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"Highlands is so much more than just academics." - Highlands Alumna Excelling at Boarding School

"Highlands is so much more than just academics." - Highlands Alumna Excelling at Boarding School

Josephine Kin, Highlands School Class of 2023, recently sat down with Foxcroft Director of Admissions and Enrollment and former Highlands School Director of Enrollment Trey Adams, to find out more about her first few weeks at Foxcroft.


TA:  First of all, Josephine, you and I are BOTH new this year, so I feel like we're taking this journey together at Foxcroft. How have your first few weeks been?


JK:  It's absolutely awesome! I have known about boarding schools since my fourth-grade year when I got to attend the Secondary School Fair at Highlands, and I always thought this could be a great new adventure for me. And, it's amazing how well Highlands prepared me for Foxcroft. Ms. Allen and Ms. Kernan were really helpful with everything from talking to boarding school reps and interviewing to navigating the SSAT and ISEE.


TA:  I can't agree more. I'm having a blast here, but I also miss our Alabama "peeps." Could you elaborate more on how Highlands prepared you? How did the teachers and curriculum get you ready?


JK:  First of all, I'm in Geometry and even though we're in review mode from Algebra, I seem to be way ahead of my classmates. Mr. Nickel had a way of making math really easy and accessible--even though we were learning complicated stuff. He also used small groups for our class which helped me keep moving at a pace consistent with my abilities. 


Even though my teacher expects us to utilize it, a lot of my classmates are learning about MLA formatting for the first time. Ms. Rohlfs-Hill taught us such amazing universal skills for success in English that have been really useful--MLA just being one. I learned how to be independent in her class, which is very important here.


TA:  What about your other subjects and teachers? Highlands uses a team approach.


JK:  Oh, of course. Mr. K's class was great because it was just straight forward. He gave us access to so many resources and reminded us that there are so many things at our disposal to help us learn. He also offered extra help sessions, which reminded me here that every teacher is approachable. Oh, and Ms. Roberts. Oh my gosh, she was soooo tough, but I am thankful for her high expectations of my highest quality work. I learned that I need to put in 100% effort, and that's what I do here.


TA:  What do you love and enjoy about Foxcroft?


JK:  Foxcroft feels a lot like Highlands--great teachers who want you to succeed and work really hard to empower you to make it happen. I had a tough workload at Highlands. It was hard but really good. Foxcroft is challenging but feels easier compared to Highlands, especially as I watch many of my classmates struggle with the new environment. It has also been a lot of fun to meet new and different people from not only around the United States but the world. By the way, Mlle Smith and the world languages department helped me develop my love for other people and cultures. She always connected language to culture and even famous artists. And, now I love connecting with other people and backgrounds. Foxcroft provides me the opportunity to do that with the other students here.


TA:  Capstone is such a big part of the experience at Highlands. It culminates the journey and feels like fulfillment of the project-based learning path. How has that translated at Foxcroft?


JK:  Oh, yes. Apparently, Ms. Thorndike, the performing arts teacher at Foxcroft, learned about me and my Capstone even before I got to campus. She reached out--wanting to meet me, to talk about the program, and find ways for me to get involved. I am part of the techies, an associate member of the International Thespian Society, and I just signed up for Cappies. The Cappies are a group that gets to go to other schools to help assess their theater tech programs. I see a real path for leadership here, and I am super excited to be a part of the arts department here.


TA:  Anything else you want friends and family in Bama to know?  


JK:  YES! Highlands is so much more than just academics. I learned time management, conflict resolution, and how to be a good citizen. The character-building parts of the program also taught me the qualities of a good leader. And, if anyone wants to know more about boarding school, I am ready to talk to them! I'd love for them to send me an email!

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