Devon Wood '12

How did Berwick Academy help you with the college process and with finding a college that was the right fit for you?
The fact that Berwick had three college counselors for only sixty-five seniors speaks well of the school’s commitment to the college process. Ms. McKinnon was my counselor and during junior and senior years, she was one hundred percent committed to my college success. Junior year she guided me through standardized testing by recommending a strong SAT tutor, pointing me towards appropriate subject tests, and helping me understand what I had to do to become a stronger applicant. She also aided me in forming an initial college list, which was slowly narrowed down by senior year. In the fall of 2011, I was in Ms. McKinnon’s office nearly every day and was always welcomed. She read countless applications and essay drafts and helped me find valuable scholarship opportunities. By the time college decisions came, I was fully confident in my chosen Georgetown University, and I couldn’t have been happier when I was accepted through early action.

What was the best class you took at Berwick Academy? Why?
The best class I ever took at Berwick was a senior English elective: Resistance and Rebellion, taught by Mr. Sherbahn. The class dealt with dystopian literature like George Orwell’s 1984, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, and more, and provided a fresh take on high school English. What made the class so interesting was that it allowed me to explore a literary genre that I would have never explored on my own. The class also moved beyond standard novels to study popular dystopian films, the relationship between privacy and power, and technological advances in privacy violation. The combination of these related topics made for many stimulating discussions, as well as a class that I looked forward to attending every day.

How did Berwick Academy prepare you for college?
Although I have only been a college student for two months, I have immediately noticed how well prepared I am for college life. As far as I have experienced, the workload of junior and senior years set me up perfectly for a transition to college, especially when I plan my time to balance the larger assignments of college. My first semester has included three writing-intensive classes, and I have also quickly found that I am more prepared than most for formal writing. I give much of this credit to four years of the strong Berwick English department, where I learned to write successfully both creatively and analytically.

What is the best thing about Berwick Academy?
My favorite part about Berwick Academy is the lasting sense of community that defines the Hilltop. Throughout high school I knew nothing but support from peers, teachers, coaches, and advisors, and this family helped to make Berwick my home away from home in my thirteen year of attendance. As I grew into a young adult, Berwick was always changing with me, but it also provided a stable foundation to grow upon. Berwick was where I felt most secure, yet most challenged to improve, where I found my best friends and my most valued mentors, and where I learned to grow in every way a shy teenager can. And even now, after graduation, I still yearn for the comfort of my family on the Hilltop. I keep in touch with teachers, advisors, and friends, and eagerly await Berwick news from my younger siblings, but this never seems to be enough. Luckily, I am now exploring the world beyond the Hilltop in Washington D.C., but I will never be able to stay completely away from where I learned and grew so much.
Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.