Source: The Pennington School
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The Pennington School: Personalised guidance, lasting success

The Pennington School is more than just an educational institution; it offers a nurturing community that believes in supporting students through every step of their academic journey. From their first day on campus to their final exams, each student, local or international, is cared for, valued, and guided toward a successful future.

Founded in 1838, this school has almost two centuries of experience in ensuring that the end-to-end process of education is not solely about imparting knowledge but about shaping well-rounded individuals who are prepared to navigate the challenges of college and beyond. It is this belief that sets Pennington apart, making it an ideal place for ambitious learners in need of unwavering support.

The cornerstone of Pennington’s commitment to student success lies in its exceptional College Counseling Programme. It’s comprehensive, well designed, and starts earlier than most schools to ensure students enjoy a pressure-free Upper School experience. It all begins in Grade 9 when students are assigned a primary college counsellor, who will provide expert insights and act as a “sounding board” throughout course selection, community engagement, summer plans, and leadership development.

Of course, parents and guardians are involved every step of the way. Pennington believes, “a successful college search is almost always the result of a family effort.” After all, while it’s the student who plays a primary role, financial decisions, college visits, counsellor meetings, and representative visits are not tasks one should have to go about alone.

Source: The Pennington School.

Pennington’s athletic offerings include cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, tennis, and water polo. Source: The Pennington School.

By late fall of Grade 11, after a good amount of exploring, students begin discussing their college criteria with their counsellors, who will then help them create a list of their academic, extracurricular, and personal needs. At this stage, they typically have a good idea of what they see themselves pursuing in college or university.

Small classes, big impact

Personalised sessions ensure every learner is comfortable enough to explore Pennington’s wide-ranging curriculum — which includes 43 Upper School AP and honours courses. Since teachers are experts in their subjects, they incorporate relevant, real-world examples into learning materials with ease.

Beyond the classroom, counsellors work closely with coaches and teachers to ensure every activity, interaction, resource, and experience is used as a learning opportunity. Whether it’s the arts, athletics or service, everyone is welcome to try their hand at something new. In the process, limits are tested, resilience is built, self-confidence is developed, and new passions are realised.

“Pennington introduced me to theatre, which was something I never thought I would participate in,” affirms Sanjana, an Indian-American student who loves her school for its diversity. “I was a shy and quiet student, and primarily still am today, but Pennington transformed that quiet student into a quiet leader; in classrooms, tech crew, and orchestra, I always feel seen.”

Source: The Pennington School

Pennington is home to a diverse range of extracurricular activities. Source: The Pennington School

It’s rare for students to feel alone when faculty members are plenty. Pennington prides itself on the size of its dedicated team of teachers, which enables an exceptionally low teacher to student ratio of 1:6. For college counselling, the school offers a counsellor-to-student ratio of 1:25. This number ensures that students have easy access to their counsellors and can have regular meetings with them. With tailored support, students often feel empowered enough to navigate the journey to higher education with confidence and clarity.

International students with dreams to join US colleges and universities can get additional support needed to wow admissions officers. Director of College Counseling Adam Materasso and his team work closely with them to craft their story while guaranteeing it aligns beautifully with their strengths and interests.

It’s little wonder why the Class of 2023 are now in the hallowed halls of Boston University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of Virginia, Northeastern University, Pepperdine University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Pennsylvania, and several other esteemed institutions.

Sarah V.S., a parent of a senior student at Pennington, reflects on the exceptional guidance provided to her daughter Heidi. From the very beginning, counsellors demonstrated an intuitive understanding of her child’s unique qualities and personality. Despite Heidi’s reserved nature, they were able to identify a college environment that would nurture and challenge her in the best possible way.

“We are so thrilled that she will be a Demon Deacon at Wake Forest,” says Sarah. “I know that we would not have discovered this particular pathway had it not been for Pennington’s steady, supportive, and astute guidance along the way.”

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