By Mollie Butler
On Saturday, November 5th, and Sunday, November 6th, Beacon held interviews for prospective students. Being behind the desk during that interview process provided me with a deeper understanding of what attracts a variety of students to Beacon. In each of the 12-minute interview sessions, I was able to ask the students several important questions: Why would Beacon be a good school for you? What attracts you to Beacon? Compared to other schools, why is Beacon your top choice ? The answers I got back were very similar, and seemed to show that most kids were attracted to Beacon’s collaborative environment.
When asked whether they would work better in a group or as an individual, most interview subjects answered that they thrive in group work and learn from peers’ ideas. They elaborated on the notion that Beacon academics were based on collaborative work and were excited that even the PBAs could involve group work. One eighth grade interviewee who choose to remain anonymous, reported that “Beacon is just one of those schools that allows for group work and personally, I love being a leader in a group guiding and helping others. This helps me as a student.”
Another popular response to why prospective students were attracted to Beacon was because of its lively and welcoming environment. One student mentioned that “the colorful walls and art just makes me smile. This is just another reason why Beacon seems like a fun school.” Many eighth graders added how bright and cheerful the atmosphere of Beacon is and how that gave the school a positive vibe. They also talked about how comforting and friendly Beacon students are and how during tours and open houses, Beacon students are very helpful in answering questions.
The balance Beacon provides between academics and the arts was another theme in the Beacon interviews. Many prospective students showed a passion for the arts and thought that Beacon would be a place for them to expand their knowledge, as well as to have the opportunity to experience different types of art electives and clubs.
Interviewees were impressively well versed on Beacon’s curriculum. “ I believe with all theses great opportunities, I will be allowed to explore and be part of new experiences not only socially, but also academically. I think Beacon will allow me to be part of many different artistic clubs that are not offered at any other school,” said one interviewee. Most believed Beacon offered a well rounded-education and felt Beacon would build a strong foundation for them in all subjects, in comparison to other schools that have much more definitive focuses.
A few students spoke highly of Beacon’s diversity as a reason to choose it over other schools. When I asked the question of what extracurricular activities each of them wanted to participate in at Beacon, most expressed a desire to join clubs like Model UN or BMeds that would help them greatly in their academic lives. Many talked about how Beacon’s intellectual clubs and sports opportunities promote teamwork and collaboration, this being just another reason why Beacon is such a special school.
Two years ago I went through this same process on the other side of the desk as an eighth grade student interviewing to attend Beacon. I was asked many of the same questions, and was exposed to many of the ideas that comprise Beacon. Throughout the interviews, it has been clear how highly students think of our school and its unique, creative environment.