When William Eustis arrived for his first day at USL as a 4th grader, he found the environment a little intimidating. Having just moved to Mount Pleasant from Kentucky, he didn’t know a single person at USL, but participating in an annual “first day of school” tradition made the day go much more smoothly.
“I got paired up with Maya, and as we walked the Vincent Drive loop together, she helped me feel a little bit more at ease about going to a new school,” says William.
Now a 10th grader at Wando High School, William feels grateful for his five years as a USL student. He especially appreciates USL being a small, intimate school where he was able to get to know his teachers and learn how to interact with adults.
Another annual USL tradition, baking and delivering cookies to nearby businesses, schools, and churches, stands out as his favorite memory, mainly because of the happiness that it brought to others.
While William’s favorite teacher was Mr. Zenauskas for math, he says it was actually Mrs. Logan’s Humanities class that prepared him for high school like no other classes did. Her approach focused on students reading books and then analyzing them through a group discussion, all the while connecting the conversation with important dates, names, and events.
William knows that USL has given him an academic advantage, but it’s the life skills that he values even more.
“USL taught me how to take notes, and how to graph a line, but the most important thing I learned would be how to be a good person. USL has skill wheels, a list of skills that everyone needs to know, and you get rated on a scale of 1-4 (4 being good and 1 being bad). Skills like that are why I know how to organize an event, stop an argument, take initiative, deal with ambiguous instructions, and so many other things. Those skills on the skill wheel are the most important thing I learned. This is because even though I learned all the basic school “stuff”, the things USL taught me will apply for the rest of my life. For example, in math class people will often ask, ‘When will I use this in the real world?’ and once you get to classes like Statistics and Calculus, the answer becomes, ‘Rarely, if ever.’ But, with the skills that USL taught me, they apply when I am 17 years old or 70 years old, and I will always be thankful that USL taught me them.”