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Meet Casey '19

Name: Casey
Currently Attending: Bates College
Years at Shipley: 4
Activities & Positions Held: Varsity Crew Team (Captain), Varsity Basketball (2 years), We Dine Together, Chess Club, Baking Club, Positive Paws

Reflections on Shipley
I am very lucky to be a Shipley graduate. When touring other local high schools, one thing in particular that struck me about Shipley was the focus on collaboration and faculty involvement. Coming from a larger public school individual attention and one-on-one meetings with teachers were an infrequent occurrence. The ability to engage with faculty and learn in a stimulating, yet supportive environment has motivated me to strive for my absolute best. My experiences at Shipley taught me the true value of community and lead me to seek a similar environment in college.

The first lesson that Shipley taught me was how to advocate for myself. This lesson was taught pretty quickly. I struggled with my first science course, Intro to Physics, which was taught in a very different style than I was accustomed to. The teacher answered questions with questions and we were expected to use office hours and one-on-one meetings as a regular addition to class time. I struggled with the first few tests, which was an anomaly for me because I had always done well in science. I had to get out of my comfort zone, take a risk, meet with the teacher one-on-one, and spend a lot of time forming a relationship, which was something I had never had to do before. This experience not only helped me in this course but also in all of my courses throughout high school. It taught me a very valuable lesson; not to be afraid to speak up for myself and adapt to a variety of teaching styles.

Shipley not only fueled my passion for learning but also gave me the opportunity to discover rowing, something I am wholeheartedly in love with. Rowing is extremely grueling, both mentally and physically, but its constant challenge is precisely why I row. Shipley taught me that failing is ok.... so long as you learn from it and make the appropriate changes to improve. Without the drive to improve instilled in me, the ever-present battle with the numbers on the erg screen would have broken me long ago. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to row, something I would not have had the confidence to pursue without the supportive environment here at Shipley. This sport has given me five of my best friends and memories to last a lifetime.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
Ms. Willing was my most influential teacher at Shipley. She was always enthusiastic about the material, ready and excited to meet with me to offer guidance and assistance, and above all, she believed in me. I took Biology Honors with Ms. Willing, and truthfully I struggled at the beginning of the year. Her tests really challenged my knowledge and ability to recall information from multiple units and piece it all together, which I found a bit overwhelming initially. I always thought I would major in biology in college, but given that this was already junior year and I was off to a bit of a tough start, I got down on myself and began to question if my passions would match up with my abilities. Ms. Willing never doubted me. She went above and beyond to make sure that I was receiving help and support to be successful. Ultimately I was successful in the class and able to explore my passion and formed an amazing relationship with Ms. Willing. To this day I meet with her just to catch up!

What was your most memorable experience at Shipley?
My most memorable experience at Shipley was speaking at an All School Assembly for Shipley’s 125th Birthday. I was approached by Ms. Dejdar, the Dean of Students, and asked to speak about my time at Shipley and my hopes for Shipley in the future. I honored to be asked to speak, and thrilled by the opportunity to share my story and why I love Shipley, and I was excited for the chance to work on my public speaking skills. Addressing a large crowd is always daunting, but Shipley taught me to welcome a challenge with open arms. It was not hard for me to write all of the reasons why I am lucky to have found Shipley, nor was it difficult of me to think of my hopes for Shipley’s future, but the thought of speaking in front of the entire student body, faculty, and friends made me shake. Delivering my speech was exhilarating and nerve-racking, but most importantly it was an honor. I was extremely grateful for this opportunity to challenge myself and to speak at such an important event in Shipley’s History.

What are your plans for the fall of 2019?
In the fall of 2019, I will be attending Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. I intend to major in biology and look forward to joining the two-time defending Division III National Champion Women’s Rowing Team.

Are you going to college to nurture a talent that you honed during your time at Shipley?
Prior to Shipley, I had never rowed before. I knew very little about the sport and could never have imagined the role it would one day play in my life. Shipley requires each student to fulfill two sports requirements each year, which can be fulfilled in a multitude of ways. In addition to basketball my mom thought that it would be good for me to try rowing in the spring. I cannot even begin to say how glad I am that she pushed me to row. At Shipley, I formed an incredible love for rowing. I felt that I had finally found my “thing.” Practice was never tedious, never a drag, but always exciting. I looked forward to the time on the water and Shipley has such a beautiful spot on the historic boathouse row. Rowing at Shipley was so amazing that it lead me to make the difficult decision to stop playing basketball after 10 years in order to train over the winter and pursue collegiate rowing. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to continue doing what I love for the next four years.

What is your future ambition and what led you to this ambition?
My future ambition is to be in the medical field, hopefully in an interactive position where I can really make a difference in people’s lives. The ultimate goal is to be a surgeon, either general or trauma. I love to interact with all people, and I think of myself as fairly personable, so focusing my career around assisting and changing people’s lives would be very fulfilling for me.

What does Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing mean to you?
Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing is a very special phrase. I hear it often and have really tried to embrace its message. I believe that this phrase aims to instill educated and positive thoughts and actions.

What impact or contributions do you think you have made at Shipley and in the larger community?
As the captain of the girls’ varsity crew team, I was able to really grow and learn as a leader. One of the most important goals I had was to ensure that all of the novices (first-time rowers) were comfortable and confident about their role on the team. I remember as a novice being very scared and unsure of my place. I wanted to remember that feeling and make it my goal that no one would feel that way. I contacted the novices prior to the season starting to let them know that I was one of their captains and wanted to help them in any way possible, answering any and all questions. Throughout the season I tried to really be there for them, always ready to help in any way possible. I am really grateful for the opportunity to be on such a tight-knit team and could never thank Shipley enough for facilitating this.

Complete this sentence: Shipley has prepared me to… approach all people with kindness and an open mind.
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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.