Students Apply to Phillips Among Many Other Schools

“I grew up in Lawrence, so everything is much louder. I’ve been to Andover, and everything’s so quiet. I think it’s a good change,” she says. Madeline Reinoso, only six miles north of campus in Lawrence, Massachusetts, is dreaming of going to boarding school. “Change is good,” she says. Madeline is applying to Governor’s Academy, Cushing, Pingree, Nobles & Grennough, Concord Academy and Central Catholic, in addition to Phillips Academy. “I have a bunch of different applications in my closet,” she says. She chose Phillips Academy because “it’s so well known,” she says. “I’ve done a lot of research; I think it offers a lot of opportunities I’d be interested in.” “I’m looking for the best education possible. Because I’ve done so much research, I think it offers me that,” she says. Madeline keeps some perspective on the admission process. Asked whether she’ll get in, she says, “I don’t know…it depends on what they’re looking for.” When she grows up, Madeline says she wants her career to be “fashion designer or languages or doctor or scientist or archaeologist…or kindergarten teacher.” At Phillips Academy, “I would probably work on art or debate team,” she says. “Debating with people in a mature way will help me grow up if I want to be a lawyer.” Madeline says that her top choice depends on where she thinks she can get in. “It just depends on how my grades end up this semester.” But her family will play a role in the decision as well. “My mom wants me to go to Phillips,” she says. Madeline says that her mother told her, “‘I don’t want you boarding, but if you get into Phillips, I could drive you in the morning.’” Madeline’s school, South Lawrence East Middle School, is “different from most schools,” she says. “There’s a different variety of kids. In most schools in Lawrence, you see mostly Hispanics, but in my school, there’s a variety of nationalities.” Outside of school, “I play soccer, a little bit. I do art and I do choir, and I do field hockey,” she says. Madeline is a member of “Respect Court” at South Lawrence East, where leaders of the grade make some decisions for the whole school, like having a pajama day. In her spare time, “I draw clothes – maybe I want to be a fashion designer,” she says. Madeline started designing in fourth grade, “but those are ugly,” she says. “I get subscriptions to Seventeen magazine, and since I go to the mall a lot, I see what’s there, and I combine those ideas with my own.” ==From Georgia to Massachusetts?== “I just watched this documentary recently; it was on the Dalai Lama…He seemed like a really fascinating character, and the way he goes about and stuff kind of makes you think.” Maximillian Nguyen, who goes by Max, lives more than 1,000 miles south of campus in Augusta, Georgia, and is hoping to travel north to one of several top boarding schools next year. Max is applying to Andover, St. Paul’s, Deerfield, Exeter and Milton. “My parents started all this,” Max says. He decided to apply to Andover last summer after seeing it listed online as one of the top boarding schools. Max visited and interviewed at schools for a few days in October. At Phillips Academy, “I really like the look of the campus. The people seemed really friendly, and it seemed like a good environment,” he says. “The guy who interviewed me, he was pretty nice, but some of the questions, I had to think hard.” At some other schools, Max says, “the order wasn’t presented as well as Andover was,” and he wasn’t able to see as many students or classrooms. Max says he wants to go to Andover to get “the best education possible.” Right now, he’s a ninth-grader, or freshman, at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, a public school for about 700 students in grades six through 12 located in downtown Augusta. Davidson, he says, is “the best public school in Georgia. The focus is a lot on fine arts as well as academics…I do a lot of musical things. I play in a band and play piano privately,.” “[Davidson] does pretty well, but things right now, I guess, aren’t as challenging as I want them to be,” he says. Max’s favorite subject is Biology, in which the labs are “pretty interesting.” “It’s more hands-on; there’s a lot to explore, too,” he says. Any pressure now that much of Davidson knows he’s applying? “Not really,” he says. “I guess it’s okay if people know.” But friends “don’t really want me to leave.” Teachers, as well, “don’t want me to leave, but some I guess think it’s pretty interesting and pretty cool,” he says. Max says, “I guess I have this goal to go to one of those big college and universities…Doing well in high school will help you get into those good colleges and be more prepared for the future.”