The Governor's Academy
(formerly Governor Dummer Academy) - Review #4

The Governor's Academy
(formerly Governor Dummer Academy)
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Trinity College
Home Town, State (Country) Wakefield, MA
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School Co-Captain of the Women's Cross Country Team, Dance, Basketball, Softball, Dorm Proctor, Cello in the Academy Orchestra, Harvard Model Congress, Student Council, Special Olympics-Head of Escorts

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
There is a real sense of community at Govenor Dummer. The school is relatively small compared to many other schools and this allows the students to be familiar with everyone. Even as a senior, I knew virtually everyone's name in the school. Another important aspect is the incredible faculty and staff that students easily form strong relationships with. The incredible amount of opportunities provide a unique and rewarding high school experience.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I am so grateful for all the opportunities that GDA provided me. I am mostly happy that I had a unique high school experience. I learned to live with structure on my own. In college I had a huge advantage over students who were day students or went to public school, in that I had already lived away and knew how to manage my time between classes and social life.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I wouldn't have done anything differently. I had a great experience. I would give the advice to anyone going to boarding school to take advantage of all the opportunities provided to you, and to getting to know as many students and faculty members as you can.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved the small school aspect and the close relationships I was able to make.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
The new student center is gorgeous. Stop by the new bookstore and meet the wonderful woman who runs it, Christine Robinson. She is fantastic, and she know the name of every student in the school. My friends and I would often go down to the bookstore not to buy anything, but to talk and hang out with her. All the dorms are fantastic and have their own special aspects but my favorite is Peirce. I lived their my junior and senior year, and was one of the proctors my senior year. The dorm parents are hilarious and supportive. I had some of my best times as GDA in that dorm.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The work load was heavy. I had about 4 hours of homework a night. I used most free periods and extra time during lunch to do work, and of course study hall at night from 8 to 10pm. Despite this work, I felt there was also time during the day and evening to participate in many organizations on campus. The best part of the classes were the teacher. They all want their students to do the very best they can. They are extremely accessible. All teachers open their homes to students with any questions from class, to review a paper, or to just talk. Because, the majority of teacher live on campus, there is no reason not to seek them out for help. Even if you are not in a faculty member's specific class, they are still willing to help you with anything relating to their department. They go above and beyond the call of duty. I found the classes stimulating and mostly enjoyable. The set up of classes centers mostly around discussions which causes many spirited debates between classmates.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a member of the Varsity Girls Cross Country team and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I had during my time at GDA. The athletic department at GDA allows for students to try many new sports that they might not have elsewhere.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a member of the orchestra for all four years. There are options for private lessons in any instrument. There is a Jazz Band, which proves to be a very good time at all of the school concerts. In orchestra we always did very exciting pieces and often played along with film. Our conductor is very eccentric and provides a fun atmosphere for us to play in. There are several plays put on each year, which always get a large turn out from the students, supporting their friends who are involved.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are many clubs and activities that are available to students. I most enjoyed Harvard Model Congress and Special Olympics. In Harvard Model Congress a group of students went to Boston and participated in a mock congress, playing the roles of Senators and Representatives, often times we were encouraged to play the role of a person who had differing beliefs from ourselves. In Special Olympics virtually the entire school joins together to put on a Soccer tournament that brings athletes from across the state. It provides more opportunities for the students to assume leadership roles and help out in the community.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Living in the dorms was certainly my favorite part of Governor Dummer. I was able to form strong bonds with my friends and spend time with people who I normally wouldn't and making more friends that are different from me. Sharing the dorm and a living space brought us all closer together. I had excellent relationships with my dorm parents who were always there to talk or hang out. They were always going above and beyond: opening their doors, baking brownies, watching some television or just telling stories. I wouldn't trade my dorm experience for anything.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall gave many options. The thing I liked most about the dining hall was that you could always find something to eat. The staff works so hard to give the students exactly what they want, even taking suggestions. It is open from 7 to 9:30 for breakfast, 11:30 to 1:30 for lunch, and 5 to 7 for dinner.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Newburyport is a very cute town that has lots of shops and many nice restaurants. It is just a short drive away that any day student with a car, or a faculty member can take borders. It is a great town to go to in order to get off campus for a bit.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The students at GDA are overall extremely friendly. We hold doors for each other and when you walk past someone you always say Hi. There are people for every type of person to fit in with. Also, I was friends with many people who were very different from me. The small community allows this. I made friends at GDA that i will have for the rest of my life, and I am very grateful for this.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:45 AMMorning Meeting (entire school)
8:00 AMFirst class
9:00 AMSecond class
10:15 AMbreak
10:30 AMthird class
11:45 AMlunch
1:15 PMfourth class
3:15 PMend of academic day
3:30 PMafternoon activity
5:00 PMdinner
8:00 PMstudy hall
10:00 PMend of study hall
11:00 PMmust be in own room/lights out
Weekend
11:00 AMSports
6:00 PMNight activites

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