The Value of Wearing Many Hats

Entering her sixth year at George School, Director of Admission Kim Major has rooted herself in the George School community through almost every aspect of campus life. In addition to her role as the Director of Admission, she has been a dorm parent, an advisor, a Class Sponsor, a service trip leader, is a current parent of a rising junior, and a parent of an eighth grader who is applying to attend George School. Wearing so many hats creates an intersection of ideas that has positive effects on Kim’s various roles in the community.

Kim, who attended boarding school herself, reflects, “I lived the transformative experience that comes with attending a boarding school and always knew this is where my career in education would lead me. Previously, I worked in student affairs, for a non-profit, in advancement, and in admission at a liberal arts college. I spent nearly three years searching for the perfect fit of culture, people, and mission when I decided it was time to get back to my roots at a boarding school. As soon as I stepped foot on George School’s campus, it just felt right. The whole community was warm and welcoming, but it was the sense of diversity and inclusion that impressed me the most. George School lives its mission, and you can tell right away that our diversity is more authentic than a photo on a brochure.”

There was a lot about George School that drew Kim’s attention, but when considering the one aspect of the community that sold the school, Kim said, “What really sold me on George School happened at lunch during my interview day. I observed the students in the Dining Room and noticed something I have not seen at another school. There was no football table or theater table because students connect with each other by being themselves and sharing multiple aspects of who they are—not just one identity. George School students know who they are and trust who they will become. Since they spend less mental energy trying to fit in, their brain power is freed to focus on their interests and passions. That was palpable during my first visit to campus and continues today.”

Kim sees George School as being defined by academic rigor without rigidity. “Intense academic experiences, with deep involvement in the arts and athletics, all built on the foundation of Quaker beliefs, builds an experience that allows students to follow their passions and talents into advanced areas of the curriculum,” continued Kim. “Our schedule is designed to give students the opportunity to customize their education and challenge themselves through several types of curricula—from the International Baccalaureate (IB) to Advanced Placement (AP), and standard and intensive George School courses, students have a variety of ways to stretch themselves in the classroom. Few schools can offer such a customizable opportunity. The same can be said for experiences in the arts, athletics, and leadership—we have a place for students who bring expertise AND for those who may never have engaged in these areas. We aim to meet students where they are.”

“Moreover,” said Kim, “While our students achieve positive outcomes in the college process, that is not the ultimate definition of success at George School. Each student who graduates from George School never forgets that the world is bigger than they are, and that they have a responsibility to make the world a better place. Success and impact are not mutually exclusive, and our students learn that throughout their time on campus. I appreciate that the development of the whole person—not just college placement—is what defines success.”

While wearing so many hats can be a benefit, it can also present challenges. “I was not a parent when I first started at George School, but my son was admitted in 2019 and is currently a rising junior,” explained Kim. “As a parent of a boarding student, I entrusted a piece of my heart with the faculty, dorm staff, and advisors at George School. Being a parent gives me a unique perspective that enhances my ability to authentically speak about George School with prospective families. I am a better and more empathetic interviewer because I am a George School parent. My son sought out a school that would challenge him academically and support him in stretching his experiences. George School has done that and allowed him to thrive in the campus environment. I am also grateful for the support of the larger community,” Kim notes. “Because of my role as an administrator, I am not able to be as involved in the Parents Association as I normally would. I have great respect for parents who give so much to support the community by taking an active role in the Parents Association. I know my son—like all George School students—is cared for by everyone here.”

Alumni, current parents, and parents of alumni can all be involved with George School admission efforts. “First and foremost, please spread the word of George School. Some of our strongest students come from word of mouth connections and we encourage the people who know us best, the alumni and parents who lived the George School experience, to submit referrals,” said Kim. “Your voice of encouragement goes a long way to spreading the word. We also invite alumni and parents to volunteer to help out with admission fairs and help us bring a glimpse of George School to your community. We partner with alumni across the country and globally to build an even more diverse community at George School. If you are interested in learning more about George School admission, we run online information sessions on a monthly basis. These are open to anyone but will resonate most with students who are one to two years away from enrolling at George School.”