Congratulations to the Class of 2022! 

in Summer 2022 by

The talented group of scholars, athletes and artists that comprise the Class of 2022 is ready for high school, and they have left a most positive mark on our school community. While they are more than ready for the demands of secondary schools, they also deserve credit for navigating a high school search process that required flexibility and resilience. 

Whether they were exploring public, independent day or boarding schools, the process had ongoing pitfalls and challenges due to COVID restrictions. Each school seemed to have different application protocols. As one parent said, “The landscape was always changing. Some schools only offered Zoom interviews while others offered the opportunity for in-person visits. Some schools required SSATs while others did not at all.  We were fortunate to work closely with Park, so that we were informed every step of the way. When we were not sure what to do or expect, we figured it out together.”

Excelling in a Challenging Climate

An additional challenge continued to be increased selectivity in the wake of COVID. Last year, some schools reported a 45% increase in applications as a result of the pandemic. The trend continued this year, and most schools shared that application numbers continued to increase in the range of 20-45% from last year’s all time high. In addition, other schools reported that last year’s yield had been higher than expected. For example, Boston University Academy started the year with their largest ninth grade class in history, which created even more competition for this year’s openings. 

Despite these numbers and selectivity, Park students excelled in the process.  Well-known for their humor and flexibility and for their scholarship and many extracurricular talents, they were sought after applicants by area schools. Our eighth graders’ acceptance rates remained consistent throughout the pandemic, which is a testament not only to our students but also to the high quality education and opportunities they received during their time in the Upper Division. Park teachers brilliantly prepare our students for high school. We consistently hear from secondary school admission teams that our students are sought after applicants because of their character, leadership abilities, and academic readiness. These most recent Park graduates excel in all of these categories, and we will miss this amazing group of students! 

A Focus on Equity & Inclusion

This year, we continued to examine equity and inclusion in secondary school counseling.  Since no school, Park included, is immune to systemic racism, our work in secondary school counseling is twofold: we looked at how potential next schools are taking action and demonstrating accountability to develop socially-just and racially-equitable communities, and we proactively examined our own office’s practices.

Our targeted work included:

  • Developing a standard rubric for evaluating student practice interviews
  • Providing a list of potential questions for students and families to ask during an open house, tour, or interview that may help assess a school’s commitment to an antiracist education and developing an inclusive school culture.  
  • Formalizing opportunities for families to receive individualized financial aid application support
  • Identifying additional opportunities to enhance the program and reduce the cost of SSAT test preparation.
  • Reviewing and publish the standard format for all initial meetings for Grade 7 families
  • Measuring and reporting independent secondary school diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics
  • Training current Park teachers about avoiding bias in recommendation writing
  • Developing and engaging area secondary school counselors in professional development discussions on antiracist best practices and policies in secondary school counseling

As students engage in their exploration process, we believe they are well equipped to find right-match next schools, a process that includes considering the values those school embrace. Do those schools share Park’s commitment to anti-racism? To equity and inclusion? Does the financial aid model ensure that all feel a deep sense of belonging and full participation regardless of their family’s ability to pay full tuition? All these questions require digging deeper below that which a school’s website may present.

We consider our plan to be a living document and eagerly anticipate continuing this important work in the 2022-23 school year and beyond! 

The Adventure Ahead

As members of the Class of 2022 transition to high school, we are confident that they will be leaders on their next school campuses. Despite the pandemic, they are academically prepared to excel, and they are sure to be athletic, artistic, and social leaders at their next schools. We have so loved working with this wonderful group of students and their families, and hope they will stay in touch! We can’t wait to hear about their next adventures, and are confident in their future successes!

Next Schools

Livvy Avignon: Brimmer and May School

Michael Barbalat: Newton North High School

David Baumel: Newton North High School

Zach Baumel: Newton North High School

Isabella Berger: The Buckley School (CA)

Michael Bergin: St. Paul’s School

Eli Berk: Milton Academy

Kasen Bookbinder: Milton Academy

Gabe Callejas: Concord Academy

Leilah Carruthers: The Woodward School

Jules Charles: Cristo Rey Boston High School

Andre DaSilva: The Roxbury Latin School

Freddy Dent: Groton School

Chloe DiAdamo: Milton Academy

Blake Dinwoodey: Noble and Greenough School

Grayson Dolins: The Winsor School

John Eielson: The Fessenden School

William Eielson: The Fessenden School

William Frabizio: Concord Academy

Louisa Furman: The Winsor School

Joaquin Gakidis: Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

Emery Gay: St. Paul’s School

Cate Glass: Middlesex School

Xander Grossman: Concord Academy

Sebastian Guzman: Noble and Greenough School

Oliver Hirschfeld: Milton Academy

Matty Jackman: Boston University Academy

Devan Kathiresan: Milton Academy

Juliana Katzenstein: Concord Academy

Max Kaufman: The Rivers School

Sophie Kim: The Winsor School

Gillian Lamb: The Cambridge School of Weston

John Henry Lenzen: The Rivers School

Jules Lewis: Middlesex School

Linghui Liu: Dana Hall School

Jonathan Loo: The Roxbury Latin School

Jayda Lu: Phillips Academy Andover

Mia Macklin-Dib: Brooks School

Takeru Matsuzaka: Noble and Greenough School

Ben Narasimhan: Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

Nick Narasimhan: Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

Tadhg O’Donoghue: Newton South High School

Ariel Rabinovich: Noble and Greenough School

Clau Rothman: Brookline High School

Carly Samuels: Brookline High School

Dylan Samuels: Beaver Country Day School

Mia SanClemente: Newton North High School

Fede Saracino: Liceo Leonardo da Vinci

Spencer Sarkis: Beaver Country Day School

Sofia Schultz: The Cambridge School of Weston

Mo Sesay: The Newman School

Leyla Somani: Dana Hall School

Audrey Song: Dana Hall School

Nora Voldins: Noble and Greenough School

Jonas Wilderman: Noble and Greenough School

Naia Yu: Milton Academy

Kailynn Zheng: Noble and Greenough School