16 Dec Strong, Healthy, and Unified
“For many years my daughter suffered academically and emotionally trying to fit her energy into the school setting. We tried Montessori and conventional schools, but neither supported her learning strengths and thus we were seeing a beautiful, positive person lose her self-esteem, confidence, and education. And then we found Steamboat Mountain School. Here our daughter found her light and was able to reclaim it.” -Lance Whitner, Parent 2019
When we talk with prospective families about the value of small class sizes, a tight-knit community, and teachers who pay attention to each student’s unique needs, they’ve often heard it before at other independent schools. What hits home is when we show them our culture of caring. During Campfire Talks our students are asked to share their personal journey with the entire student body and faculty. It is not a time for accusation or judgment but rather a time to demonstrate pride and vulnerability. Our Global Studies program facilitates relationship-building between classmates and strangers. We set the language and cultural differences aside and focus on communicating, learning, and expanding. Our winter and fall wilderness camp trips test essential skills for backcountry travel and build confidence in teenagers to be self-sufficient. It isn’t just a “tight-knit community” or “small class sizes;” it is a culture of caring that tends to the whole being of each unique student.
Our core values are the foundation of our school but more importantly, they are integrated into every ounce of our academic and outdoor programming.
Our faculty & staff meet weekly to discuss the most minute fluxes within the student body. They are invested in the success and health of our students. Our curriculum, programs, and policies are grown out of a culture of caring. Whereas fear and intimidation create a toxic learning environment, communities in which students feel safe and supported allow students to shine, grow, and gain confidence.
A first-year, sophomore, day student reflected on summiting Mount of the Holy Cross, “I felt like I belonged. Suddenly, there was no “right way” to dress or speak. I felt like at that moment the only thing that mattered was living and being thankful for the air in my lungs.” This experience is both startling, because it is sad to imagine that her previous school communities made her feel constricted, and wonderful, because our programs and faculty were able to support this opportunity for change.
Steamboat Mountain School students, parents, alumni, staff, and faculty pride themselves on using compassion, respect, and tolerance to create space where students can be strong, healthy, and unified.