Activities & Positions: What activities and sports are you involved in? How many years have you participated? Do you hold any leadership positions?
Currently, I plan on continuing debate club and model congress next year as well as a new club centered around community activism at Shipley. I’ve been on the debate team since my sophomore year, and I participated in model congress for the first time last year. I also am part of the High School Democrats of America club, and I have been doing that since my sophomore year. I was the head of a political philosophy club last year and hope to hold a leadership position on either the Upper School Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, or a club my friends and I are planning on starting.
Favorite Club: What’s your favorite club and why? What do you do in the club?
My favorite club at Shipley is probably the debate club because we get the chance to learn how to see things from other people’s perspectives. I used to always think I was on the right side of every issue but debate club has made me think critically about my positions. In debate club, we usually do research for upcoming competitions and discuss what contentions to keep and what contentions to scrap. It’s pretty laid back and chill, we usually save all our energy for the actual debates.
Favorite Class: What’s your favorite class at Shipley? What do you like about the subject and the teacher? Did you always enjoy this subject, or did it take you by surprise?
My favorite class was either American History or Modern European History, I really can’t choose. I was lucky enough to have two amazing people teach these courses, so it makes it pretty impossible to decide between the two. On one hand in American History, we learned about our country, both the good and the bad. Learning about the civil rights movement was especially impactful and inspiring to me and made me want to make a change in my own community too. Modern European History was a class I was initially very nervous about because I had heard it was quite demanding, but it ended up changing me as a student. My teacher, Dr. Pickering, really made a point of challenging us to think critically and write every sentence and choose every word with a purpose. The passion and knowledge she brought to the classroom was infectious. My favorite memory was when my class re-enacted the Congress of Vienna. We were all assigned historical figures to play and it was just super fun!
Favorite Shipley Memory: What do you think of when you think of Shipley? What’s one of the best things you’ve experienced here?
When I think of Shipley I think of my teachers and the friends I have made here. I came from a very small school where there were only 14 other kids in my grade, so I was really nervous to come to a school like Shipley. The warmth my teachers and classmates showed me made me fall in love with the school. If I had to choose a best memory or experience it would probably be when we all went to The Andrew Jackson School in Philadelphia to help with a fair they were putting on. I bonded with my friends outside of the classroom, and I got to get my face painted!
Most Valuable Lesson Learned: What have you learned during your time here?
Shipley has taught me that I don’t have to apologize for being me. Everyone has a hard time figuring themselves out in high school, and I have always felt like I was given a space to do that by my teachers and classmates. There’s a certain amount of respect that everyone holds for one another here which makes it a lot easier to be true to yourself. I knew that whatever being myself meant, I’d still have the same friends at the end of the day. I think Shipley really makes you want to surround yourself with people you want to be friends with long after Upper School. Being able to cultivate a strong circle of friends is a skill I don’t know if I could have learned at a less tight-knit school, so I’m glad I found Shipley.
Advice to New Students: What advice would you give yourself back when you started at Shipley? What tips would you pass on to new students? Are there any activities/traditions they should be sure to take part in?
I’d tell 8th grade me to chill out. I used to be so obsessed with grades and comparing myself to others that I missed out on a lot of other opportunities at Shipley. It makes zero sense to worry about college when you’re 14 so just relax and enjoy middle school, you’re going to miss it! For new people coming into Shipley, I would say take advantage of as many clubs and activities as you can. It’s a great way to meet other people, and 99% of the time you’re going to have a lot of fun too. I would also say that it’s always a good idea to get to know your teachers. A lot of students forget that teachers at Shipley are always happy to help you with a tough math problem or an essay. Please don’t forget to use them as a resource! It’s saved me countless times. A great club to join is debate club, but I might be a little bit biased. My favorite tradition at Shipley is Swamp Night. You can’t go to Shipley and not go to Swamp Night. The night is a bunch of basketball games and since we’re pretty good at basketball it’s super hype! Cheering with your friends and seeing your teachers go crazy over a three-pointer is definitely a lot of fun!