SCH students are passionate about their school and love talking about their experience here. These student profiles provide just a glimpse into life in Upper School. Visit us and meet our student ambassadors. Be sure to take a look at our Activities & Clubs page (link on right) to see how YOU might get involved at SCH—the sky’s the limit!
Email one of our student ambassadors your own question here:
Ninth grade English with Ms. O. On the first day, she had all of us come in and all the desks were facing the wall. She then explained that the setup was a metaphor for silence. After rearranging the desks so that we were all facing each other, Ms. O emphasized the importance of engagement with one another and finding the courage to share our opinions without fear of judgment. I think I found my voice in this class and it has stuck with me since then.
The community is so strong here. There is a lot of interaction between all departments and grade levels of the school, whether during the Halloween Parade or Blue and Gold Day. Next year, I am looking forward to the “buddy program” where all 12th grade students are paired with kindergartners as mentors. We attend kindergarten special events, as much as they attend ours. There is definitely a special bond that takes place.
Homecoming, for sure. It’s a great start to the year because the whole school comes together. This includes current and former faculty, students, and alumni. The spirit of the school really comes through! I also really like the Upper School dance. Everyone is invited; you don’t go on a date. It’s just fun all around!
Simon, Grade 11
Hometown: Quangzhou, China Entry Grade: 9
Sports & Extracurriculars: Soccer, Crew
Activities & Clubs: Honor Council, CEL Venture Incubator, Hilltones (boys a cappella group)
The CEL venture incubator. There are not many schools in the world that have entrepreneurship tied into their curriculum. Currently, I meet with the director of CEL twice a week to further develop my current business project, and then I meet with the Director of Publications and Video at SCH once a week to help with the building of my business’s website.
The opportunities here are second to none. I am someone who enjoys variety and the number of extracurricular activities are numerous. If you would like to create a club or activity, the faculty are here to support you and make it a reality.
Max, Grade 11 Hometown: Center City, Philadelphia EntryGrade: 9 Sport: Soccer, Fitness Activities & Clubs: Current Events and Multicultural Club
I have to say the CEL program. Last year we took courses in coding, graphic design, and statistics. Currently, I am building a custom long-board business set to launch this winter. I realize that most schools do not get to participate in such areas of study. I definitely see myself eventually working in the technology sector, and CEL has helped me take that first step.
I really love it. The commute has given me a new sense of independence and responsibility. I spend a lot of time in Chestnut Hill as I enjoy taking advantage of the great outdoor opportunities that are not as easy to come by in the city.
Maggie, Grade 11 Hometown: Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia Entry Grade: Pre-K
Sports & Extracurriculars: Squash, Field Hockey, Lacrosse
Activities & Clubs: SAGE, Model UN, Babysitting Club, Laurelei (girls a cappella group), Student Ambassador
SCH is unique because we go through Lower and Middle School with a single-sex education and then once we get into high school we are prepared to combine with the boys’ side and work together for our last four years of school. Our CEL program is incorporated into our everyday schedule so we learn important skills that will help us as we go into the real world. We are taught from a young age how to be independent and how to problem solve, which helps us as we grow.
On your first day at SCH, you will be welcomed and embraced as a member of our community from the start. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Everyone will be supportive no matter what you decide to try out or accomplish.
Freshman year English. Ms. O. was phenomenal. She is very good at making difficult concepts and ideas easy to understand. During a typical class, she would sit at the back of the classroom and let us discuss and debate the text we were reading. I think we all gained invaluable skills of conversation and analysis that will serve us well for the remainder of high school and beyond.
Apple Mountain. In Lower School, I remember hiking with my class to the top of a large hill with an apple in hand. When we reached the top, we all got to eat our apple and scatter the seeds, hoping that a tree would form in its place.
Kellie, Grade 11
Hometown: Blue Bell Entry Grade: 3
Sports & Extracurriculars: Tennis
Activities & Clubs: Student Council (10th grade class president), Voices (president), Black Student Union (vice president), Student Ambassador, Student Facilitator, Multicultural Club (co-head)
I like that there are so many platforms to participate, lead, and create at SCH. You can start getting involved in leadership opportunities on your first day here. I began my experience in the CEL program from 5th grade, and entered the Venture Incubator in 8th grade, building business ideas from scratch, and still, two years later, am working on the same venture with the skills to expand my venture as an actual business.
The CEL program. Students become skilled in public speaking, financial management, and creative thinking. My first CEL class was in 5th grade and my class got to loan money through KIVA to small businesses in foreign countries. Our Global Travel program is also amazing. This year during spring break I’ll be going to South Africa with a group of Upper School students and faculty, where we’ll get the opportunity to stay on campus in dorms at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg and get to see the inventions of students at the academy, which follows a strictly entrepreneurial-based curriculum.
English. I love how novels written in two very different time periods can touch on similar themes, such as the Ancient Greek play by Socrates, Antigone, or the 20th century novel, In the Time of the Butterflies. Both had strong female leads, which allows for myself and other females in the class to have a mirror on our identity, but also a window into other cultures and other time periods that may not be our own.
My favorite tradition at SCH is Blue and Blue Day because it is a day of friendly competition where the entire school, boys PK-12, come together to compete with and against one another. Also, it is such a long-lasting tradition that it is cool to me that so many people before me have competed for the trophy, and it is extra motivation to win for them.
In addition to having a great coaching staff, I think what helped us win two titles was that we just had fun competing together. We all bonded. We trusted in ourselves, grew together, and brought a huge amount of focus to practices throughout the season. The support of students, teachers, and alumni at our games gave us extra motivation and a lot of pride.
Math is still the subject I gravitate towards most. I give credit to my 9th grade geometry class for igniting my passion for numbers. There was a great balance between fun and productive learning. Eventually, I would like to pursue a career in data analysis and sports statistics.
Corinne, Grade 11 Hometown: Center City, Philadelphia EntryGrade: 8 Sports & Extracurriculars: Volleyball, Robotics
I commute via train every morning to Chestnut Hill. I highly recommend using this time to prepare for classes or read for enjoyment. Having the longer commute has helped me organize my time more efficiently and seize the day.
When I first arrived in 8th grade it was volleyball pre-season. I did not know anyone, and everything was so new to me. After practice, a student on the team asked if I wanted to grab lunch at a pizza place in Chestnut Hill. I was delighted to join and am still friends with the same group I went to lunch with that day.
Ed, Grade 10 Hometown: Shanghai, China Entry Grade: 9 Sports & Extracurriculars: Golf, Crew, Robotics Activities & Clubs: Student Council (9th Grade Class President), Investment Club, Dungeons & Dragons
I like the various opportunities and choices I can get at school. For example, I am the class co-president of 9th grade and I attend clubs like Robotics Club, Investment Club, etc. I am also doing crew for sports now. There are really a lot of opportunities here to try new things and be involved.
I think English has had the greatest impact on me. Since I’m from a different culture that speaks a different language, it’s common to have some cultural shocks at first. I have read some English books before, but after I’m here, I think English is not just about reading, it is also about comprehending, absorbing knowledge, thinking deep, critical and creative thinking, etc. We read books like The Color of Water, The Cask of Amontillado, Antigone. English really helps me blend into the culture, withstand some cultural shocks, and even learn some new things.
Firstly, read more books. Read more English books. There is a lot of reading here. Secondly, get prepared to welcome the new and unknown. Leave your comfort zone and get involved in this beautifully dynamic community.
The learning environment and the connectedness between all grade levels. At SCH it is so easy to approach teachers if you have any questions and they inspire along the way. Most schools do not have a bond between upper and lower classmen; however, here, this is not the case. When I arrived in 9th grade, juniors and seniors were so welcoming. It felt like I had been a student here for many years.
SCH has helped me tremendously with the college process! At SCH, you are assigned a college counselor your sophomore year, who you work closely with to help understand and work through the college process. My college counselor has been incredibly helpful with helping me prepare to apply to top schools as well as helping me find the schools that are best for me. The College Counseling Department at SCH is dedicated to helping students like me find the perfect fit, and it has introduced me to many prospective schools and helped me with every step of the way. Thanks to my college counselor, I am far less stressed about the entire process and much more confident in my applications.
Blue and Gold Day. I have a memory from freshman year where my friends and I were asked to chant with a group of seniors during the Blue and Gold Rally. Not knowing the first word of the chants, the seniors walked us through all of them without hesitation and with contagious enthusiasm. It made my day and this memory still sticks with me.
During my sophomore year, Honors Chemistry was one of the subjects that challenged and inspired me the most. I now know that chemistry is the subject for me, and I would like to pursue this passion in college and beyond.