Saint Andrew's and Beyond
This post was written by Dev Shanker, Saint Andrew's Class of 2017.
I will never forget my time at Saint Andrew’s from fifth grade to the day I walked out of the chapel for the last time with my middle school certificate. As I look back on my four years at Saint Andrew’s as a senior in high school, I realize that I am forever in debt for the high-level preparation the school has provided me academically and personally.
My first day at Saint Andrew’s was not the typical experience that any student would come across. My arrival came midway through the school year after Christmas break, and the curriculum and student life were not what I envisioned initially. I recall meeting Mrs. Leach for the first time as a small and perplexed ten-year-old boy, wondering what was awaiting me in the next months in a new environment. While there were so many other teachers that played a role in my transition to this new school, Mrs. Leach was ultimately the one who guided me in the right direction and would set me up for success in the following years. Not only was she a great teacher who improved my writing skills at the time, but she was also a great mentor for me and someone I still admire to this day. Another teacher I have to give credit to in my transition to Saint Andrew’s is Mrs. Quint, who was my science teacher at the time. While Mrs. Leach showed me the disciplinary side and expectations that Saint Andrew’s represented, Mrs. Quint showed me the fun side of Saint Andrew’s through the numerous interactive projects we had and the activities we conducted throughout the year. I remember at the end of fifth grade when my peers and I built a roller coaster using insulation tubing, which helped us understand more about the world of physical science. It is bizarre to think that I completed the same project yet with more extensive and confusing concepts in my Honors Physics class junior year. Both Mrs. Leach and Mrs. Quint are teachers I am fortunate to have had, and I thank them for how they have paved the way for me in the next chapters of school.
Some of the memories I made in fifth grade were some that I will never forget, but sixth grade onward was where I started to enjoy Saint Andrew’s for what it was, and I can gladly say that I felt the most belonging at the school. From learning colonial history and creating chainmail with Mr. Lowman to going on two field trips to New York, it was safe to say that I could call Saint Andrew’s my second home for what it had to offer. With all the fun I had in those last three years, I also formed another great relationship with Ms. Miñarro, my Spanish teacher in my four years at Saint Andrew’s. When I came to Saint Andrew’s for the first time, I did not know the Spanish language whatsoever since I took French in my elementary school for five years. The amount of time and effort that Ms. Miñarro ensured that I would learn the language the right way, and her mentorship and guidance helped me to become a better person in and out of school. Because of Ms. Miñarro and what she taught me, Spalding placed me into Honors Spanish II freshman year. As a senior, I am now taking Spanish as a part of the International Baccalaureate diploma program. Without Mrs. Miñarro and her guidance, I would not be in the position this year to finally master the language after eight years of learning it.
Without my experience at Saint Andrew’s, I would not be in the same position I am today to push myself and be the best version of myself. As a senior in high school, I am an International Baccalaureate Diploma and Project Lead the Way Engineering student, a three-season runner for Spalding, a newspaper editor, a Mathlete, and, most importantly, a leader who wants to set the right example for others. I want to thank all the faculty, staff, and students at Saint Andrew’s for making the environment as it is and carrying it on as we move forward into the future. As we move forward into the new year, I am confident that we as a community will continue to grow and help other students like me be the best version of themselves.
Dev Shanker (bottom row, second from left) and the Saint Andrew's Class of 2017.