Picture spending your days being surrounded by a community that cares. Learning from gifted teachers who guide, not instruct. Cheering peers to regional and national sports championships. Sharing meals with friends in a fully-stocked dining hall — on the menu, a famous lemon poppyseed cake graduates still rave about decades later. Hiking over 25 miles of picturesque trails. Getting inspired by featured exhibitions at the Crumpacker Gallery. Volunteering at the local SPCA. Forming meaningful connections over dinner with your adviser and their family.
At St. Paul’s School, every day is eventful, filled with mental stimulation, physical activities, and collaboration. Located in Concord, New Hampshire, the school is a home away from home for over 500 students evolving to become the best, most well-rounded versions of themselves. It’s an approach to learning that merges social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth into every aspect of each student’s life.
Estela ’19, former Sixth Form president, confirmed this in her commencement speech. In a little over eight minutes, she shared personal experiences she holds close to her heart, down to the little moments. She’s confident they have prepared her for a world of limitless challenge and opportunity. “Maybe it’s in the last two weeks of school when someone, who has assigned you an incomprehensible amount of work over the past year, looks into your eyes and tells you how grateful they are that you’ve taken that class. Maybe it’s in the last week of Sixth Form fall when another teacher can immediately tell the best thing for you would not be to sit through a discussion but to take a nap instead,” she said.
It’s clear SPS is more than just a boarding school. On this fully residential, co-educational campus, people say “hello” when passing by. It’s an experience nurtured by Episcopalian values and centred around an emphasis on community.
These are the kinds of principles that develop graduates with impact. Today, Estela is a student at Harvard University and part of the Harvard Impact Investing Group (HCIIG), which advises the student body on socially responsible investment practices. “Everyone here wants to be the best that they can be. We push ourselves in the classroom and we all learn lessons from each other,” shares Megan ’20 from New Jersey.
Enduring values-based skills
In an SPS classroom, interests form paths to success, but these paths are flexible and oftentimes multidisciplinary. For example, a student with a love for theatre, might graduate excelling in their art alongside a newfound affinity for artificial intelligence. Faculty members work closely with students to identify these strengths and passions – the ultimate goal is to help them utilise it. These collaborations take place around Harkness tables, in laboratories and on the field. “There is challenge and difficulty here in classes, social life, and athletics,” says Amanda ’21. “But there’s something about the people here that makes you want to push yourself and strive for more.”
The SPS academic programme offers exceptional depth and breadth. The core curriculum includes challenging courses in the humanities, mathematics, sciences, languages, religion, and the arts, complemented by varied and enriching electives, such as photography and computer graphics, the African diaspora, Asian-American literature and so forth. There are also advanced courses in the sciences, six language courses, and a performance-based arts programme for music, dance, theatre, and the fine arts.
Outside the classroom, athletics and afternoon activities develop key competencies in teamwork, sportsmanship, personal excellence, courage, humility and respect for others. There’s a sport for every student, with 17 options to choose from. SPS sports venues include a 98,000 square feet LEED-certified athletic centre, two indoor ice hockey rings, 15 outdoor tennis courts, a 2,000-metre rowing course and boathouse, an indoor jogging track, over 25 miles of trails on 2,000 wooded acres for hiking, biking, running and skiing – amongst many others.
Apart from these, the school has over 70 clubs and societies that cater to the interests of every student. They can immerse themselves in extracurricular activities such as debate, robotics, gospel choir, boxing, chess, and even fly-fishing. “St. Paul’s has changed my life,” shares Estela who is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. She has met “a vast array of people,” gained confidence of what and how she wants to reach her goals — all with an almost enviable level of joy and wellbeing. “It has forced me to try new things in every different facet of my life and it has shown me that I am capable of much more than I thought was originally possible.”
SPS is more than just a school — it’s an illustrious opportunity for students and a valuable investment for families. To learn more about beginning your SPS journey, click here.