The Stoneleigh-Burnham School is one that I’ve long been familiar with not only from a higher educational standpoint, but personally as well, as my longtime mentor has a close relationship with (and deep affection) for the place after being director of riding there for several years. So every time I head up that long Stoneleigh driveway that passes the riding center and winds past an expanse of manicured fields, I feel a little bit like I’m coming home.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the main school and residence hall building (that’s right, I said building, as they’re all housed together in one structure) makes a horseshoe, so I feel like I couldn’t get lost – even if I tried. It also doesn’t hurt that having everything so close together gives the feeling of being inside of one very large family unit, between the tiny student body of about 140 young women and the wonderful faculty and staff (many of whom have been there for decades) who populate the halls. It’s a sense of community that I’ve never experienced at any other school.
I’ve had a host of great encounters with Stoneleigh students over the years, both at the collegiate level and while they were in high school and there’s a certain amount of worldly confidence and poise about these young women that has always stood out for me. The size and intimacy of the school’s programs seem to produce students who have had the doors to the world outside opened to them in such a way that they don’t for one moment consider the possibility of failure; instead, they plan for success.
(And speaking of worldly, Stoneleigh is switching over to the much-lauded IB diploma program next year – very exciting stuff! I plan to keep tabs on their progress, as I suspect their academic program is only going to get stronger as a result of the change.)
What’s more, for equestrian students, Stoneleigh-Burnham’s riding program is top-notch and they boast a phenomenal cross-country course right on site. (As a result, they host a wide variety of horse trials in addition to the typical New England hunter/jumper shows and prerequisite IEA team meets.) It’s always important to me in examining high school programs that the possibility of IEA competition is available to students, as well as outside competitions if they are so adventuresome. And upon my recent visit, I learned that the riding program has just received a donation of a brand new truck and trailer to get them to shows, so the Stoneleigh girls and their horses will be traveling in style.
Could Stoneleigh-Burnham be the school you need to help you reach your academic potential? Contact me and we can find out!