Testimonial: Diane Echlin

Dear Jason,

I wanted to communicate with you more thoroughly my deepest gratitude for all the progress Anita has made while attending USL.

You may remember when we first started our conversations with you about Anita attending USL that I was skeptical about a number of issues, including the fact that the school is new and untested, as well as the quality of Anita’s preparation for being in such a demanding academic environment.

It has become clear over the last few months that any fears I had can be dispatched and replaced with an unwavering faith that Anita can and will succeed, due almost wholly to this amazing school!  Where Anita used to be somewhat shy and reticent to speak up in class for fear of giving a wrong answer, she is now confident that she can state her thoughts and even if she is not wholly on target, not only will the teachers help her gain a greater understanding, but her peers will, too.  This daily experience has led to a level of confidence in my daughter that is having a positive impact on many of her other activities and social interactions.

One day Anita came home and told me that she had been selected to be the captain of a team.  She was so excited because she had never had the opportunity to be a leader before, and she was thrilled to have had the experience!  We talked at length about leadership being one of the pivotal aspects of the University School’s mission and she is looking forward to more opportunities to develop the skills that are required for good leadership.

One of the best features of the University School, in my opinion, is how relevant every hour of the day is: while many schools claim to be interdisciplinary, USL is really walking that walk.  The Learning Outside the Classroom activities are always a highlight of the week, and Anita often describes how these excursions tie together the many threads of their academic courses.  She is becoming very aware of current events both locally and world-wide, which has allowed the two of us to have some really wonderful conversations about topics that we never would have discussed prior to coming to USL.

In closing, I also want to rave about the quality of the USL faculty: They are clearly an exceptionally talented group of teachers who are here for the love of their work.  Mrs. Logan has somehow sparked the love of literature in Anita in just a few short weeks, although I have tried and failed to get her interested in reading for many years.  Kudos to her!  Additionally, Mrs. Ewing’s dynamic teaching style and engaging methods have piqued Anita’s curiosity about science and the natural world in a way that I hope endures for the rest of her life.  I never thought Anita could be excited about science (nor did she) but she eagerly performs her research and works hard to master some pretty advanced concepts!

Jason, it is my sincerest hope that when you expand USL that you will do so upward into the secondary school level: I cannot imagine a place more academically demanding and nurturing for my daughter than USL.

Diane Echlin

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