Anne Taylor Chiolo ’93 firmly believes in letting children shape their own high school experience and deciding what is the best learning environment for them.
“When I was in ninth grade, I realized I was not at the right high school for me, and that I really wanted to attend boarding school,” said Anne. “My mother supported my decision while my father needed more convincing as he felt children should remain at home. Fortunately, he changed his mind when we visited George School.”
“I loved the three years I spent at George School. It was such a diverse and loving community that accepted everyone,” continued Anne. “At that time, there was an openly gay group on campus, and this was unheard of where I lived in Baltimore. My Baltimore neighborhood was a tight community, but it did not look outside of itself and you never would have talked about homosexuality, let alone known someone who was gay. George School allowed me to learn about different perspectives, learn from people of different backgrounds, places, and head spaces. This broader perspective taught me that there is always something to learn, and you should do it in a loving and caring way.”
“Nancy Kryven was my advisor and I babysat for her while she was training to become a pilot. I remember thinking ‘how cool is that.’ Other community members who were important to me were Dave Satterthwaite ’65, and Annette and Irv Miller. I also remember Bev Trautwein in the Deans’ office. Her partner was a roadie for Led Zeppelin, and she would bring in some of his memorabilia which was unbelievable. We did not just learn from our teachers; the whole campus impacted you. As a student, I was drawn to ceramics and I loved that. In my senior year, I could go into the studio over the weekend and make art. Having that outlet was invaluable and reinforced that George School was where I needed to be.”
When Anne had children of her own, she always spoke about her time at George School with them and how it was a transformative experience. She is delighted that her youngest son Martin ’25 is an incoming freshman. “I am beyond thrilled that Martin will be attending George School as a boarding student in the fall and proud he is taking a step into the unknown and going outside his comfort zone. I am a believer that if it feels scary, you should do it because that is how you grow. I am excited for him to find his place and passions and to flourish within the immersive experience of living in a diverse community. Martin loves theater and the theater arts, Math, and English which is why I know George School is the right high school for him.”
Anne continued, “If you have the opportunity to provide the George School boarding experience for your child, you should consider it. Particularly if you are an alum, as you know how invaluable the social experience of living at George School is. When I saw what type of child Martin was, I opened the door to this discussion with him in sixth grade. We discussed what it looks like to go to boarding school, and I started talking about my experience, what it meant to me, and how it made me the person I am today. This allowed him the time to generate his own opinions and by the time he was in eighth grade, he was ready to really start thinking about what he would like his high school experience to look like. Had we waited to start the conversation, he may not have been curious or interested.”
Martin is looking forward to entering George School and attributes his interest to his mom and her enthusiasm for the school. “I decided to attend George School because I like the independence and freedom that comes with boarding school,” said Martin. “I am really looking forward to joining the community.”