Meet William McKenna ’15

William McKenna ’15
Currently Attending: Tufts University
Years at Shipley: 7

Activities, Positions, Awards: Shipley Ambassador, Environmental Tsar, Varsity Tennis Co-Captain, STAD leader, SOS Head in 11th grade; Bryn Mawr Hospital Volunteer 150 Hour Award, 2015 Avery Silverman School Spirit Award

Tools to Succeed
Shipley has played a fundamental role in my becoming an adult. Shipley has taught me a wide variety of skills, ranging from writing a paper or finding the derivative of a function, to creating realistic goals for myself and learning how to push my intellectual and personal boundaries. Shipley has provided me with the academic and moral tools that will allow me to flourish and to become a leader in my collegiate career.

Preparation for College and Beyond
Having a sister who went to Shipley, I have been able to see how well Shipley prepares its students for college. My sister praises the education she received and feels as though she could not have been better prepared for college. Her comments give me confidence for my own future.

Courage and Grace, Confidence and Quirkiness
I like to think of Shipley as a factory that produces compassionate, active citizens who are intellectually curious and determined to make an impact on the greater community. Staffing the assembly line are Shipley’s charismatic teachers, who want their students to maximize their potential and to become leaders in their community. Shipley’s goal is not only to make ambitious scholars, but also to make genuine humans who are open-minded and accepting of all walks of life. Each “product” of Shipley is an individual who is unique and confident in his or her own quirks. Shipley has given me a community where I am not hesitant to voice my opinion and to be myself. I am eternally grateful for the thirst for knowledge that Shipley has instilled in me and for teaching me to have “Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing” as its motto states.

The Extra Mile
My most influential teacher at Shipley was Mr. Farr. Mr. Farr made calculus something I looked forward to instead of a class that I dreaded. I cannot remember a class that he did not manage to get a laugh out of us while teaching us. He held each of us in high regard and never talked down to us. Mr. Farr taught me to be confident in my arithmetic, which was something that always held me back because I used to second guess myself. Like many teachers at Shipley, Mr. Farr cares about each of his student’s mastery of the topic, but more than that, he will go the extra mile to make sure that it is accomplished. He was extremely generous with his free time and met with me weekly both to review math concepts and to help prepare me for my AP calculus exam. Mr. Farr has taught me more than calculus; he has taught me that learning can actually be fun.

Pushing Boundaries
The experience that I consider the most memorable at Shipley would be the time that my “Breakfast Club” had dinner at our teacher’s house. This “club” is my philosophy class that consisted of five students: a jock, a princess, a geek, a rebel, and a basket case. Even though we came from different backgrounds and friend groups, we accepted each other's insights and respectfully pushed the boundaries of our respective open-mindedness. This end-of-the-year celebration consisted of a candle lit, six-course meal during which we reflected on our year. I got a chance to bond with classmates that I never would have chosen to spend time with and it was an amazing experience.

Plans for Fall 2015
I will be attending Tufts University.

Future Ambition
I am not exactly sure what I ultimately want to do in life, but I do know that I want to help people in one way or another! I have always wanted to be a psychologist, because I find the human mind fascinating.
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.