My final preparatory school visit during my New England trip this fall took me back to another school I’ve acquired a great affection for over the past few years: Kent School in Kent, Connecticut.
(Side note/fun fact: The town of Kent is only 15 minutes from the New York State border. I can personally attest to this because my traveling companion and I went on a desperate search for enough cold medicine to get us through the rest of our trip just prior to our appointment at Kent and my Garmin located the nearest major chain pharmacy just over the state line in New York.)
Kent School is quite a large school by boarding standards – nearly 600 students – and is likewise very heavy with boarders in contrast to its day population. (Approximately 85% of the student population is part of the school’s residential community.) In fact, they’re working on a new residence hall to offer students some improved living arrangements, which is always exciting to hear. There’s some buzz on campus about it and I expect that the reviews from the first residents will be quite positive.
(Also worthy of note: After all of my stops at all-girl schools on the way there, it was quite a change to be with a coeducational group again – a nice change, mind you, but a change nevertheless. And I’ll always be appreciative of the nice Kent boys in their blue blazers who hold doors open for me – that never gets old.)
Kent has a very collegiate academic program, including options to study ancient Greek and Mandarin Chinese and even opportunities for students to create their own independent coursework in particular interest areas. There’s a freedom to explore developing interests that is granted to Kent students and gives me a real sense that students have pride of ownership within their educational system. (Singer KT Tunstall is a Kent alum – now I know where her artistic side was nurtured!)
Kent’s riding program is also second to none, mostly thanks to their program director of 20 years, Mr. Michael Page. (Yes, that Michael Page!) Not many Olympic equestrians (and those with with a host of international medals!) can be found directing high school riding programs these days – in fact, I can’t think of any other Olympic equestrians who have done what Michael Page has done by taking the reins (forgive the pun) at Kent. And the level of professionalism, of cleanliness at the equestrian center, and of instruction that is available to Kent riders as a result is unprecedented. Truly, I really can’t say enough good things about Mr. Page’s program, his staff, and the overall riding program at Kent. In particular, students with an interest in doing the big equitation classes and Grand Prix show jumping will find an environment that will support both their academics and their riding goals at the highest levels.
Could you be that student who fits at Kent? Contact me and we can find out!