 9th grade corridor with me to “the Extension” over the library. I stayed there for most of the remainder of my 12 years of houseparenting. Four years later, I would be in France attending a friend’s wedding on the first weekend of the year when I first learned of the unique character of that particular corridor. “Bill, you wouldn’t believe it. They all shaved their heads on the first night.” my friend and co-houseparent told me over the phone. A slight exaggeration – they had merely shaved the lower half of the back of their heads, and not quite all of them. But the moment was a foreshadowing. This would be the year that Lilah would absolutely refuse to sleep in room 65 for a solid week, assuring me one of her relatives had confirmed malevolent paranormal activity in the room. The year where I learned I would have say “good night” last of all to Kerry, who found a way almost every single night of the year to engage me in challenging something about the school – except for the night where she taught me the “A Pizza Hut. A Pizza Hut. Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut…” song. The ritual turned out to be her way of calming down at the end of the day so she could fall asleep. And of course – she could laugh about it as a Senior, by then an RA on her old corridor – Mary Ellen, several nights a week, knocking on my door about half an hour after lights-out. “Bill. I can’t sleep.”

Yesterday in housemeeting, I made the following announcement during the “Weekend Activities” portion of the morning: “I’m going to be on duty on middle school corridor. Since this is the first time I’ve been on weekend duty… this century, please feel free to offer suggestions for what you’d like to do.” I had done some coverage on middle school corridor during the last week of school, hanging out during Vespers and Farewell to Seniors before we found ways to help the kids create strong enough connections to the older kids that they began – successfully – demanding to attend these formerly Upper School events. But this would indeed be my first weekend on duty as a resident since 1999, when my family and I temporarily abandoned our house for a year to live in Ferdon.

Similarly, last night was my first on-duty night during a normal school night in quite some time. It proved to be easy, fun, and “relatively smooth” as I wrote repeatedly in my Duty Notes for the night. Around 7:30 p.m. up in Jesser, where we are holding study hall during the two-week-long period of Quiet Hours due to IB testing, several people said, “Oh, we need to talk to you after Study Hall.” Feeling the old familiar sense of uncertain anticipation, I nodded yes, and everyone quieted down quickly – occasional bursts of conversation and laughter from the Humanities classroom notwithstanding (“Every time!” one girl lamented. “Every time, you catch me!”). A little after 9:00 p.m., back on the corridor (Middle School Study Hall only lasts 90 minutes, reflecting the lesser amount of homework they get and their developmental needs), a group of approximately 11 students (they waited patiently while I punched all their names into my phone to make a list) surrounded me as I sat at the duty table. “Okay,” I said turning around to face as many of them as possible, “What do you want?”

It turned out that what they wanted was for me to drive them up to Cardigan Mountain School on Saturday. For the second straight year, Cardigan had invited us on a harbour cruise in Boston to celebrate the end of their year, and the girls wanted to be able to see the boys who had thus entered their lives once more before Cardigan graduated, Saturday being “Eaglebrook Day” when the two rival schools would have multiple games in multiple sports. They knew it was one hour and 41 minutes door to door, they knew the game schedule, they knew I would have to find coverage to staff the dorm in my absence, and in general, especially considering how badly they must have wanted it, they presented their proposal calmly and thoughtfully and in great detail. I explained what would have to fall into place for me to be able to do this, promised to write the necessary emails setting the process in motion, and promised to let them know when I knew for sure if it could work out.

At 10:00 p.m., Susan, a Rock Band student of mine and one of the RAs in the Middle School, joined me in walking the length of the corridors telling everyone “good night” and ensuring their lights were out. This was always one of my favourite rituals as a houseparent, and not at all because it signalled the impending end of my active duty for the night, but more because it was a chance to connect, to read the moods of everyone on the corridor, to provide a little touch of home. “Good night. Sleep well. See you in the morning!”

I had determined to hang out an extra half hour, just to be sure things remained calm and nothing bubbled up suddenly. Whatever her reasons, Susan sat next to me by the duty table, talking in Chinese to somebody – her mom? – and, her face split by a wide smile, showing me a picture she’d just been sent of her dog running outside outside all happy it was spring and it was warm. Later, I would ask her if she’d read the excellent article by Nafisatou, a four-year-Senior, in our latest Alumnae Bulletin. She hadn’t, but she began talking about Nafisatou’s journey toward one of the hardest colleges to get into, “harder than Harvard” she said, eyes wide. And then her attention turned to her own college search and her worries and misgivings. What is there, I thought to myself, about the quietness of a corridor that brings out these moments? Although no one else was visible, we were surrounded, I was acutely aware, by several dozen people, with many more elsewhere in the building. Often, I think back on my houseparenting days, and that comforting sense of being connected to so many people even when most of them may have fallen asleep. I did my best to reassure Susan that everyone finds their place, and let her know most Juniors feel the way she does at around this stage in the college process. I walked her through how she would start to find what college would be a good fit for her. This time next year, I assured her, you’ll know where you’re going.

10:30 p.m. rolled around. I hit “Send” (well, technically “Envoyer”) on my phone to send out my Duty Notes, bid Susan good night, and walked downstairs and through the drizzle out to my car, looking back up at the dark windows where my students slept. Tomorrow, the familiar ritual of a Wednesday. But for now, a moment of peace.

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Filed under Alumnae, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School

In Community

All knowledge is held in community.Peter Sellars

As I was approaching the dining commons of my son’s high school, I heard someone shout “Mr. Ivey? No way!” One of my son’s best friends walked over to me, a huge smile on his face, and wrapped me in a bear hug. We spoke for a bit, and he pulled out his phone to get a picture to send to my son. The picture taken, I continued on my way to dinner.

I had returned to Andover to attend the inaugural ceremony honoring five Alumni of Distinction. Such ceremonies reveal much about schools – whom do you choose to honor, and why? Some schools honor the most famous, others potential donors. Others look to find someone who truly exemplifies the school in a special way. Andover? Their motto is “Non sibi,” “Not for self,” and that thread ran through the lives of all five of their honorees. Even with the obvious choice of an ex-President, George H.W. Bush, Andover chose to focus on his lifetime of service, devoting a third of their write-up to his time in the military and focusing on achievements such as the end of the Cold War, the creation of the EPA, and the Americans with Disablities Act. Another honoree was Wendy Ewald, a photographer who has turned her work to advancing the cause of social justice. Chemist William Knowles facilitated the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and biographer Stacy Schiff exemplifies a life where you take the time to “slow down and think.” (Schiff) And then there was Peter Sellars.

His name was vaguely familiar to me (and not just because it is only one letter off from the great actor Peter Sellers), but it quickly became clear that he was truly something special. Like all the honorees or their representatives, he spoke passionately about what his experience at the school had meant to him. Most particularly, he spoke of his experiences with the arts faculty in the early ’70s. Noting that in these days of NCLB, arts programs have been decimated for over a decade now, he spoke movingly of the importance of schools like Andover where the arts continue to play an important role: “The arts teach us to think, not what to think.” (Sellars) He spoke, too, of the importance of the arts in teaching us to “recognize the distance between dream and reality and every day make that distance a little less.” (Sellars) His words would resonate, I should think, with members of the Stoneleigh-Burnham community as well.

Abut three years ago, Stoneleigh-Burnham instituted our own “Distinguished Alumna Award.” Karen von Lengen ’69 was the first recipient. Ms. von Lengen, a noted architect and professor at the University of Virginia, points out in the first paragraph of her personal statement that she helped with post-Katrina reconstruction, worked to develop sustainable and emergency housing, initiated dialogues on the relationship of ethics and aesthetics, and co-founded a university initiative to improve the environment. The next two recipients, Dr. Denise Bruner ’70 and Judith Howard Whitney-Terry ’56B P’77, also exemplify service. Board Chair Kathy Opdycke ’70 wrote that “Denise’s efforts to help others reflect the spirit of a Stoneleigh-Burnham student. She has broken the barriers of gender and race in her profession…” and Ms. Whitney-Terry joined the Peace Corps 31 years after her graduation, continuing to maintain ties to the organization and to work in civic service.

Some weeks ago, I was participating in an #isedchat on Twitter when Lorri Carroll of Hamden Hill School asked me how we determined which of our alumni/ae are successes. My instinctive answer was that they themselves get to decide that. As I thought more deeply about it, I realized that when we talk about our graduates, the phrase “S/He’s doing well” primarily communicates that that person is happy in life. The ensuing conversation helps us figure out why. If the mission of our school is to help our students be their own best selves, by definition the measure of our success varies with each individual graduate.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting the new Chair of the Alumnae Board, Sharon Lewis Gaffey ’68S. Academic Dean Alex Bogel and Dean of Students John Larson were also present, and at one point in time Alex and I embarked on one of our many reflective dialogues as we were taking turns describing what was going on in the Upper and Middle Schools and how early growth in young adolescents is supported and enhanced as they continue in our school. Ms. Gaffey commented on how much she would have enjoyed being in these classes, remembering the classes she herself had taken, becoming for a moment the SBS student she used to be and in many ways still was. She concluded by saying that the school had given her the gift of the ability and will to use her own voice.

Listening to her, I couldn’t help but think back to when the school had renovated Reception and the front lobby. One morning, I happened to be passing through when some young alumnae had just returned. “Everything’s so different!” they lamented. I responded, “Yes, it looks different, but walk around. You’ll find that deep down, it’s the same school you knew.” And of course, it was. A sort of collective soul animates everything we are doing, have always done, and continue to do. It is what makes Stoneleigh-Burnham what it is and what brings together members of the community from every era. Every good school has it. And with the best schools, that collective soul works together to elevate everyone.

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Filed under Alumnae, On Education, Performing Arts, The Girls School Advantage, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Listening through the Wall: Middle School Select Chorus Auditions and the Spirit of Our School

I can’t see the students on the other side of the wall from my office, but I can imagine the scene that I’m hearing as I listen.  The girls sit in a loosely formed circle, some perched on stools, some sliding out of a chair, others with feet firmly planted on the ground.  One student is silently shaking her head, refusing to take her turn.  Her fellow students, some who have already auditioned and others anxiously waiting for their chance, cheer her on.  They offer words of support, chant her name and talk about how their experiences weren’t so bad.  “Once you do it you’ll be glad you did!”  “It’s not that bad!” “You can do it! Really!”

This could be any class, in any subject. But I am sitting in my classroom next door, eavesdropping on one of Tony Lechner’s vocal classes.  It is Middle School Select Chorus auditions, and each girl has come prepared to share a snippet of a song with the group.  The returning eighth grade students have done this before.  I can hear familiar works by Adele and Rihanna through the wall, and can pick out some voices that I know well.  After all, some of these shortened songs I’m hearing today shocked us last year when performed in their entirety (I still brag to my non-teaching friends about witnessing Charlotte’s Spearth Day performance in May).  Now I am hearing unfamiliar voices coming through with unfamiliar songs and I assume they belong to the new seventh graders hoping to join the group.

After two more girls sing I can hear the reluctant student again being encouraged by her classmates.  She replies to her peers’ words with silence (again, I imagine the shaking of her head) and someone else begins with “Amazing Grace.”

I am not musically inclined, and even with multiple years of teaching under my belt I still have an unhealthy fear of speaking in groups.  Never would I have set foot in a vocal music classroom as a middle school student, or tried to muster the courage to sing in front of others.  I completely understand this student’s reluctance to share her song with her classmates.  She’s vulnerable. She could forget the words, her voice might waver, she might be embarrassed in front of her peers.

The end of the class period is nearing and the attention returns to the silent student.  I can hear a few classmates say something to her, but not as loudly as before.  There is a pause, and then a voice comes through.  As with the other songs I have heard over the last 40 minutes I try to recognize the student to whom it belongs, but it isn’t familiar.  Then I realize it’s her – the reluctant voice that everyone was encouraging. She’s singing!  Her voice pours through the wall, sending shivers down my spine.  I don’t know if the song is being sung well, but it sounds amazing in this moment.  I am so proud of her.  She goes quiet, the silence is suspended, and then the classroom erupts in cheers. “That was amazing!” “Wow!” “You were great!” While I can’t see her face, I imagine it beaming with a smile stretched ear to ear.

– Sara Gibbons, Senior Class Dean & Visual Arts Faculty

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Filed under In the Classroom, Performing Arts, Uniquely Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Learning in Community

While I certainly work throughout the year to see where I need to make adjustments to maximize student learning (most notably by talking with my students), I always welcome the summer as a chance to slow down my pace and reflect on my practice. So when a prospective parent mentioned in passing research on the usefulness of handwriting, it caught my attention. I’ve been working over the past few years to create as paperless a classroom as possible, for a variety of reasons including environmental concerns and to help prepare students to easily create and manage electronic portfolios for the IB program. Had I perhaps been too successful? Catherine and I used to discusss the possibility, but had decided to continue what we were doing given positive results and reactions on the part of students. Nonetheless, it was definitely time to do some investigation.

Within moments of my putting out a request on Twitter for links to research on handwriting, Larry Ferlazzo sent me a response, and Jen Marten followed soon after. Much of the research has been conducted with elementary-age students, but related research on adults learning a second language produced similar conclusions. Handwriting can rewire the brain, involving both hemispheres more actively, slowing down thought processes, improving memory and enabling greater success in learning second languages. This is, in part, a function of handwriting being tactile as well as visual. While some studies suggested that these effects are measurable only with cursive due to the different formation of letters (printing in these studies produced the same effects as typing), others did not distinguish between cursive and printing.

So what are the implications for my teaching? First, it seems clear that I will need to ask my French II students to do most of their work by hand. I will want to have a conversation with them about how best to learn a language, and stress the need to handwrite wherever possible. Second, I will need to find a place for handwriting in Humanities 7. Independent writing (usually short stories and/or poetry) and essays profit from the ability to easily and quickly revise and restructure when needed, so those activities would probably best remain electronic (given that when a student requests to handwrite a first draft, I certainly respect that request). Vocabulary learning, though, focuses on memorization; perhaps vocabulary lists and practice work should be handwritten in the future. And certainly the extensive goal-setting and self-reflection work the students do would seem to profit from both the improved memory and additional time for deep thinking afforded by handwriting. We can try this system through the fall and see how it works, and make adjustments as needed in the winter.

Note that none of these proposed improvements to my courses would be happening without the input of a parent, colleagues, and eventually my students. While learning is ultimately an individual’s responsibility as they follow their own unique path, it is also true that the best learning happens in community. I feel lucky and privileged to be surrounded by amazing learners that support and help me, and do my best to give back.

– Bill Ivey, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School Dean

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Filed under In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School

It All Came Together

For teachers, the end of the year is always a time for reflection. My students and I talk through how we can continue to improve the middle school experience for next year’s kids. Ghosts of former students that occasionally materialize throughout the year, looking over my shoulder while I’m teaching and reminding me of a basic truth they taught me, begin to gather together as if for Reunion. The AP French class that made a music video of the reggae song “Femme Libérée.” The 9th graders who raised money for a special doll that Franklin Medical Center could use with little kids to help them understand what was happening with them. The French 3 student who caught fire when she learned to use the tenacity she brought to being a superb soccer goalkeeper to improve her schoolwork. The girl who could laugh at the four-year senior dinner as she looked back on her 9th grade year when she would knock softly on my apartment door nearly every night at 11:00 or so and say, “Bill, I can’t sleep.” The rock band that pulled off “Stairway to Heaven” with three different groups of kids playing each of the three sections, Emily the guitarist holding things together through each transition. Literally hundreds more students hover above me, asking if I remember them, smiling to learn that I do.

Ghosts of current students, too, fill my mind – ghosts of who they used to be. When you teach middle school, incredible growth almost, but not quite, ceases to amaze you because it happens every single year. During the first week, I used to have to turn my right ear toward one student and stand within six inches of her to hear what she was saying; now, I can look back to April and remember her reading poetry to a room full of friends and their families with a voice audible in every corner. The Humanities 7 class, from being a roomful of relative strangers, has coalesced into a model community of writers with extraordinary talent and a high level of honest supportiveness. The drummer in the rock band used to need me to write her parts for her; now, I just give her the basic beat and off she goes! There are stories all of us could (and do) tell about every single student. Those of you who can attend our 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony will hear many of those stories, and you will understand why our eyes fill up at this time every year.

This morning, I read a reflective essay an international student had written on her year. She wrote simply and with aching honesty about how scared she was on the first day, how truly alien everything seemed. Even the aspect of school she thought would be the most stable, her teachers (reasoning that people who choose to go into teaching would have a lot in common regardless of what their nationality is), seemed strange and new and different. As she fell asleep sharing a room with a total stranger for the first time ever in her life, she felt sad, lost and alone, and wondered if coming to this school in this country had been one of the worst mistakes of her life.

Today, she is grateful to have had her world opened up. She’s learned how different people can be, how she can herself be seen as different by other people, and how those differences are what makes the world special and interesting. She wants to travel a lot and learn about other countries. She thinks coming here is one of the best things to have happened to her.

Earlier this morning, I ran to the dining room to fill my coffee mug back up, and passed a group of parents setting up for the annual “Make a Muffin” breakfast they prepare for faculty, staff and students. The tables were overflowing not just with muffins but also with pastries, coffee rings, and lots of other yummy things. I saw two moms hugging each other as one told the other, “It all came together.”

So it did.

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Filed under In the Classroom, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, Uncategorized

That Age

I do not usually wear a jacket and tie to chaperone duty, but this was a special occasion.   As Greg Snedeker (our instrumental music teacher) and I approached the Capen Room at the appointed meeting time of 5:45, it seemed awfully quiet. But when we walked in, we saw one of the Juniors and her father; one raised her arms and pumped her fists while the other clutched a camera and smiled at us. Soon, students were milling about and taking picture after picture, often drawing cheers and whistles as they entered the room. It was Prom night at Salisbury School, an all-boys school in Connecticut.

Mr. Larson, our Dean of Students, had ordered a bus for us, and one student had brought the sort of music player that takes D batteries, not those wimpy AAA things. Conversation somehow managed to flourish above the music, except when an irresistible sing-along song came on. “It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight…” I’m not quite sure even the school’s Rock Bands are that loud (though to be fair, equally enthusiastic). Cheers filled the bus at the first glimpse of Salisbury, Greg and I noted a sudden influx of perfume, and soon I was sprinting toward the hockey rink to ask a random Salisbury student where exactly we were supposed to go as some of the students applied last touches to make-up.

Two students that I knew of had dates, and as they hugged and one was putting on her wrist corsage, Rita, the Student Activities Director from Salisbury, greeted us warmly as usual (you get the feeling from her that anyone who works to bring joy to the lives of teenagers must by definition be a good person). She mentioned that she had only been able to persuade about three students from her school who didn’t have dates to come nonetheless. Greg and I assured her that was probably not going to be a major issue. It wasn’t. It seemed that half or more of the kids on the dance floor were from our school at any given point in time, in clusters of various sizes.

Somehow, the students knew when it was 10:00 and they all flooded the lobby outside the room. Instead of just checking in and running away as you might expect, they hung out together for a bit until some internal alarm clock went off and they all went streaming back into the room.  They would be equally prompt at 11:00, theoretically our departure time though Greg and I first gave them an extra 10 minutes and then let them run back inside to grab strawberry shortcake or chocolate cake when they realized dessert had been put out. Touchingly, one of the girls there with her boyfriend was the first to ask if it was time to go (probably a factor in the kids getting those extra 10 minutes). And the other girl volunteered to leave her boyfriend temporarily to go fetch stragglers.

The ride back was uneventful, and it took a moment to unload the bus as several students tried with mixed success to wake up enough to be functioning and others worked to pick up as much trash as possible. As they streamed by the bus driver, the Thank you’s flowed unbidden, each one drawing a corresponding “You’re welcome.” One day student, wrapped sleepily in a blanket, returned to ask if she could stay overnight, worrying that she didn’t want to disturb anyone. I told her I could text Mr. Deason, the night’s Administrator-on-Duty, and she looked relieved and turned to go into the school.

As Greg as I watched them dancing, putting their hands up in the air sometimes, nonstop smiles lighting up their faces, I was transported back to a time when I used to feel sorry for adults, suspecting they simply weren’t experiencing life as fully as teenagers. “You know,” I said, “I totally get why some people say they would never want to be that age again. But I still can’t help but feel they’re forgetting moments like this.” “All ages are good,” responded Greg, and I readily agreed. Still, we had to feel lucky that we get to work with teenagers, especially the ones who go to our school.

See flickr for pictures of our girls all dressed up and ready to go!

– Bill Ivey, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School Dean

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These are a few of my favorite things.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.

Brown paper packages tied up with string,

these are a few of my favorite things.

(The Sound of Music)

My favorite part of the day is the time I get to spend with our students. I love hearing about their day, learning about the horses they like, the teachers they love, and the way they like their Brussels sprouts cooked. I love asking them questions and watching them ponder the answers. Sometimes the answers are quick, a shouted response from the other side of the dinner table. Sometimes they think deeply, asking if they can come back to me with an answer. The enthusiasm and positivity I see in each of our students on a daily basis never ceases to amaze me. At 18, 15 and even 12 I see wisdom in them that makes me pause and reflect on just how much these girls know about life, love and happiness.

Last night was no exception. I began my evening sitting around a table with a group of girls who range in age from 12 to 15. We were having a rather enthusiastic discussion of the things they love most about SBS. Food made it onto the list more than once, as did teachers, weekend activities, Humanities, Select Chorus and MOCA (the middle school student government).

As the night continued I asked more and more of our middle school students (and their Resident Assistants) about their experiences at SBS. The answers were varied and as unique as the girls who were giving them. The common themes included a greater sense of independence, increased confidence and a willingness to explore and experience more cultures and traditions. I have included the questions and a few of the responses below.

What is the best thing Stoneleigh-Burnham has done for you? What is the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since coming to Stoneleigh-Burnham School?

“I’ve made really good friends here. I’m not as nervous when I give presentations. My Mom and Dad say I’ve become more independent and I manage my time more wisely than I did before.” -8th grader from New Jersey

“SBS has opened me up to socialize with people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. Now I’m more open to different ideas.” -8th grader from New York

“Stoneleigh-Burnham has taught me how to be independent. It taught me how to be around people from different cultures and feel comfortable around everyone. I’m way more organized, I feel better about who I am, I’ve become a better rider and it taught me that anyone can be anyone and be accepted.” -8th grader from Russia

“The best thing is everything. I have made good friends and I have become more organized.” -8th grader from Mexico

“The best things are the classes and the food. My english is better.” -7th grader from China

“I learned to speak English and I have very good friends. Now I am more secure in myself. When I was in Mexico, when I looked at someone I didn’t know I would think they were strange but now I say “Hi!”. I wasn’t shy with people I knew but I was with people I didn’t, now I speak with them.” -8th grader from Mexico

“It has helped me in many ways such as bringing more happiness into my life and helping me develop as an individual and as a student.” -8th grader from China

“Stoneleigh-Burnham has taught me not just about academics but also about cultures, traditions, sports, how to find my voice and much, much more. Now I am much more independent, organized and outgoing.” -8th grader from New York

“Stoneleigh-Burnham has taught me to be an independent girl, thinking creatively and positively, knowing what my dream is and pursuing it constantly. I enjoy getting along with people from all over the world and from different age groups. Being a Stoneleigh girl makes me proud of myself.” -12th grader from China

“It has helped my confidence level just being here and making my own decisions. It makes me feel like a stronger person who can do more things.” -8th grader from Boston

“The best thing SBS did for me was help me make friends. I had friends before but not really close ones. Now I have friends I’ll keep for life.” -8th grader from New York

“Stoneleigh-Burnham made me learn more cultures and different traditions from around the world. I’ve been opened to different routines.” –7th grader from Mexico

“The best thing the school has done for me is show me the importance of being a leader I have become a better rider and I’ve seen possibilities in my future because of Stoneleigh-Burnham.” –11th grader from St. Maarten

“The best thing Stoneleigh-Burnham School has done for me is to provide me with a better education and to grow as a person, learn new cultures and many things that are important. I have become more mature and educated. It has also made me a stronger person.” -12th grader from Columbia

“SBS has made me nicer and more considerate.” -7th grader from Ghana


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