Shannon Smith ’16
Years at Shipley: 14
Activities & Positions: Stage Manager and Production Manager of Fall Plays, Musical, and Shakespeare productions, Publications Photographer; JV Girls Volleyball Captain, JV Girls Soccer Captain
Preparation for Life
Shipley has prepared me for college in multiple ways, but most importantly, it has prepared me for life. I learned organizational skills and how to speak up for myself, but also I learned how to make new friends and create a home for myself within the School.
Creativity in All
I found my niche in the art department, with Mr. Baris and Mrs. O’Donnell as amazing teachers who nurtured and taught me new techniques and mediums, always advancing my skills. I always loved studio art, but never knew how many different styles and mediums there were until I was inspired by my fellow classmates and teachers. Having such an open environment to be creative has impassioned my love for art, especially when the subject of art is matriculated into all Shipley classes.
Taking a Risk
At Shipley, I took the most risks within the performing arts community. My friends are all theatre kids, so I had always helped out with set painting. For the sophomore year musical (Grease), I decided to join stage crew. Though stage crew was all backstage and I had no lines, it was amazing to be a part of the hustle and bustle of the production. The fall of my junior year, Mr. Brown, a director and theatre teacher, offered me the opportunity to be Stage Manager for the Fall Plays, even though I had little previous experience and no idea what I was doing. This position introduced me to a life filled with rehearsals, schedule managing, organization of props, and management of the stage crew. It is an opportunity I am so glad I took, and one I would not have had if not for the teachers and guidance that Shipley gave me. It taught me how to balance my schedule and keep up with school work, but still go after what I love doing.
Above and Beyond
While Shipley has incredible academics and great learning environments, what makes Shipley stand out are the people within it. The students are some of my best friends, and the teachers go above and beyond to help in any way they can, whether it is meeting with students during their free time to go over material we don’t understand, or attending our music and theatre performances. There are so many anecdotes that exemplify how amazing Shipley people are: the librarians never fail to write someone’s birthday on the library whiteboard, the Head of the School Dr. Piltch walks around greeting every single student by name and remembering their interests, and during the winter exam week, Upper School administrators sponsored a yoga class to help students relax. With these role models as examples, Shipley has not only taught me how to be a strong and intellectual person, but also that a kind and thoughtful one.
A Truly Super Saturday
My most memorable experiences at Shipley are always at Super Saturday, where I love to volunteer at the face painting booths and watch the young Lower and Middle School students win prizes, watch high school soccer games, and drink the smoothies that will raise money to benefit our sister schools. Each grade has some part in this giant annual event, which truly brings the entire Shipley community together.
Plans for Fall 2016
I will attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges as a member of the Class of 2020.
While I know that I want to pursue my love of art, I have no idea what specifically within the broad subject I want to work toward. I plan on continuing my backstage work, as well as my studio art in college, and to try out different art related interests to see what I want to pursue. Shipley has cultivated my love of art since pre-kindergarten, and I look forward to seeing where I end up.
Shipley has prepared me to achieve anything I set my mind to and pursue my passions.