Choosing the "Right" School
Stephanie B. Whitney, Head of School

So, you’ve done all of your research, you’ve scoured the websites, taken the tests, written your essays, attended Open Houses, interviewed and visited, but you’re still not sure which school is the “right” school for you.

Any admission professional will tell you that it’s all about the “fit”. What exactly does this mean? You need to feel the match, and so does the school. Your academic performance, your developing as well as your already established interests play into the mix. You know what is important to you; level of academic rigor, athletics, music, art, theatre, close knit community, relationship to teachers – the list goes on. More likely than not, several schools could be right for you. What to do?

Not to oversimplify, finding the right school is very much akin to selecting the right shoe. Think about it for a moment. When you go shoe shopping, whether on-line or in-store, you are often influenced by what others are wearing – your best friend, sibling, celebrity or otherwise. Something draws you into the purchase – the look, the feel, the shape, the experience, the prestige; you get the picture. No matter what you hope for, if the shoe doesn’t fit, or doesn’t feel good when you finally try it on, you usually try on other ones until you find the best one for you.

Choosing your school is one of the times in your life where you can be “selfish”. After all, this will be your experience, and you and your family need to make it work. Your friends will be making their school choices, too. They are not you. What works for them, may or may not work for you. Hold yourself accountable for “feeling the fit.”

My best advice is to put your self at the center. Try on each school carefully. Just like in choosing a shoe, choose the one that is most comfortable, gives you room for growth and will provide support throughout your journey. You can’t go wrong.

Stephanie B. Whitney, Head of School


Prior to her appointment as Mead's Head of School, Stephanie Whitney served as Assistant Head of School for Admission and Enrollment Management at Greens Farms Academy.  Her Corporate experience includes Business Management, Strategic Consulting and Business / Product Development.  Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.  Stephanie champions a culture in which student voice, diversity, academic excellence, and sense of community are core values.