Name: Saakshi Currently Attending: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Years at Shipley:13 Activities & Positions Held: Student Government (Arts Head), Orchestra, Shipley Singers, Glee Club, Positive Paws.
Reflections on Shipley Shipley gave me all the academic skills I need to be prepared for college. Shipley also taught me about service-learning, about leadership, and about the arts. As someone who was never really interested in athletics, arts was my main focus. Shipley encouraged me when I wanted to try new things. I was always known as that girl who played the violin, but Mr. Casilla encouraged me to audition for Shipley Singers, and senior year I participated in both Singers and Orchestra.
Shipley was always supportive of being a part of multiple groups and clubs. They find a way to make it fit on your schedule. It was really amazing to have teachers that supported me in both clubs because it made me realize, you don’t have to be just the violin girl; you can be a girl who sings and plays the violin.
Who was your most influential teacher and why? Dr. Balamore, formerly the Assistant Head of Lower School who retired, was definitely my most influential teacher. Although she never taught me an actual subject, she taught what it means to give back to the community, to be selfless, and to be happy. She truly embodied the School’s motto: Courage for the Deed, Grace for the Doing.
What was your most memorable experience at Shipley? I would say my most memorable experience at Shipley was participating in the School’s winter musical my senior year. We performed Little Shop of Horrors. I was able to do what I love: sing, dance, act, and perform. From doing the musical, I became closer with so many more people who I now consider my best friends. The kids in the theater department are truly a family. I used to be scared to perform, but my friends brought me out of my shell and made this one of the most fun experiences I have ever had. Being able to learn while still having fun is really, I think, what creates passion.
What are your plans for the fall of 2019? I plan to attend the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to double major in clinical psychology and violin performance.
Are you going to college to nurture a talent that you honed during your time at Shipley? I would say that all the skills Shipley taught me will be brought with me to college: writing skills, how to analyze and think critically, and in-depth research. Academically, Shipley really prepared for the next steps of my life. As for music, I think branching out and joining the Shipley Singers and participating in musicals taught me to try new things and not have fear.
What is your future ambition and what led you to this ambition? I would say ultimately my future ambition is music because I have been playing since I was three and a half. All the music classes, practicing, and concerts have really created this fiery passion that I want to continue for the rest of my life.
What does Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing mean to you? The School motto for me is all about doing something your passionate about. My passion is music, but if I can use my passion to help other communities then I really think that embodies the School’s motto. I recently held a fundraiser concert for the Andrew Jackson School and rose over $1,600. I was doing something I love, playing the violin, while helping kids who live under the poverty line receive a better education.
What impact or contributions do you think you have made at Shipley and in the larger community? I think I have made a big impact on the music department at Shipley. I represented Shipley at the Nationals Conference this past year. The honor is a very rare occurrence for any high school musician, so being able to do that with Shipley was an amazing experience.
Complete this sentence: Shipley has prepared me to… be fearless when exploring new things.
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.