A Parent’s Perspective

“I must say that it’s hard to believe that in a few months Connor will be leaving for UCLA to study engineering.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that he was just finishing sixth grade and we were looking at junior high schools.  My wife, Julie, and I sat down and talked with Connor and his twin brother about the public and private school options, and Connor said he was interested in going to a more intimate school.  Julie and I looked at the different schools, talked to other families, and finally concluded that Anacapa was really the best choice.

What impressed us is how strong Anacapa is across the board.  Anacapa didn’t just have rigorous classroom academics, which was important to us, but it also had an unbelievable breadth of out-of-class and extracurricular educational activities and experiences, outstanding teachers, as well as an in-depth exposure to the arts and a wide range of sports activities.  We were lucky that after our extensive vetting, Anacapa was Connor’s first choice as well.

Once school started, Anacapa did not disappoint, and Connor has thrived here both educationally and socially.  The intimate class size has allowed Connor, who was initially more introverted by nature, to become more comfortable in his social interactions and, I’m happy to say, he has grown to be a confident and outgoing young man.  I know that prospective families at times have concerns about the small size of the school.  We have found this to be a plus, not a problem.  Connor wrote in one of his college applications, “I go to a very small school.  Some people might find this limiting, but I find it rich and stimulating.”  I can assure you that Connor has as many, if not more, close friends than his brothers who go to a much larger school.  And one thing that I never have to worry about is Connor hanging out with his school friends.  Gordon does an unbelievable job of picking the nicest and highest-quality students.

As Connor grew with the school, he became more and more interested in math and science, and Anacapa has been fantastic in accommodating this.  At one point, they adjusted his schedule so he could take two math classes at the same time, and they also worked it out so he could take calculus as a junior.  This year, as a senior, Connor really wanted to take physics, and after some persistent pestering on Connor’s part, Gordon and Suzie even adjusted the school schedule to fit in a physics class.  Connor is now also part of the school’s near-space club, where they are planning on sending a probe to over 100,000-foot elevation on a weather balloon.

I know that Anacapa can compete with any school with respect to academics and science.  But what’s more amazing is that Anacapa has been able to get Connor interested in the arts as well.  Connor never had an affinity for the arts and avoided art classes like the plague.  When finally forced to take an art class because it’s both a UC requirement and an Anacapa graduation requirement, he opted for ceramics and loved it.  Before we knew it, we had beautiful ceramics pieces all over the house.  This year, Connor is taking studio art and loving it as well.

Looking back, I can say that Anacapa has been the perfect school for Connor academically, artistically, emotionally, and socially, and Anacapa has done an outstanding job of preparing Connor for college and, more importantly, for life.  My wife and I would strongly encourage you to consider the Anacapa School for your children.”

– Chris Proctor, Local Orthopedic Surgeon and Parent of Connor, Class of 2011