The Thacher School - Review #23
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||University of Pennsylvania|
|Home Town, State||Alamo, CA, CA|
|Years Attended Boarding School||4|
|Activities During Boarding School||I played 8-person football, soccer, and lacrosse all at Varsity levels. I was a team captain for all three in my senior year. The guys I played with were great guys and playing on that Thacher field overlooking the Ojai valley is one thing I will NEVER forget. I also played key roles in Bye, Bye Birdie as well as The Music Man in my junior and senior years at Thacher. Though the commitment was large, the payoff was huge. Performing in front of my peers was one of the most rewarding things I have done.|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
One of the most unique aspects of Thacher is the atmosphere. Now that I have left the school, I can really understand what an amazing place Thacher really is. There is something special about a place where everybody knows everybody and they are all there for the same reasons--to learn, grow, and be the best they can be. As soon as I visited the campus back when I was in 8th grade, I felt at home. That is the most unique part of Thacher. From now on, it will be one of my homes. The people I came to know while at Thacher are the most amazing people I know. I was close with many of my teachers and coaches. The friends I made there will be my friends for the rest of my life. I have heard of few other places where you form such close friendships.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I think that Thacher has really shown me a lot about who I am and what kind of person I want to be when I grow up. Being there helped me understand how I can help the rest of society, and that is just by being myself and living by the morals and principals I lived by at Thacher, a few of which happen to be honor, fairness, kindness, and truth. The best thing that happened to me at boarding school was boarding school. The whole experience was the greatest thing I have done and I would not change a thing about it.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Just take advantage of every opportunity. Soak it all in and enjoy every minute.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Read all the parts listed above.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Of all the things I said above, I forgot one main aspect of Thacher's program--the Horse Department. If you are not into the whole horse thing, don't be worried. Very few people actually spend all four years riding horses. But don't be close-minded about it either. Taking care of and riding a horse was an amazing experience. I have wonderful memories of galloping through the hills or riding along some scary, steep trail overlooking a huge valley (it was all very safe though). It is a good experience if you accept it and enjoy it.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved the fact that the atmosphere at Thacher was, indeed, very academic, but not overwhelmingly so. Everybody wanted to learn and was excited to learn. Just as important, the teachers were excited to teach and I could tell that they were loving the experience just as much as the students. The work was never overwhelming if you stayed on top of it all. For me, organization and efficiency were probably the most crucial factors in keeping my grades up. If you are worried about the academic competition, don't be. I never felt pressured by other kids in my class or by my teachers to do better than everybody else. We were not graded against each other and that helped to keep grade competition pretty low.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved the sports program. The most important thing I learned about athletics while I was at Thacher was that playing with heart and intelligence can go a long way. These two things combined with skill can go much further than just skill alone. I think the reason Thacher teams play with such heart is because the team dynamics are so great. All of the guys on the teams I played on were playing for each other rather than themselves. We were all giving each other the best we could give; none of us wanted to let the team down. I also loved the competition between schools, especially Cate. Also, the athletic "world" at Thacher did not dominate the school. The athletes were not the kings of the school by any means because everybody at Thacher had something valuable to offer, not just athletes.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did not have much experience with this program. I did take a year of ceramics though and that was a lot of fun. It was very, sort of, medicinal and relaxing. Something about working with clay on the wheel is very calming and centering.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
One activity I participated in was the yearly musical. Although my time on the stage was limited, I enjoyed every second of it. I was a part of a performance filled with amazing talent. So many of the kids I was performing with had such amazing talent. Whether it was their voice or their ability to dance, or direct, or draw, everybody was great. Working with such talented people was a wonderful experience.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorm life was such a memorable experience. From hour-long sauna sessions in the third floor bathroom of Upper School to hallway arm-chair races in Lower School to late night bowls of cereal in the dorm head's house, the whole experience was a positive one. There was a good balance between work and play in the dorms. We learned when to sit down and study and when to go play. One of the things I liked most about the dorm life was having prefects around. The prefects were seniors at the school who lived in our dorm and were pretty much like older brothers. I still talk to many of my prefects from when I was there, and, fortunately, I was given the opportunity to be a prefect for sophomore boys. My group of senior prefects and I had a wonderful time and I think all of our senior year's were enhanced because of our time in the sophomore dorm.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food was remarkably good...i'm not kidding, actually. There was always a good variety of food. My favorite thing was the weekend brunch. I would spend about two hours on Sunday mornings eating steak and eggs, waffles, omelets, smoothies, and pastries. Those were good times.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Downtown Ojai will always have a place in my heart. It is a quiet town with two kinds of people--old people or skateboarding teens. I'm just kidding, but that is a big part of the town. Ojai was a nice place for doing all the things that needed to be done. It was good for getting a haircut, a bunch of snacks at the grocery store, some ice cream, and a really good burrito. There is some good bookstores too and a lot of really neat shops and restaurants. Overall, it is a really cool place.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The social life provides an intimate atmosphere and one that allows you to get to know your fellow classmates as well as your teachers.
Alumni Reviews Review School
- Review Description
- Pitzer College The tight knit community is a really rare quality at high schools in general but especially boarding schools. The relationships with teachers and students is so close and the fact that there is very few. . .
- University of Montana The horse department at Thacher is both unique and outstanding. Unique because the school strives to keep the cowboy culture alive with over 100 horses and a fully outfitted western riding center. It is outstanding. . .
- Yale I loved Thacher because of the deep, respectful, and genuine connections in the community. Students, faculty, and staff were all so supportive to ensure I was the happiest and most challenged I could be. During. . .
Social media is an essential part of a boarding school's marketing strategy
Parents considering schools should read New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Much of what he says applies in the private K-12 world.
Readers send dozens of questions via Facebook, Twitter and email. What do they ask? Readers want to know which is the best school in a particular country or region. A close second is figuring out how to pay for a private school education. Here are some readers' questions with my answers.