Aitran ’13 grew up close to nature in a rural village at the mouth of the Mekong River. She played in the forests, listened to the birds, and watched the beauty of the river. When she immigrated to Brooklyn, New York, she swapped this lush scenery for a concrete jungle — until she joined Choate Rosemary Hall eight years later. “I remembered again what it meant to go outside and run for miles surrounded by trees,” she says.
It wasn’t just Aitran’s body that found freedom again. Her mind did too. At Choate, she felt like she could, at any time, learn something from anything — even trees. Amidst the school’s forest, lay the Kohler Environmental Center, where she explored issues like climate change, climate refugees and climate displacement.
“What forces people to leave; who gets to stay; what severs communities?” These were among the issues explored at Choate that solidified Aitran’s interest in how humanity intersected with the environment, especially in terms of environmental justice
The centre was also a place where Aitran “found a sense of community that was important and impactful,” sharing ideas with peers and faculty around the dinner table, at the greenhouse or at lectures. “It was a formative experience,” she says.
is a coeducational day and boarding school located in the scenic town of Wallingford in Connecticut. While it has roots dating back as far as 1890, the school is today renowned for its innovative teaching that prepares students for success in the classroom and beyond.
Its combination of a robust curriculum and seemingly countless learning opportunities has gained the school its ranking as the #2 best boarding high school in America. Choate is focused on nurturing and developing students in grades 9 through postgraduate.
At all times, the goal is to nurture the whole student — as stories like Aitran prove.
While academics are important, Choate aims to provide its students with opportunities that let them to explore their interests and passions. A team of dedicated teachers, advisers, and peers support students every step of the way.
It’s a fulfilling journey. Moments to teach and learn happen all the time. Every day is a fresh start for new ideas, passions, friendships, and discoveries at Choate.
When classes end at 3 p.m., students take part in activities related to arts, sports and more. There are many opportunities to nurture one’s inherent creativity, pursue a path to collegiate athletics or fostering a love of the game, from a hockey practice to a violin solo.
They can paint Diyas during Diwali, as organised by the Choate South Asian Association. Or write for the school newspaper, engineer in the Robotics Lab, volunteer as part of a community service project — the afternoons are theirs to learn as much as they can outside the classroom.
“Choate has so many things to try, from academic subjects to different athletics to tons of different clubs,” says student Julian. “There’s nothing you can’t do.”
Teachers and staff offer support, such as how to balance many pursuits in 24 hours. Just ask student Amanda, “As a freshman, I was able to gain time management skills early on due to things such as study hours and lights out,” she says.
“I was able to acquire a steady daily schedule, easily adjust to the fast-paced life at Choate, and balance my academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. I balance my academics and social life at Choate by participating in clubs, events, and gatherings with friends, while continuing to focus on my studies.”
A close-knit community that learns from each other
At the 458-acre campus, students experience a boarding life like no other. Here, they have access to the most experienced teachers, exceptional programmes, outstanding facilities, and motivating peers. To ensure students develop as a whole at Choate, guidance and support resources are widely available.
With large, dynamic dorms and smaller, close-knit houses, students live alongside classmates and teachers, embracing and understanding each other’s differences. Social events help everyone relax and have even more fun together.
“I’m there to help them navigate their academic, extracurricular, and social paths and to keep them on an even keel. Sometimes that means advising them on how to avoid preventable pitfalls, but mostly the job is to encourage them to think about what makes them happy and how best to go about helping them find that happiness,” says faculty member John Cobb.
“The trick is to help students recognise talents in themselves they might not know they possess.”