Name: Sarah McDonald
Years at Shipley: 14
Attending in the Fall: The College of William and Mary
Major/Area of Interest: English
Beacon (Associate Editor); Yearbook (Head Editor); Environmental Committee (President); Golf;
Musical Make-Up Staff
Who was your most influential teacher and why?
My most influential teacher was Ms. Gearhart. I had her in 9th grade and again in 11th grade. As a very nervous freshman, she greatly intimidated me; however, as the year went on, English became my favorite class. Her kind demeanor made me feel welcome every day, and she always made our books engaging. For American Studies, she incorporated works of art, short stories, poetry, and movies into the curriculum to make it a truly interdisciplinary course. A large reason I am becoming an English major and considering teaching is due to Ms. Gearhart.
What was your most memorable experience at Shipley?
It's difficult to choose one memorable experience from Shipley since I spent 14 years at the school. Many come to mind, along with many experiences with those I met through Shipley. Prom stands out as something very fun and memorable. Completing the yearbook my senior year was also a very bittersweet accomplishment and a proud moment. Any time I felt like a part of something larger than myself is a memorable experience.
What does Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing mean to you?
I think Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing means taking the courage to put others before yourself and doing it with grace. It is not easy to serve others when you are also in need of care; however, teamwork and compassion are necessary.
Complete this sentence: Shipley has prepared me to…
…be a leader.
Reflections on your time at Shipley:
Shipley has prepared me greatly to be in charge of others, delegate tasks, and communicate. Being the head of my committee and a yearbook editor taught me great responsibility that will carry over to leadership in college and life. These opportunities gave me practice with things as simple as writing emails.
Shipley also prepared me for a rigorous academic experience. Taking classes like biology honors and calculus AB have taught me time management, study skills, and effective learning strategies. As a college-prep school, I am confident I will be prepared for a college workload.
Above all - academics, clubs, and athletics aside - school was the place I met my best friends. When reflecting on high school, the thing I will miss most and am most grateful to Shipley for is lifelong friends who never failed to support me for the last four years.