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Environmental Science students are collecting data about the water quality in Noxontown Pond and the campus retention pond. In a recent lab, they measured the water’s pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, phosphates, salinity, clarity, and temperature. EnviSci teacher Mr. Rehrig says the goal of collecting water quality data to compare the health of the two ponds, how abiotic factors might change with the seasons, and what these factors might mean for the creatures living in the ponds.
Fall Festival 2022 Celebrates Chuseok!
Every October, the student-led Environmental Stewards organizes a Fall Fest on the Front Lawn. This year, the stewards collaborated with the Asian Student Union and the East Asian Affinity Group to incorporate a celebration of Chuseok, the Korean mid-autumn festival, into the days festivities. Read more here.
Renovated Dorms Reopen to Residents
This fall, Pell and Moss Dorms, our residence halls for III and IV Form students, reopened to residents after a multi-stage renovation and expansion.
Why Boarding School?
Living on a dorm is what makes a boarding school experience so unique. On dorm, students, seniors, and faculty create this awesome and inclusive dynamic—you function like a family. After a long day of classes and sports, you gather together and unpack the little and the larger things that took place throughout the day. Living with your classmates offers a unique opportunity to form genuine connections and friendships that you couldn't make anywhere else.
-Darden Shuman ’23
Since the founding of the school in 1929, St. Andrew’s has been a school affordable to all students who are qualified for admission, regardless of their financial means.
What matters most is your character and the contributions you will make to our community and our world.
of your family’s financial need will be met if you are admitted to St. Andrew’s
For 92 years, we've offered revolutionary need-based financial aid to all admitted students—ever since our founding in 1929. Our mission is—and always has been—to be a school accessible to all, regardless of means.
is the deadline to apply for financial aid
We not only learn together, but live together—and that fundamentally changes the nature of your high school experience.
Hear from current students on the ways in which living at St. Andrew's has transformed them.
Catching up with Charlie Lunsford ’24 can be difficult, what with his classes, sports, community service, chapel, clubs… the list goes on. Despite his myriad commitments,the multisport athlete is focused as he heads into his junior year. While it is only fall and he is playing varsity soccer, one can often find Charlie on the squash courts or getting a tennis workout in.
“Tennis is my number-one sport and I plan to play in college, so even though it isn’t tennis season, I am always working on my game,” Charlie says.
Last year, Charlie was seeded in the top spot for St. Andrew’s, and competed hard during the state tournament, which was held on campus. He finished the season among the top 10 boys in the state.
“I was focused on the match and I remember looking up and seeing my entire class there to support me,” he says. “You wouldn’t get that anywhere else except at St. Andrew’s.”
The school’s culture is what initially attracted the multi-sport athlete to St. Andrew’s.
“Just walking around, everyone is friendly and welcoming. They don’t have to be that way—no one tells them to be that way—they just are. It’s just the way of life here,” he says.
Charlie, who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, never planned to go to a boarding school. “I always thought kids were sent to boarding schools; not that they chose to go,” he says. That all changed when he visited St. Andrew’s to see his cousins.
During his visit, the energy of the students and life on campus resonated with him. He met with Director of Admission & Financial Aid Matt Wolinski and started the application process.
Since becoming a student, Charlie has continued to revel in the connections that first impressed him so much. “Some of my best memories are getting to know my dorm parents and teachers. Everyone here wants to be here, which is what really drew me to St. Andrew’s,” he says. “You get to have deeper relationships with students and adults—it is unique to this school.”
It was at St. Andrew’s that Charlie first played squash. His winter sport had been basketball for several years, but at SAS, he decided to try something new—and after all, squash aligned with his passion for tennis.
“I loved it right away,” he recalls. “It’s incredible and intense.”
In the current season, Charlie and the soccer team are working hard to get to the state finals again. “I love athletics here. We are really competitive, but even if you didn’t play [a sport] before coming here, you can work hard and get a spot [on a team],” he says. “There’s no limit to where you can go.”
In the classroom, Charlie loves the lively discussions and advanced topics his classes tackle. “St. Andrew’s does a great job of increasing the academic challenge as you go, in terms of workload and difficulty,” he says. “I really notice how much more organized I am and how much I have learned when it comes to balancing my workload and managing my time.”
As a junior, he looks back on the past two “pandemic years” and notes that even though students were not always on campus, the bonds they created are deep.
“Whenever I get stuck on work or something, I can just walk next door and ask someone. There’s always someone around who can help,” he says. “That’s one thing I love about living in a dorm. I love dorm functions and spending time with everyone.”
As Charlie looks ahead to the rest of his junior year, he hopes to continue to build on the solid foundation of friendship, academics, and athletics.
“Every single person here is special and everyone gets to explore their passions and talents,” he says. “As soon as I met my friends here, I instantly knew that they would be my friends for life. The connections you build here will last.”
Learn more about athletics at St. Andrew’s.
All-school "Math Monday" challenge makes math fun for all students
St. Andrew’s senior Daniel Kye ’23 loves math. In fact, he loves it so much, he’s on a personal mission to help all St. Andrew’s students fall in love with math, too.
This fall Daniel and his classmate Sarah Rose Odutola ’23 launched “Math Mondays”—a weekly math challenge open to the entire school community.
Each Monday, students pick up a new math puzzle—chosen by Daniel and Sarah Rose—from a bin in the Main Common Room. The puzzles are not necessarily complex equations, but rather are often patterns or games that require the application of logic and analysis. “I try to select a variety of types of problems to keep it interesting,” he says. Students work on the problems throughout the week and turn their answers in by Sunday. Problem sets are graded then tallied by dorm; at the end of the competition, the winning dorm will receive a pizza party. With only a few weeks left to go in the competition, the leading dorm changes each week.
“I’ve heard students talking about [Math Monday problems] on the way to lunch,” Daniel says. “I’ve heard others discussing it between classes. It’s great to hear it!” Daniel notes his hope for the weekly competition is that it makes math more accessible and fun for all.
Daniel, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, but spent parts of his youth in California, discovered his love of math in middle school. “I always enjoyed math, but in middle school my passion really grew,” he says.
His family moved to California during his freshman year of high school, and Daniel found he enjoyed engaging discussions during his classes. Prior to his junior year, Daniel began to consider changing schools, both in an effort to find himself, and to feel more engaged with his peers. “I heard that boarding schools often lead when it comes to discussion-based learning, so I started investigating them,” he says.
He soon found St. Andrew’s and, during the pandemic, did a virtual tour. “I had looked at some other boarding schools, but I felt a connection with St. Andrew’s,” he says.
He landed on campus for his junior year and hasn’t looked back. “Everyone was warm and inviting. There is a sense of family here,” he says.
During his first year at SAS, Daniel had heard from peers that some of the spark of community St. Andrew’s is known for—and specifically the collaborative, exploratory math culture at the school— had faded a bit during the pandemic, under the pressure of all its health protocols.
“Coming into my senior year, I wanted to bring math culture back and really make it something accessible to everyone on campus—even people who do not love math,” Daniel says.
“It makes me proud to know that I have worked hard to give this to students,” he says. “I hope to give back to our school community in other ways during my last year here."
Here’s an example of one of the recent Math Monday puzzles:
This letter by Dean of Inclusion and Belonging Danica Tisdale-Fisher was shared with the community in the Friday News on November 4, 2022.
Dear St. Andrew’s Family,
The work of inclusion and belonging at St. Andrew’s is to lift up the voices of our students, faculty, and staff; to appreciate the diversity of our community; and to fully recognize each other’s humanity. Our classrooms, our residential spaces, and our playing fields offer countless opportunities for us to embrace inclusive practices, celebrate differences, and consider our collective responsibility to create the just and equitable world in which we want to live.
To share a bit about myself, I am a native Delawarean who also calls South Carolina “home.” I am a fourth-generation educator who follows a long maternal line of Black women who’ve served both within the classroom and in school administration. My great-grandmothers were teachers and principals in segregated high schools in Montgomery, Alabama. My grandmother and mother, both English teachers, were outstanding influences in my life—and are the reasons I chose English as a major in college. My late mother, Alice Carson Tisdale, was selected as District Teacher of the Year in Smyrna, Delaware, in 1986. As one of a handful of Black teachers in the district at that time, this distinction was one in which she, and our entire family, took great pride. My mother retired in 2019 after 21 years in secondary education, and a subsequent 25 years of service as a college administrator.
Standing on the shoulders of these women, I see education as a calling and feel grateful to work at a school where my talents can be put to good use. I am a very proud graduate of Spelman College, a private, historically black, women's liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia. I completed an M.A. at Temple University and a doctorate at Emory University. My career has taken me all over the country, and I have had the great fortune of working in both higher and secondary education settings. To share what I’ve learned as a student, as an educator, and as a servant leader with this community is an incredible privilege.
My decision to join St. Andrew’s as a dean of inclusion and belonging was not made lightly. In my first conversation with Head of School Joy McGrath ’92, however, I began to understand just how special this school is and how committed our students, faculty, and staff are to the practice of inclusion and belonging. When I visited the school last spring, I met with students who were enthusiastic about rolling up their sleeves and working diligently to ensure that St. Andrew’s is a place where all students can thrive. I was also deeply inspired by the faculty and staff whose unwavering commitment to students is unmatched. I knew, after that visit, that St. Andrew’s was not only a place where I could be impactful, but a place where every day would offer me—and my family—opportunities, as American author and social activist bell hooks writes, “to work in community, and to be changed by community.”
I am honored to be entrusted with the awesome responsibility of building upon the foundation laid by those committed to this important work at St. Andrew’s before me: Treava Milton ’83, Stacey Duprey ’85 P’04,’10, Giselle Furlonge ’03, and Devin Duprey ’10. I lift these names up to acknowledge the considerable contributions of alumnae of color whose dedication to advancing diversity and inclusion at St. Andrew’s, both past and present, cannot be overstated. My goals for this year extend from their work and include developing a formal infrastructure for the office of inclusion and belonging; offering effective and meaningful diversity education programming for students, faculty, and staff; and providing robust educational opportunities for affinity group faculty leaders and affinity group members.
I look forward to working in collaboration with colleagues, students, parents, and alumni to meet these broad goals and to reconnect. I welcome your ideas, your curiosity, and your honest feedback on our work together. I am deeply grateful for your generous support and am excited about all that is to come!
Danica Tisdale Fisher
Dean of Inclusion and Belonging
English teacher Will Torrey on the capital-Q-questions of teaching
As Opening Day of the 2021-22 school year neared, I found myself especially eager to make a great plan for the first day of class for my two sections of seniors in English 4—one that would not only engage my students and encapsulate the goals of the course, but one that would help me answer—for them as well as myself—the capital-Q-questions I think of all the time:
Why do we talk about literature?
What’s the point of this class?
I thought for a long time about what to show, do, or discuss with my students on that first day. And finally, the day before the first day of class, I wheeled my one year-old son past the Organic Garden in his stroller and was reminded of a conversation I’d had the previous spring with my then-advisee Riley Baker ’21. On a day shortly before Commencement, Riley came back to dorm from working in Organic Garden and told me that while digging in the dirt, she’d been listening to an episode of the On Being podcast in which the host Krista Tippitt interviews the writer Ocean Vuong.
“Mr. Torrey,” she said, eyes bright. “It was, like, the most profound thing I’ve ever heard. You should listen to it; I think you’d love it.”
So I did listen to it, and it was profound, and I did love it.
And then I forgot all about it—until that sunny Labor Day afternoon a few months later.
“There it is,” I thought. “My plan.”
At the end of the interview—during which Vuong covers everything from his immigrant childhood in Hartford, Connecticut to the power of language and its capacity to evolve—Tippit references an essay of Voung’s, in which he, in the face of a family tragedy, embarks on a walk through Manhattan and can’t stop noticing, of all things, fire escapes. They are everywhere, Vuong writes, clinging to the sides of our homes, calling out to us “with the most visible human honesty: We are capable of disaster. And we are scared.” Vuong goes on to assert that literature—the poem, the story, the novel—is itself a form of fire escape, a safe haven that’s often ignored but always at hand, a place of intimate vulnerability where we, as readers, as people, can find refuge. We hurt, Vuong’s essay asserts, because we’re afraid to bear ourselves. But by studying the stories of others, by witnessing their pain and triumphs, we move toward a better understanding of ourselves and a solution to our common crisis of communication.
As soon as this seed of an idea had been planted, ideas for other pieces to discuss on the first day came to mind faster than I could process. By the time my first section rolled into my classroom the morning of September 7, I had a thick packet of readings for them: Barry Hannah’s “Water Liars,” George Saunders’s “Sticks,” a scene from Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. We dove in and enjoyed an intense (in a good way) seventy-five minutes of rapid-fire discussion.
For me, and I hope for my students, this first class was not just great, but wonderful. As I made my way home, I felt more excited about teaching than I had in some time—maybe since the beginning of the pandemic. I was excited to have connected with my students, and to watch them connect with the ideas buried in our readings. I was thrilled by how eager, how perceptive, even how open to being vulnerable they all were. But most of all, I was humbled. A five-minute conversation I had had with a student three months earlier had suddenly bloomed into the answers to my questions.
Why do we talk about literature?
To move toward a better understanding of ourselves and a solution to our common crisis of communication.
What is the point of this class?
To be a place of intimate vulnerability where we—as readers, as people—can find refuge, and bear ourselves.