Why I Chose Chatham Hall

Chatham Hall is about the whole girl—intellectual, moral, athletic, and spiritual. No other school has the blend of academics, honor code, athletic competitiveness, and spiritual tradition in a small school, which ensures that every student’s voice is heard, and develops, every day.

Boarding at Chatham Hall from Chatham Hall on Vimeo.

From Robin Boch ’16

Why boarding school?

I chose to go to boarding school because I had gotten tired of the usual flow of everything at home. I wanted to get away from what was “usual” and make a choice that would open me up to new experiences, adventures, cultures, and people. I was ready for a change, which is what brought me to look at Chatham Hall.

Boarding school gives you a sense of independence that most people don’t get until they go off to college or become adults. Even something as simple as doing your own laundry gives you a sense of independence that excites you and makes you more prepared for whatever life will throw at you.

Why an all-girls school?

At an all-girls school, I don’t have to worry about so many things at once. Instead of flirting, touching up on lip gloss, and passing notes to guys during class, I can just concentrate. Girls at co-ed schools have so much more to deal with; I can just relax and actually understand what I am learning.

At an all-girls school, no one expects the boys to be better than you. None of the boys are surprised when you get a better grade than they do or are appalled when the teacher likes your paper more, because those boys don’t exist. The teachers all believe that girls are capable of learning and making a difference, or else they wouldn’t be here.

Why Chatham Hall?

It is rare in someone’s life when they feel like they have made a decision that has changed them, but making the decision to come to Chatham Hall has definitely changed me. I am so much more well-rounded, have met some of the greatest people I know, and have made some incredible memories already. 

I have had the opportunity to play two new sports, take dance classes, become class president, concentrate more with art, join some crazy clubs, enjoy classes I never would have been expected to take back at home, and my freshman year isn’t even over yet.

The people at Chatham Hall are some of the greatest I know. The honor code is incredibly unique, creating a trusting and carefree environment. Instead of constantly worrying about your laptop that you left sitting in the library or that the person next to you during a test is taking your answers, you can just trust that others will do the right thing. And here, there is no doubt that they will.

From Lily Fulop ’14, Recipient of the 2012-2013 Hallum Hurt Foreign Travel Award

Why boarding school?

Going to a boarding school is a great opportunity for students who want to take charge of their education. To be successful on your own, you have to take your school work seriously.

When you go away to school, you have to become independent and more responsible, which causes a lot of people to grow. While being away from home is fun and exciting, it can also be hard. It definitely takes a certain kind of self driven student to thrive at a boarding school. If you feel like you’re not being challenged at a regular school, going to boarding school can be a great way to reach your potential.

Why an all-girls school?

Being at an all-girls school is a very different experience from regular high schools. Without the distraction of boys, it’s a lot easier to focus on school and friends. There’s no boy-related drama, and you can focus on being yourself. But, more importantly, all of the girls here are close in a way that isn’t seen at normal (co-ed) schools. When you learn andlive with other girls, you’re able to form amazing friendships.

Why Chatham Hall?

Chatham Hall is a very unique school. It’s small, so you get lots of attention, and you can get really close to your teachers. Everyone participates in so many activities, which means that every person really contributes to the community and makes a difference. The active community is what i’ve appreciated the most here.

There’s no way to feel lost in the crowd—everyone knows you, and you know everybody. It starts feeling like home really quickly.

From Brad & Melanie Hogg, Parents of Susanna Hogg ’15

Why boarding school?

As parents, boarding school was not something that we had even discussed relative to our own daughter. It was not until she expressed serious interest in attending boarding school as a possible avenue for her high school education that we had any real discussion on this topic. 

After getting over the shock that our only child wanted to live away from home and attend high school, we really researched and discussed the pros and cons. Ultimately, it boiled down to providing the following benefits to our daughter:

  • She would have the opportunity to explore her independence, maturity, and responsibility to a greater degree than she would living at home.
  • She would have the ability to explore a wider range of extracurricular activities than she would have access to when living at home, because everything is centrally located. Living on campus eliminates the time spent carpooling from one event or practice to another.
  • She would have better access to teachers while pursuing a challenging curriculum and a more personalized college counseling environment.

Why an all-girls school?

We read the numerous articles on why an all-girls school is better for young women: girls learn differently than boys, leadership roles are more available, and there are less distractions. This sounded great, but it was hard to reconcile when you have no basis to compare.

The defining moment for us came during our visit to Chatham Hall where we had the opportunity to attend a chemistry class at 8 a.m. The girls arrived to class on time with no make-up and no chatter. To our astonishment, several students stood up and began immediately working and explaining chemistry problems to their fellow students. Neither of us thought we would see that level of focus in a coed school.

Why Chatham Hall?

It is all about the fit. For parents, it is ensuring that their daughter is living in a safe environment where she will be challenged academically and personally in such a way that she has the best college opportunity and the best preparation for life. For a prospective student, it is ensuring that the school can deliver the educational and leadership goals she has set for herself, as well as the high school experience she desires.

For us, we were all comfortable with these things, but it was the impression left after our first visit to Chatham Hall that convinced us this was the right school.

The student tour that gave us unmonitored access to a current student—we could ask questions that we would never feel comfortable asking the school administration. Our daughter’s experience during her overnight stay—she had little doubt in her mind that she could make this a home away from home. The meetings with teachers, administration, and coaches—it was clear to all of us that this was a learning environment with passionate instructors and an Honor Code that is still relevant in today’s educational system.

From Katherine Leak ’15

Why boarding school?

To me, Chatham Hall is more than just a school, it’s become a second home. Living with other people in one communal space is a challenge that helps you become closer with everyone.  I’ve gotten closer with my friends here in two years than I did with the friends back home in eight years. 
I’ve also gotten so much more confident in my abilities since I came to Chatham.  I’m more willing to speak up in class, and I’m also tested while I’m playing sports every day.  Your teammates are your friends, the people that you live with every day. That’s a bond that definitely can’t be formed anywhere else.

Why an all-girls school?

And being an all-girls school, I try new things without fear of rejection. I’m not afraid to dress up for Wacky Tacky Tuesday or act weird with my friends on the weekends.  

Learning to balance everything (from school to friends to fun activities) is probably one of the hardest challenges, and I don’t think that I’ve even completely achieved that yet. But I know that by the time I reach graduation, I will be a well-balanced individual who is ready to tackle whatever life has in store.

From Kristen Mitchell, Mother of Schuyler Mitchell ’16

Why an all-girls boarding school?

The boarding school aspect was really not of concern, as Schuyler was familiar with “real life” situations, and total immersion seemed appropriate. I appreciated the facts about the success of all-female learning environments and having both male and female role models and educators.

Why Chatham Hall?

From the moment we walked into the“Halls of Chatham,” the place spoke to both me and my daughter.

Coming from a public school, we were malnourished when it came to an environment that fostered intellectual curiosity over social acceptance, honor code over survival techniques. And Chatham offered the cultural diversity and awareness of the global world we live in today.

I felt that my daughter, who had a thirst for learning, would in this environment be encouraged to find her gifts. As a parent, I was excited to have a sense that Chatham Hall would offer an opportunity for my daughter to grow from within, with the energies placed in the proper place, independence, self-motivation, discovery versus growing reactively to the environment she was in.

Chatham Hall offered an attention to students that I thought was reflective of the administration’s competencies, apparent love for what they do, and total immersion by one and all—students and administration, faculty and families. I felt that the opportunity would be fabulous if somehow we could make it happen. And we are so glad it did!

From Alex Rains '16

Why boarding school?

I think the aspect of boarding school I found most appealing was the massive amount of opportunities I was given. At public school, I would not have grown half as much as I have at a boarding school. The feelings of enrichment and knowledge are two of the best, and by coming to boarding school I experience them every day.

Why an all-girls school?

By coming to an all-girls school, I feel like I have been able to accomplish so much more without worrying about boys or drama or the conventional problems of a teenage girl.

Why Chatham Hall?

Chatham Hall is every thing I look for in a school. I am challenged every day, and can constantly immerse myself in new activities. Here, individuality and diversity are encouraged. I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin as I do here, and I would never have been supported so much in my efforts to try new things at home. No other school could encourage me to soar so much as Chatham has.

From Mary-Michael Robertson ’15

Why boarding school?

I didn’t choose Chatham Hall because it’s a boarding school, but for the wide range of opportunities that are available here. I am a day student, so I feel extremely lucky to have such a wonderful school within 30 minutes of my house. I get the best of both worlds: I can be a part of the close-knit Chatham Hall community while living at home.

Why an all-girls school?

I chose Chatham Hall for the opportunities that were not available at my previous school. However, I think the fact that Chatham Hall is an all-girls school only adds to its benefits—offering an environment with fewer distractions, closer lasting bonds with classmates, and the ability to put more focus on the matters that are actually important for high school girls. We will have plenty of time to be in an environment with males in addition to females when we go to college and in our future occupations and lives after school.

Why Chatham Hall?

I chose to come to Chatham Hall for a number of reasons: I wanted to attend a high school that offers more challenging courses, options and opportunities more in line with my interests, close friendships with girls who are more like me with similar goals, close friendships with girls who are very diverse and different from me from all over the country and world, exceptional teachers, and a beautiful campus. Also, Chatham Hall is close to my home, has a top-notch dining hall, offers athletics that I enjoy like swim team and golf, and better prepares me for success in college and beyond.