Reflections on Shipley The past 12 years as a student at Shipley have shaped me to become the person that I am today. Since arriving at Shipley in first grade, I have grown to appreciate all of Shipley’s values and traditions. Shipley has prepared me for a lifetime of intellectual curiosity and compassionate participation in the world.
Ready to Thrive Something that stands out to me as one of the School’s greatest strengths is that at each transitional moment from Lower to Middle, and then to Upper School, I have been armed with all of the skills necessary to thrive at the next level of my academic career. Now, as I prepare to go to college, I am confident that with my Shipley experience behind me, I am more than ready to conquer all of the academic, social, and emotional obstacles that may appear in the next few months.
Strong Relationships To me, Shipley is more than just my school: it is truly my home away from home. Going from Shipley to the University of Michigan, I know that I will miss feeling as though I am a valued member of the community and well-known to all. Shipley is a place where relationships between classmates and between students and teachers blossom. Through several difficult points in my life I have been able to turn to someone in the community who knew me well and loved me enough to help me navigate any struggle. While I am sad to leave, I know that these relationships are strong enough to last despite the distance between Bryn Mawr and Ann Arbor.
Most Influential Teacher While I have had many teachers who have helped me to learn and grow, and many as well with whom I have developed a close personal relationship, Mrs. Pickering is a clear standout in my mind as the most influential teacher for me. Having had the privilege to be one of her students for three years in Modern European History Honors, American Studies, and The Great War seminar, I feel that I have learned what it means to be a scholar. Mrs. Pickering’s expectations are incredibly high, not only in terms of academic work, but also in the way of morality and respect. Each individual in the classroom is made to feel that he or she is a valued member of the class, and participation in class discussions is not optional. I have been pushed continuously to do my absolute best work and to be the best person I can be over the past three years. I know that the skills and lessons I have learned through Mrs. Pickering’s boundless enthusiasm for teaching will carry me far through college and beyond. There’s No Place Like Fourth Grade Of all of my experiences at Shipley, there is no more memorable experience than that of my year in Mrs. Van Horn’s fourth grade class. Mrs. Van Horn’s class tends to attract those students who, while their potential is clear, may need some of Mrs. Van Horn’s trademark “tough love” to set him or her straight. I am not afraid to admit that I was a bit rough around the edges when I first entered her class. Over the course of that year, Mrs. Van Horn taught me to embrace hard work; this initial push has inspired a lifetime of always putting my best effort forward. While that year was certainly transformative for me in terms of my attitude towards learning, it was also one in which we had a ton of fun as a class. Because of the type of student placed into her class, we were a class full of strong personalities. This made the fourth grade tradition of studying the Revolutionary War and recess games of bombardment or four square particularly competitive and exciting. On our last day of class, each student was so saddened by the prospect of moving on to fifth grade that we refused to leave at the end of the day, taping ourselves to our desk chairs in protest. Recently we had a 4VH reunion in which we had the opportunity to reminisce on a great year and even catch up with members of the class that have since left Shipley. It was great to get our rag-tag team back together again.
Plans for Fall 2015 I will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall. I am not sure yet what I want to study.
Future Ambition As of right now, I have no specific ambitions for the future. This is not to say that I am not looking forward to a future filled with accomplishments in a field of study that I love. Because I still am figuring out what I would like to do with my life, I am thankful for the opportunities I have had at Shipley to explore so many different subjects: from Journalism through working on The Beacon, to business and marketing through my time as a competitor and president in DECA, as well as a wide array of studies. Whatever path I end up choosing, I know that I will be prepared to do well. Most importantly, however, I know that I will ultimately choose to do something that brings me joy everyday.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.