Congratulations to Park’s Class of 2020! While the end-of-year remote learning interrupted the students’ time on campus, their impact, and legacy remains strong. Their diverse secondary school choices reflect a class with a wide variety of passions, and each graduate leaves as a confident risk taker with a strong sense of self. Athletes, artists, academics, and advocates, the Class of 2020 represents how the arc of a Park School education successfully launches students to be leaders in their next school communities.
The Park Portrait is Park’s ‘North Star’ for the School’s curriculum, and as Secondary School Counselors, we have a front row seat to see how this intentional programming prepares graduates for success. By Park’s design, students practice and gain competence in leadership, risk-taking, collaboration, problem solving, advocacy, and more. Whether students plan to attend public schools, boarding schools, or independent day schools, we are extremely confident in their next steps. They will hit bumps in the metaphorical road, yet we know that they have honed the skills necessary to navigate obstacles.
In our role as Secondary School Counselors, we had the privilege of watching this class of Park’s eighth graders confidently explore potential high schools throughout the fall and winter. Not only did their reactions reflect the variety of skills and interests Park engenders in students, but also we received impressive feedback from admissions offices that our students visited. We have long noticed that admissions offices actively seek to enroll Park graduates because of their academic readiness and exceptionally strong social-emotional skills.
In fact, Paul Rebuck, Milton Academy’s Dean of Enrollment and Financial Aid, praises how well Park students transition to life at Milton. He says, “The program at Park prepares them to be invested and engaged community members. They actively seek out a variety of ways to make their presence felt across campus. This approach not only positively affects their own experience, but also enhances the overall experience of their classmates as well.” This habit of leadership directly reflects the goals stated in the Park Portrait, and this feedback reinforces our successful program design.
Jamie Funnel, Director of Admissions at The Groton School, adds that Park graduates who attend Groton “have certain unifying traits – all have been great kids and talented students – but besides that, Park graduates are hard to pigeon-hole. Some have been among our most talented athletes, some among our most accomplished performing artists, some heavily involved in service or campus leadership.” He adds that while their Park preparation predicts success, their strongest unifying trait is that “they are just great campus kids – happy, involved, and wonderful representatives of Groton and Park.”
At this juncture, we have come to expect our students’ success whether they are engaged in on-campus learning, distance learning, or a hybrid. Whatever the future brings, we anticipate future anecdotes of their involvement and leadership. We also pause to appreciate our School’s teachers and purposeful curriculum that have so well supported our graduates’ growth during their journeys at Park.
Remote learning was not how the students expected to finish their time at Park, yet our soon-to-be graduates have shown their signature grit, resilience, and determination in this unprecedented time. In these final months, they have continued to be social and academic leaders at Park as they are sure to be on their next schools’ campuses, both public and private, listed below. Not surprisingly, our students continue to be sought after by these secondary schools because of their Park School optimism, character, and genuine intellectual curiosity.