Celebrating a Successful Secondary School Fair

“It was heartwarming to see all the middle school students taking their first steps towards the next phase of education. Our daughter had a great time chatting with many individuals and learned valuable communication skills as a result.”

“The energy in the room was tremendous. It was wonderful to see many heads of admissions and the strong student attendance. I was very proud to be a parent of a Brookwood student and see our school so well represented."

“Thank you for the amazing secondary school fair last night. The warm welcome and great organization were the perfect entrée to the buzz and excitement around the tables. The depth and breadth of school choices was remarkable. For us, the fair was incredibly helpful and really fun. Our children thought it was great practice for upcoming school visits. Overall, as we told Laura Caron, we felt proud to be a Brookwood family!"

Those are just a few of the outstanding remarks we heard in response to the North Shore Secondary School Fair hosted at Brookwood School on Tuesday, September 26. The Secondary School Fair is an annual event that rotates between Glen Urquhart School, Shore Country Day School, Tower School, and Brookwood School to offer a convenient venue for families interested in pursuing an independent secondary school education for their children. In total, the fair hosted 94 schools from locations near (Beverly, MA) and far (Carpentaria, CA). The fair was attended by nearly 400 students and family members eager to learn about secondary school opportunities. The energy of this event was palpable as it yielded nearly two and a half hours of engaging conversations and many contagious smiles.

A few years ago, when my family embarked on the secondary school search process for a third time, my youngest son decided that he would navigate on his own accord. He returned home from the fair with numerous view books and after careful consideration came to the conclusion that he would explore new educational options as well as the ones his brothers decided upon in years prior. Interestingly enough, at the top of his list was Wilbraham & Monson Academy, a school we had never heard of and a school that no other Brookwood student had ever gone on to attend.

I asked Troy what sparked his interest in that specific school and his response was simple, but understandable. He explained that an incredibly enthusiastic admissions director approached him about their Entrepreneurship and Global Studies program. When they spoke with Troy, they raved about their “trading center,” a space that offers students the opportunity to engage in active research and gain authentic experience in a global financial environment. Troy is interested in pursuing a finance education, an interest that was sparked during a Brookwood “investment” Steep Week course. Wilbraham & Monson Academy offered him the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that he believed he would thrive in, which as a parent is simply all we can ask for. Much like the foundation of Brookwood, the school seemed to offer tailored courses to prepare secondary school students for future education and even future career paths.

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At Brookwood, beginning in the spring of seventh grade, we start the conversation about secondary school. We work in partnership with students, advisers, faculty and families to find the best landing spot for each child. Students learn, grow, and excel most when the match is right. The North Shore Secondary School Fair provides an opportunity for children and parents to observe what independent schools have to offer. Specifically, this year, the faculty that attended the fair were deeply impressed by the overwhelming level of both student and parent interest. The success of this event was overwhelming, proving to us at Brookwood, and to all other primary education schools, that the collective time and devotion we put into both the fair as well as our secondary school process is all worth it when students are matched with the school that best fits their needs and interests.

Although Troy ulitmately chose to attend another school, because Wilbraham & Monson Academy had been a part of the fair, he was able to further explore his interest in finance and how that could translate into his secondary education experience. At Brookwood, we were able to talk about the unique program at Wilbraham & Monson Academy which led to a subsequent student application in 2016! 

Cathy Marrero is the Associate Director of Secondary School Process and Executive Assistant to the Head of School, and also a parent of three Brookwood graduates ('05, '07, '15)

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