Where were you before you came here in eighth grade?

AlainaI was at a local public school. My brother was here and liked it here, and I liked the idea of a smaller school setting: more one-on-one time with the teachers, and you could get help when you wanted it. I liked how you could know everyone in the school. It’s a tight community.

What do you think are the benefits of a tighter community?

Everybody knows each other. Everyone is nice, and there’s really no bullying. It’s easier to go through the school day with everybody here. I really like it.

So what was it like coming here at the end of Middle School?

I was scared coming here in eighth grade because I didn’t know anybody. But everybody was very welcoming, and on the first day of school two girls said they would show me where my classes were and help me out. Right now, they’re still my two best friends.

What are some of your favorite courses here?

I’m in Algebra II, which I really enjoy because algebra is my favorite subject. I’m also taking Bionutrition, which I really enjoy too. It covers everyday things that you need to know about nutrition, and it’s really interesting. Dr. Kreider is our teacher and she’s great. We just learned about the digestive system and how foods are broken down. We also covered the right way to read food labels and how to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Do you think MFS has been helpful to you academically?

I’ve definitely grown a lot academically since coming here. They put me in the math that I should have been in, starting in eighth grade, and that really helped me. I had an eighth grade math teacher here who was great at explaining, and that started everything for me. I got extra help from teachers. They put me on the right track here, and they helped me understand it, and now it’s my favorite subject.

What are some of your favorite extracurricular activities?

I play field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. The coaches help you out, and the team gets really close. We’re like sisters on my field hockey team.

What has your experience been like with your coaches?

AlainaThey’re more than coaches — they’re like teachers. They’re always there for you and they know how to work with you when you’re not having a good day. I have Mr. Brunswick, the Dean of Students, for basketball. Mr. Brunswick also coaches me in field hockey, so I get to spend a lot of time with him during sports. He’s very encouraging and works with you on what you need help with. He focuses on each person.

Do you know what you want to pursue later in life?

I want to be an early childhood education teacher.

Do you feel that MFS is beneficial to you as you pursue a career in education?

Yes. I work with Mrs. Dayton, the half-day preschool teacher. I go there every F Day during my study hall, with another student. We play with the kids and help them out, and it’s really, really fun. They do arts and crafts, and we make sure they don’t get paint all over them. Since they’re preschoolers, we help them play and teach them to clean up. We teach them the difference between right and wrong, we help them sit for circle time — show them how to follow the rules and learn.

Did you always know that you want to work with young people?

AlainaMy family fosters newborn babies. It’s hard, but really fun. My mom and I also work in the nursery at church, so I’ve kind of always been around kids and I enjoy them. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. People here are supportive of that. I think it’s great that we can be a Teacher’s Aide at MFS because it gives me hands-on experience before I actually go to college, and I can learn what teachers do and get the experience.

So do you think you benefit from attending a place that begins in preschool?

Yes, I think that the whole school works together. For Thanksgiving Happening, the Upper School is able to go down to the Lower School and help them out each year. Most high schools don’t get to work with younger students, but we see Middle Schoolers walking around and everyone is in one community.

What would you tell someone who is deciding whether or not to attend MFS?

At a small school, you get to know everybody and it really helps with your academics because you get one-on-one time with your teachers, and you know that you’re on the right track in high school because they set you up and prepare you for college.

Is there anything you do here that you might not have had the opportunity to do at a different school?

I definitely don’t think I would have been able to play all three sports if I’d gone to a public school. The high school I would have gone to is huge, and they only take a certain amount of kids on each team. You have more options here and more support.

What is your favorite thing about MFS?

AlainaI really like how since it’s a small community, you’re not just friends with the people in your class. I think it’s great how you can be friends with anybody in any grade. My freshman year, I made varsity for field hockey, which was huge. During semifinals, I scored the winning goal to go into finals, and everybody on the team supported me, including the seniors. Everybody on the team is a close-knit community and supports each other, and we go through everything together. I still talk to people who graduated years ago and they still wish me luck in games and still come to the games.

What do you think is the goal of an MFS education?

I think MFS wants us to be who we are. They have robotics, art, sports… they let you do what you want to do and they support you in that all the way through high school.

Also, since we’re a Quaker school, we have Meeting for Worship, which is totally different from other schools. I think that time of silence is key to our school because it lets you reflect, and anybody can stand up and talk and not be judged for it. I think that’s a really important part of our school.

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