One word, possibility. It’s what I consider to be an optimistic promise of the future; a goal that is part imagination and part reality. In my role in admissions, it is what I see every time a young student walks into our living room. And not just the prospective students. We see and work with possibility with our current students all the time. It’s one of the main reasons I love Dublin so much. Our work in Admission starts when that young 8th grader sits on one of our comfy chairs and interviews, but it doesn’t end when they get an acceptance, and it doesn’t end when they show up on Opening Day. We get to see them every day at Morning Meeting. We exchange gleeful smiles and beam when we see them make their first announcement in front of the school, or score their first goal, or recite a poem in front of their peers, or dazzle the audience of unsuspecting parents at Winterfest, or get nominated for a Moxie award just for being kind and going the extra mile.
It is such a privilege to imagine that lanky, shy, nervous 13 or 14 year old, four years later at graduation, walking across the stage as a more confident version of themselves. They may still be lanky and they may still be shy, but they will most certainly have grown and become more comfortable with who they are. They will have made friends with people like them and with people who are very different from them. They will have hiked Monadnock, learned Spanish, read classic novels and some lesser known. They will have written essays and annotated MLA style; done numerous lab reports; and proven theorems. They will have chopped wood, shoveled snow, and most likely, will have played a brand new sport. They will have opportunity to improve, to try, to challenge, to reinvent, and to surprise themselves.
At Dublin, we are very much in the people business. And people (especially those lovable young teenagers) can be beautifully complex. It is such a privilege to see someone as more than a number on a test or a grade on a transcript. I love the fact that we look deeply into the application files to find nuggets of promise and possibility. I am proud of the fact that we see kids for character and for resiliency as much as we do for notable SSAT’s and high GPA’s. I get to be optimistic about young people, even the ones who don’t seem to have it all figured out. I help them imagine themselves at Dublin School, and see the possibility in their eyes.