"There is Just Something Different Here"
“There is just something different here.” That phrase has continually jumped out at me over the past few months at Benilde-St. Margaret’s. We have been hosting events for families designed to help them learn about our school as they consider enrollment. Last month, our team officially welcomed a large number of new parents that will be joining us in the fall.
This past week approximately 100 graduates from the past 40 years joined the class of 2018 for breakfast. As our seniors think about graduation they become reflective in their conversations. Throughout all these venues I have heard that phrase proclaimed repeatedly...but why?
Benilde-St. Margaret’s is a school like any other and unlike any other. We experience challenges and difficulties that appear in schools across the country. Our school is certainly not perfect. The “difference” that is perceived by many is centered around two concepts, opportunity and belonging. The incredibly diverse programming appeals to a range of student interests and curiosities. Furthermore, our students are known and are able to find their unique place in our community that aligns with their real selves.
In terms of academic programming, our students have options to take close to 200 different courses. Within those exist internships, travel, service, job shadows, expert speakers, simulations, competitions, performances, exhibits, presentations and the list goes on. The number of clubs, activities and athletic pursuits also provide rich experiences across a variety of interest areas that complement the academic. Here students are able to pursue interests, build skills, compete and explore daily…opportunity.
Interestingly, as our Red Knights immerse themselves in the offerings at Benilde-St. Margaret’s they also are exposed to people that share their interests and certainly others that do not. That intentional design leads our young people into a variety of relationships and in the end real connections with others. The student connections are supplemented by relationships with faculty and staff that truly care about them beyond just the classroom...belonging.
Opportunity and belonging are designed pillars of a Benilde-St. Margaret’s education and they are confirmed regularly from a variety of perspectives. While we are far from perfect as a school, “there is just something different here.”