By Tyler Casertano, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
The Admissions Office enjoyed another fun and busy year. We welcomed a record number of families to campus for tours, welcomed two new members to our family with the births of Aria Johnson and Ava Kosegarten, and will welcome ninety-four new students to St. Albans in September. These students come to us from as close as Cathedral Heights and as far as Hong Kong. They come from forty-five different schools and from nearly every type of school: public, private, charter, parochial, and home-schools. They are singers and dancers and musicians and painters; pitchers and linemen and runners and left-wingers. They have mastered origami, built their own hover-boards, and worked in cancer research labs. They have won spelling bees, written children’s books, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. But, although these new students come in many different shapes, sizes, ages, and nationalities, what they share is a love of learning, a strong work ethic, and a deep interest in joining a community that combines rigor, warmth, dynamism, and depth.
This past winter, an NCS student wrote a letter of recommendation for her younger brother, who was applying to St. Albans. She wrote, “Most of all, I would love to share the Close with [him]…The Cathedral is such a symbol of the Close community and a constant reminder of the blessing of the quality education, excellent teachers, and warm friends one finds here. I wish that he, too, could experience this joy.” For the second consecutive year, a remarkably high percentage of families whom we admitted accepted our offer, and this letter poignantly explains why.
Yes, we enjoy first-rate facilities—the spectacular new athletics fields, Marriot Hall, the Cafritz Refectory, the Little Sanctuary, and the National Cathedral. Yes, our faculty is remarkable, tenured, and accomplished. Yes, our students are talented, thoughtful, and hard working. But, what families repeatedly say when they accept our offer of admission is that from the moment they first stepped on campus, they felt a palpable sense of joy. They say they saw how hard each student was working and how engaged he was with his studies, but also how genuinely happy he was to be at school and how supported he was by his peers and teachers. It is the combination of rigor and joy that convinces so many families that we are the community for them.
Our success is also the result of the community’s willingness to share that joy. Teachers open their doors to visitors, students host applicants for shadow days, parents attend admissions events and make phone calls to potential families, and alums speak glowingly to friends about their time here. Our job is to educate families about our community in a way that is consistent with the same depth, attention, and care with which we educate our boys, and I truly cannot overstate how vital your generosity is to that process. Thank you.
We look forward to doing it all again in September.