Sam Lazarus ’17
Currently Attending: Vanderbilt University
Years at Shipley: 12
Activities & Positions Held: Chess Club Head, Model Congress Co-Head, Jazz Band, Jazz Band Honors Combo, Math Peer Tutor, Varsity Boys' Tennis Captain
How Shipley Shaped Me
Since the first grade, Shipley taught me math, science, English, language, and countless other subjects. I believe there are two aspects of Shipley that make it unique. First, Shipley taught me how to learn. And second, Shipley gave me the platform to take risks and helped me grow into a confident young man.
In each division, there was always an emphasis on the “how” and the “why” of learning. The teachers recognized that there are many different ways to accomplish the same goal and that each student learns in his or her own way. They offered guidance and allowed students to explore how they learn and succeed best.
Shipley has also given me the platform and encouragement to take risks. From the third-grade wax museum to generations in 7th grade and the countless high school presentations, Shipley allowed me to share my work with my peers and gave me the opportunity to learn how to present as well as handle productive criticism. What I owe Shipley almost entirely for is my passion for the electric bass. Without Mrs. L's willingness to take her free periods to supervise a rock band of fifth graders, I would’ve never picked up a bass. Being able to perform in front of the Middle School gave me the confidence and encouragement to continue with the electric bass. In Upper School, I was able to play in the jazz band and take music theory courses to further my understanding of music. I was able to transfer my passion for bass into the math classroom as well, as I was able to explore all the possible permutations and combinations of notes that can go into a bass line. I am indebted to Shipley for all it taught me, and as I continue to learn and grow, I will apply the lessons and values instilled in me during my twelve years at Shipley.
Most Memorable Experience
My most memorable Shipley experience was performing at my fifth-grade graduation with a band of other Shipley students. We played Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, which we practiced for months. Dressed in my toga for the Greek-themed celebrations, I played the bass in front of my fellow classmates in the little Lower School gym. Without the support I had from my teacher, I in all likelihood never would’ve taken up the electric bass, which I played in the Jazz band for all four of my high school years. Nor would I have had the confidence to take risks and perform in front of a crowd.
Plans for Fall 2017
I will be attending Vanderbilt University and will be majoring in either mechanical engineering or civil engineering.
While I’m still fairly uncertain of what I want to do, I know I want to get a job in either the engineering or business sector. Ever since my first days at Shipley, I’ve loved problem-solving and piecing things together. At Shipley, I have excelled in both math and science, but often found room for creativity while learning these two subjects. Engineering requires you to come up with a creative solution to a problem using the lessons learned in math and science.