Highlands Blog

Alex McFadden

1) Alex, you are a 9 year veteran of Highlands School. What are your thoughts as you enter your 8th grade year and look towards graduation next spring?
AM: It's really surprising. When I started Highlands in kindergarten, I looked up to the 8th grade. Now that I'm an 8th grader, everyone's looking up to me. It may sound scary, but it feels natural since I know that my teachers and my parents taught me everything that I need to know to get me to this point.

2) What is you favorite memory (favorite memories) of your Highlands experience?
AM: My favorite memory is my first day at Highlands. At first, I was really nervous. I didn't have a lot of friends in preschool, and I thought coming to a new school was going to be intimidating. Much to my surprise, everyone welcomed me with open arms. This was also when I met some of my best friends like Isabel Hutchinson and Avary Lanier.
3) What are you most proud of accomplishing so far at Highlands?
AM: I'm really proud of becoming the President of Student Council. There are very few 8th graders who have ever lead Student Council, and I'm very glad to be a part of that list.
4) You have been elected as President of the Student Council. That is quite an honor! What else are you hoping to accomplish during your senior year--personally and also as President?
AM: Personally, I would like to work on my public speaking skills. I think it's a very important skill that I need to learn. For Highlands, I want to have coding classes. We have put time aside for other classes like typing. I feel that due to the amount of technology we have in our lives, we should be able to create our own programs.
5) Why do you think you were elected President this year? What was your campaign message that you think was popular among the voters?
AM: My message was to shake things up. It seems like every year, Student Council does the same events. I wanted this year to be a little bit different. I believe my classmates felt like they needed something different as well. I think that's why they voted for me. (By the way, I promised in my speech that we were going to have an event where we threw water balloons at the alumni. That could've also been a component.)
6) Have you thought about your Capstone Project for this year?
AM: I have, and it's really hard to come up with what I'm going to do for my Capstone. I've been exposed to a lot of things, and I have many interests. To be continued...
7) Where do you hope to attend high school, and why?
AM: I hope to attend Indian Springs. I feel like I can expand my potential there. After nine years at Highlands, it seems like the logical next step academically. Also, it's not very far from my house.
8) Do you think, given your Highlands' education, you will be well-prepared for high school? Why?
AM: Yes, I feel like the foundation Highlands sets such as learning how to think critically is preparing me for high school.
8) What advice would you give to a prospective parent who is considering Highlands for their own student?
AM: If I were to put myself in the shoes of a parent, I would want my kids to learn skills to go off on their own, and have a good career. I feel like Highlands prepares me with many of the skills I may need later on.
9) What advice would you give to any Highlands student leaving Highlands before the 8th grade?
AM: I can't tell them if they should stay or go since that's a very personal decision. However, if they were to stay, they would get a lot of leadership opportunities that they may not get at other schools. For example, if a student decided to go to Indian Springs for 8th grade instead of Highlands, they would have to wait another five years before truly becoming the student leaders of a school.
10) What do you think your sister, Logan's advice would be regarding students who may be thinking of leaving Highlands before the 8th grade--now that she is a Freshman at Indian Springs?
AM: I think she would recommend that they stay at Highlands. In 8th grade, you see the different levels of maturity between you and the younger students. Also, if you stay at Highlands for 8th grade, it would be easier to go into high school responsibilities and expectations.
Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For more information, visit www.highlandsschool.org.