Isabele Southard is a current eleventh grader (Junior) at Clapham School. During the Fall Benefit of 2019, Isabele shared her educational journey with the community. Here is a transcript:
Hi everyone! My name is Isabele Southard. This is technically my 11th year at Clapham, but my first year at the high school. I am currently a Junior and spent my first two years of high school at Wheaton Academy but decided to transfer back to Clapham this year.
Being a part of the first E2 class, Clapham has been my childhood. The people that I get to see almost every day are my best friends and have been my best friends for years.
I can remember nap times in Kindergarten with Ari, trying my very hardest to stay quiet but seemingly never able to succeed. I remember the many games of four square on the blacktop. I remember chanting Latin paradigms at the age of 9. I remember walking in on Miss Redfield, now Mrs. Poppe, enjoying her before school brownie in the dark.
I remember when Priscilla threw my shoe into a restricted area at Maggie Daley Park and watching Mr. Kelly hop a fence to retrieve it. I remember disputing whether or not beauty is subjective or objective with Mr. Atchison in logic class. I remember trying not to laugh as Connor and Alec walked into the classroom after having a chat with Mr. Atchison in the hall, one without a shoe because it had been tightly knotted to the other’s shoe.
I loved learning with my friends as well as learning from my friends. Proverbs 27:17 says,
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
It has become very clear to me over the years that Clapham is the best learning environment for me. Working through issues and texts by discussion is something that I can continually reap the benefits of in my daily life. The most effective way that I can share the gospel is through meaningful conversation. I am being taught how to defend my faith and my beliefs through discussion in a way that is articulate and constructive. I’m also given an environment where I can begin to understand what I believe. The only way I can do that is by being disagreed with, being opposed.
The educational environment at Clapham is unique because we are able to disagree with each other in a way that is beneficial to everyone. We are being taught to be open to the beliefs and ideas of others while also standing firm in the things we know to be true.
Clapham has intentionally invested in me throughout my whole life. The teachers are genuinely interested in the academic and overall well being of their students. The student environment is a closely-knit yet open and inclusive community. The academics are complex yet engaging. And I’m so glad this is where I decided to finish out my high school years.