11/08/2017 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Why I Attended a Boarding School (and why you should consider working at one!)

Taft School aerial photo

We’ve already shared stories with you from several current CS&A staff members who have worked in boarding schools before coming to our firm. Some valued the close personal connections they were able to build with students, some were drawn to the collaborative and supportive communities of faculty and staff, and others enjoyed extending their love of education and working with students into extracurricular activities and coaching. Everyone agrees, however, that working in a boarding school is a transformative experience.

In preparation for our boarding school hiring conference in Boston this December, today we hear from two staff members who attended boarding schools as students. Want a job that’s truly fulfilling and makes a difference? Looking for an academic environment where students are active learning and excited to come to class every day? Check out these heartfelt reflections then register to attend CS&A@TABS today.

Sarah PalmoreSarah Palmore
Placement Assistant

Which boarding school did you attend?
I went to Taft School in Watertown, CT, for my last three years of high school.

What drew you to the boarding school environment?
As a young high school student, I wanted to be a part of an academic environment that was incredibly diverse and focused on academics. I felt that by attending a boarding school, I could surround myself with students very different from myself but still be a part of a student body that was committed to being intellectually curious.

What was the dorm experience like?
I lived in the dorms while at Taft and served as a Dorm Monitor in the lowerclassmen dorms during my junior and senior years. I absolutely loved living with the younger classes! I felt that it was a great way for me to connect with Taft students that I wouldn’t have gotten to experience otherwise. I really valued the opportunity to serve as both a mentor, role model, and a friend to my younger classmates. Helping the young girls thrive and grow at Taft was a truly rewarding experience that I would do over in a heartbeat.

Who was your favorite teacher?
I honestly don’t know if I can pick a single favorite teacher! One of the main reasons that I think back on my time at boarding school so fondly is because of the lasting impressions that my teachers had on my academic and social life while at boarding school. I think the best teachers at Taft had a way of being kind and warm to everyone on campus, but still made each interaction with individual students feel unique and personal. I can recall many nights spent sitting on the living room floor discussing short stories with my English teacher, eating cookies with my physics teacher and his family after getting help with a problem set, and even studying AP psychology concepts with my dorm parents’ children. I truly enjoyed being able to form these connections with my teachers that extended past the student-teacher dynamic that typically exists only in a classroom setting. Their personal investment in my well-being and success helped to foster a relationship that has caused me to remain in close contact with several of my teachers years after my graduation.

What is your fondest memory of your time there?
My fondest memory is of the very special relationships I made with my classmates. Living with my classmates allowed me to build connections in such a way that I don’t think a typical school would have easily facilitated. We formed our own strong support systems when someone needed help and happily cheered each other on during our successes. I feel that we exhibited a type of camaraderie that can only come from living and learning in close quarters. I think of my friends from boarding school as my family and years later, I continue to cherish and foster those bonds.

Shane Wilson HeadshotShane Wilson
CS&A Operations Associate

Which boarding school did you attend?
I lived at (for 19 years!) and graduated from the Canterbury School in New Milford, CT. During that time I went to the Rumsey Hall School, also in CT, for six years and Canterbury for four years.

What drew you to the boarding school environment?
My parents worked at the school so we would be able to have mirrored schedules to have more family time as my siblings and I grew up. However, even if it weren’t for my parents working there, I would have wanted to attend a school like Canterbury. I like the boarding school environment because I enjoyed the smaller classroom setting in addition to more one-on-one interaction with the teachers to really understand the material and further develop my passions in classes and activities related to the subject.

What was the dorm experience like?
I lived with my family in our on campus administrator housing. I didn’t spend a lot of time in the dorms but did attend the sit-down dinner every Thursday that all boarding students were required to attend. It was great to be able to gather with my friends and see my teachers in a different setting. I also went to study in the library during nighttime study hall.

Who was your favorite teacher?
The teacher that can enjoy the busy work-life balance and who truly enjoys teaching and assisting in the growth and development of the student as a whole person will thrive in a boarding school. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Roffe who I had for freshman biology and in two senior science elective courses. She genuinely cared about her students and was a subject-matter expert in every course she taught. The interesting material and inclusive teaching style paired with her lifelong passion for teaching made a huge impact on my life. It demonstrated that she truly wants to be teaching and mentoring students in the classroom or on the athletic fields. It is a teacher like Mrs. Roffe that thrives in the boarding school environment and makes the greatest impact on a student’s life.

What is your fondest memory of your time in boarding school?
At the beginning of senior year during the senior banquet and immediately after graduation, all of the faculty line up and all of the seniors go through the line shaking hands and thanking each faculty member. Having grown up on campus, a significant amount of the faculty members had known me since I was four years old. It was a powerful moment of the progress we all make through our formative years and those who help develop you along the way to a strong and resilient person ready for the next step in what life holds.


Convinced boarding schools are right for you, or curious to explore working in one? If you’re a current CS&A candidate, talk to your Placement Team about attending CS&A@TABS on December 1 in Boston, where we’ll be welcoming top boarding schools from across the nation who are looking to meet and interview CS&A candidates interested in working in a boarding environment.

Not a current candidate with CS&A? Apply today!

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