Meet James '19

Name: James
Currently Attending: Washington University in St. Louis
Years at Shipley: 5
Activities & Positions Held: Glee Club, Humans of Shipley (Head), Fall and Winter Productions (Lead Roles), DECA, Tennis, Yearbook (Editor).

Reflections on Shipley
I was a completely different person before I came to Shipley. My peers would likely describe me as shy. I always felt confined and never truly felt like myself. When I transferred to Shipley, this changed completely. I was welcomed into such a warm and accepting community that I was able to express myself and break out of my comfort zone. Shipley pushed me to try new things and to become a person I was proud of. After my first year at Shipley it was clear that I had become a more confident and happy individual. I was no longer afraid of speaking in class. I was outgoing and excited about new experiences and challenges.

Not only did Shipley inspire me to become my own person, and be proud of that person, Shipley also helped me discover interests that I would have been afraid of trying anywhere else. If it was not for Shipley, I never would have discovered my love of theater. Shipley helped me reach my full academic potential as well. I found that my teachers never let me take the easy way out. They always wanted me to do my best, and always offered me extensive support in and out of class. My teachers were mentors; I respected them rather than feared them.

Shipley not only prepared me for college, but also prepared me for life. I learned more about myself at Shipley than anywhere else. I feel confident enough to stand up for what I believe in, but I am also not afraid to ask for help. I know that life is not easy, and that there are going to be curveballs. But, Shipley taught me how important it is to not give up. Without Shipley, I truly believe I would be a completely different person. Shipley has shaped me to be the person I am today.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
My most influential teacher was Mrs. Riley. I had Mrs. Riley in Spanish II Honors, and immediately we formed a unique bond. Mrs. Riley taught me how to love learning, not just to try and get my best score on a test. She stressed the importance of being engaged in the material and always trying my best. Mrs. Riley also taught me as much, if not more, outside of class. Whenever I needed extra support she was eager to meet and make me feel more confident. Not only did she help me with Spanish, she quickly turned into one of my main support systems at Shipley. She was always lending me a smile and the motivation I needed during the school year. Whenever I received good news I could not wait to tell her. As I look back on high school, I can confidently say I left with not only a mentor, but also a friend.

What was your most memorable experience at Shipley?
My most memorable experience at Shipley was my first day of eighth grade. I was terrified to be starting a new school, but the second I got out of the car at West Middle School I was immediately greeted by both students and teachers. I walked into the building with two of my peers and felt beyond welcomed. Everyone was asking me questions and just wanted to get to know me. I could not stop smiling.

What are your plans for the fall of 2019?
I plan to attend Washington University in St. Louis

Are you going to college to nurture a talent that you honed during your time at Shipley?
I plan to enter college undecided and focus on a liberal arts education. Shipley has pushed me to take many different courses: from Islam in the Modern World, to Video Production, War Stories, and Calculus. I loved being able to take many different kinds of courses and learn about all of my different interests, and because of this I feel that Shipley has prepared me to foster this liberal arts education.

What is your future ambition and what led you to this ambition?
I am not quite sure what my exact future ambition is, but because of Shipley’s strong service-learning program I have found a passion for service. Shipley helped foster this love by offering me chances to help my community, such as Service Fridays and Special Olympics. By allowing me to experience service at such a young age, Shipley helped me to discover how rewarding helping others can be. I would also love to combine my interest in business and service in the future.

What does Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing mean to you?
For me, Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing means to not be afraid of failing, rather to learn from your mistakes and become stronger because of them.

What impact or contributions do you think you have made at Shipley and in the larger community?
Over my five years at Shipley, I think the biggest impact that I made to the community was forming connections. Something I love about Shipley is how welcoming everyone is; because of this I can proudly say that I have many different friends. Shipley allowed me to befriend students both older and younger and because of that I have introduced many different people that would not have had a relationship and helped strengthen our already tight-knit community.

Complete this sentence: Shipley has prepared me to… overcome obstacles with grace and to be a kind, good-hearted individual.


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.