Alumni Stories

The Secondary School Placement Process is one that RA takes very seriously for its Grade 8 students. Whether it’s conducting practice interviews or writing an application essay, RA students are provided with a process that will help determine their high school years. We recently caught up with recent RA alums, Eliza Heaton, Annika Morgan, & Alex Ross, who addressed certain questions about how prepared they felt after leaving RA.

WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL?

ALEX: At boarding school, determination is key because for the first couple of weeks, everything is new. Get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, try hard in your school work, and get on your teachers good side. You can always see faculty members around campus - walking their dogs or bring their little kids to school. My best advice is to try the best you can to be yourself.
ELIZA: Staying confident has been my number one priority through all of this. When I first came to King, I was apprehensive about getting involved. We had to sign up for clubs in the first week of school and I signed up to be a buddy. Even though I had only been there for a month, I toured people around, even kids from RA who visited, showed them the school and came to know it like the back of my hand. I also auditioned for the musical and decided to go for the lead. It got me to where I wanted to be but I had to get out of the scared mindset and take a risk. And it worked out.
ANNIKA: At Joel Barlow, you need a strong sense of self because they allow you to choose your classes. If you want to take 3 APs and 3 honors courses, you can take on that challenge if you so choose. I love that they give you that choice. You need to know what you are looking for and what you want. It really helps you find yourself because you are around many different types of people, have many career options, and have many different classes you can take. It’s overwhelming at times because you may want to take 5 classes but you have to choose 3.

HOW DID RA PREPARE YOU ACADEMICALLY?

ALEX: At RA, teachers aren’t just here to teach you about a certain subject, they teach you about life and how to move forward. At Berkshire, our motto is Pro Vida Non Schola Discimus, which translates to “We do not learn for school, but for life.” I feel like this motto can be applied to RA. It is not just about getting an A on the next test. RA teachers help you with more complex life decisions like choosing which school you want to go to or choosing a college.
ELIZA: In signing up for classes at King, my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to take 3 honors courses. I was terrified because one class was Honors Biology and I have never been a science girl. At first, I was struggling a little because the learning environment was different. However, I learned what I needed to do to succeed and keep an A- average. It is something I never thought I’d be able to do but RA taught me to use my teachers as my resources for help and maintain a healthy work balance. I have been able to apply this to my new learning environment at King.
ANNIKA: At a baseline, I think RA prepares you perfectly. There is no better word for it. RA distinguishes itself by going beyond teaching the material and why it is applicable to life. There are so many incredible teachers here who go above and beyond the curriculum and it really helped me understand concepts instead of just learning them. Another great gift that RA gave me is learning why things are the way they are instead of just memorizing facts.

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