by guest blogger, Aimee Connelly (parent of Joshua ’27 and Miles ’25)

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Aimee Connelly, and I am a parent at Harrisburg Academy.  We started at the Academy for the 2012-13 academic year, when my older son was entering Kindergarten and younger son was entering HATS.

Let me start by saying – the Academy offers an incredible education.

The teachers and staff at the Academy know each and every child.  Mr. Muirhead, the head of Early Childhood and Lower School, greets each student and parent every morning.  While this might not seem like a big deal, this simple gesture makes every child feel welcome at school.  I know (as do they) that they matter.  The teachers know my children, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to bring out the best in them.

For me, the love of learning is perhaps the most important outcome of the Academy experience.  Our older son’s eyes light up when he reads.  He looks forward to science class, and always wants to show me the experiments he learns at school.  For our son in Junior Kindergarten, the cognitive curriculum emphasizes learning to think critically, comparing and contrasting, evaluating, and sharing discoveries.  Every day he is so excited to share what he’s learned, like writing his letters and recognizing their sounds.

The focus at Harrisburg Academy is not just on academic outcomes, but also on character development, and my children’s emotional and social growth.  I know the Academy is committed to having students leave with a sense of self-esteem, resiliency, respect for others, and a commitment to the community outside school. They are exposed to different cultures, and not just in a formal textbook setting.  Rather, they experience the world around them through the real life travels and experiences of others in the Academy community – parents, students, teachers, and volunteers.

For my husband and I, the decision to enroll our children at Harrisburg Academy, and continue their education at the Academy, was not one taken lightly.  We realize that it is a major financial commitment.  We evaluated all of our options.  We found the holistic experience and well-rounded liberal arts curriculum at the Academy the best option for our children, and our family.

We are so pleased to be a part of this community and proud of the education our sons are receiving.  What more can I ask for?