St. Margaret's School - Review #7

Read more details about St. Margaret's School on their 2021-22 profile page.
St. Margaret's School
5

About the Author:

Years Attended Boarding School: 1976-1980
Sports and Activities:Field Hockey, basketball, softball, tennis, water sports, Glee Club, Yearbook Club, Drama, river environmental monitoring. I was president of the Athletic Association.
College Enrolled:Virginia Tech and William and Mary
Home Town, State: Reedville, VA

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
St. Margaret's is exceptional because of its unique dedication to building character and preparing girls for further education in a challenging and kind setting. The campus on the river is unique for its striking environment and access to sailing, rowing, kayaking, and science education, which is infused in the curriculum.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I had opportunities for growth that I would never have had at a public school, or school that was not single sex. I served in leadership roles and was forced to accept responsibilities that I may have shirked in a larger, mixed sex setting. There was no opportunity to fade into the wall or refrain from sharing. I feel I was ready emotionally for college and later leadership roles because of the experiences I had at St. Margaret's.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would perhaps have been more open and sharing. Going away at 13 can be tough, even when it is your choice. My advice is to remain open, sharing, and trusting. Your SMS community will take care with you.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I most value that SMS produces a recognizable individual, characterized by authenticity, kindness, and spunk. This is true over many decades. The focus of the School remains constant--preparing girls to be their best and to compete well and humanely in the world. St. Margaret's girls make a difference and become leaders in their communities, and more broadly.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
My advice is to ask lots of questions on your campus tour and make sure you talk to a group of students about their experiences. The SMS campus is beautiful, and the athletic facility is excellent. If you love the river, ask to go out on a boat, so that you can get the full impact. Visit the Head of School and his wife in B-House, a friendly gem on campus.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academic program was rigorous, and each girl was able to take advantage of special tutoring or advanced credit, whichever she needed. St. Margaret's has always created a special environment wherein girls are included and valued, regardless of their academic challenges or precocities. Each student is set up for success and supported by educators and other students; each girl develops her strengths and diminishes her weaknesses. St Margaret's assures that subjects girls want and need are available to them.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletics has always been strong at St. Margaret's. Girls can grow in their sports with excellent coaching and mentoring. Softball and Volleyball are the award winning sports at SMS currently, but field hockey and basketball were also very strong during my boarding days. I like that many sports are available at this small school, from rowing and sailing, to riding, to tennis as well. The School has an exceptional outdoor sports complex and first-class access to the river, creeks, and marshes. The riding stable has room to accommodate horses girls may bring with them, as well as excellent instruction.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The visual arts program is mature and engaging, with good resources. Drama and chorale are very good, and the girls sing at the National Cathedral each year at Christmas. The School is committed to both because of girls' interest and the wonderful opportunity to perform for and invite the community on campus.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the opportunity to participate in a river monitoring program that tracked the health of the river and marshes. SMS is located at a critical spot on the wide Rappahannock River where fresh water coming from Fredericksburg and above becomes salty, so testing is important. I enjoyed sailing and skiing on the river, as well as riding my bicycle for miles outside of town. SMS never felt "closed" to the outside world, which is a great feel for a boarding school.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life was great fun and essential to the special bond for SMS girls. The School carefully places teachers and administrators to be able to support and monitor dorm life, so that it is an extension of the learning and growth here. We shared a room with a roommate each girl was able to choose. Set ups in the rooms were very comfortable, and we had a responsibility to keep our rooms clean and tidy. Late night food access was often from dispensing machines, but quite adequate.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
There is a beautiful dining hall which seems suspended above the river. Dining service provides a super variety of foods at every meal that is abundant and delicious and accommodates food tolerances. There are even choices that are friendly to Asian and other ethnically diverse palates. The hours are sufficient, and snacks are left available at non-mealtime hours.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
SMS is in the middle of an established residential area overlooking the river, with the town's Main Street and amenities a block away. St. John's Episcopal Church is half a block away. Students are welcomed by the town and may visit at convenient times. The campus is valued by the town, and many School employees live in town. The river is a stunning feature on the eastern side of campus.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
It is great getting to know and interact with girls and teachers who are not exactly like you or who come from a variety of backgrounds and places. SMS is richly diverse, by intention. In addition, the girls get to attend dances at boys schools, go on athletic trips, perform off campus, and select projects for mini-mesters which may be in exotic places. All of these occasions for social interaction and growth are exciting and character-forming.
Read more details about St. Margaret's School on their 2021-22 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • N/A
    The diversity at SMS is quite unique and out-stands the most. The school accepts each student or themselves and works with them according to their pace. The faculty at SMS is also quite supportive. They. . .
  • University of Rochester
    At St. Margaret’s School, girls have the opportunity to not just gain a better education, but also to be around people whom they will have with them through their lives. As a senior, I have. . .
  • Case Western Reserve University
    For me, SMS is unique because it is truly a second home that anyone can be a part of. The sense of community also builds around the school motto, “As we grow in age. . .
  • Show more reviews (4 reviews)
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