Cayleigh has always been a good student. Near the middle of grade three however she started to express some frustration with her class atmosphere. She was no longer being challenged and it was starting to show in her overall attitude towards school. The following year we moved to the University School of the Lowcountry.
There were several remarkable things Alice and I noticed within months of Cayleigh attending USL. First, her attitude outside the classroom changed – although always comfortable around our adult friends and her coaches Cayleigh suddenly developed a very calm and mature way of conversing with older adults. She also began to offer more of herself in social situations. For example she became more courteous, completed more tasks on her own, and established a strong school morning preparation and after school routine. Alice and I saw this attitude reflected in her peers at USL as well – from the student only greeting in at the morning drop off to the collegial behavior at mentor and talent show nights. Secondly, Cayleigh became excited about her school subjects again to the point where she would talk about them, sometimes incessantly, and often to others, outside the classroom. Finally, Cayleigh developed a very strong bond with her teachers – we attributed this to the class size but moreover the attitude and behavior of the USL teachers within and outside the classroom. The constant acceptance of questioning and the advanced subject matter brought forth by the teachers was also quite refreshing. As the academic year comes to and end we are continually surprised at the quality and depth of the educational experience Cayleigh has had this past year. As both educators and professionals we feel fortunate to have shared Cayleigh’s 4th school year with the USL community.
Sadly, Cayleigh will be moving on from USL next year as we are moving out of state to pursue professional obligations. Having said this, if there is a single element we could take with us on our journey, it would easily be the students and staff of USL.