The Value of Community.
by: Cole Breen
Here I am four years later, sent off on SIS. The next time I set foot on campus, I'll be wearing a cap and gown. Whether we like it or not, we've reached the end. No more delays, no more altitude cards, and no more dining hall lunches. Some of us have been here since kindergarten, others since middle school, and even more who have come to the school over the past few years. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter where or when we came from, it matters where we all arrived. Wooster School.
According to the website, "In 1925, The Reverend Dr. Aaron C. Coburn, was sitting on the back porch of the Rectory of St. James Church, Danbury, of which he had by then been Rector for 15 years, and suddenly turned toward the Senior Warden, George Green (destined to become a trustee for nearly 40 years) and said, "You know, in all the years that I have been Rector of this Church, I don't think I have saved a single soul. The trouble is, they're all too old. Let's start a boys' school. Maybe if we begin working on younger people we can do better." So the charter of Wooster School was registered with the State of Connecticut in November, 1925, and the school opened the following fall." Since then, the school has evolved from an all-boys boarding school to a co-ed day school. Wooster School has had both ups and downs over its long history, but the principles which have defined us for generations have persisted. Here we are gentle, generous, truthful, kind, and brave. Here we understand the value of community. And what is Wooster if not a community?
We are united by a system of values. And the idea that we're responsible for the physical environment in which we learn, play, and grow. I've only been given the opportunity to attend Wooster school for four years now, but I've had the experience of a lifetime. In this relatively short period of time, I've met what I can only call lifelong friends and the best teachers that I've ever had. Wooster School is a place where you can meet these people, a place where you can thrive and know that your teachers, your peers, and your friends care about you and your well-being. I go forward knowing that my friends and Wooster School have prepared me for life after high school and college. A community in my view, is a place that instills values in you. A strong community allows you to know that you are a part of something that is greater than yourself.
In my true indecisive spirit, It took me several years to decide on going to Wooster. Every time I toured I got to experience a community of people that are passionate about their school and their values. Every person I met was welcoming and friendly. At my last school, it was easy to get lost in the crowd, easy to fade away. But here, I found that even as someone who was just touring, I already felt like a member of the student body. As someone who came from a school where people really just stayed inside their cliques, it was refreshing to be at a place where people were excited to meet you and happy to have you around. Because Wooster is a smaller school, I was able to get to know just about everyone and it was impossible to just disappear. I met teachers that shared my passion for academics and discussion. I finally played and enjoyed soccer after giving up most team sports. The passion that these students held for their school rubbed off on me faster than I ever thought possible. Wooster has allowed me to become more fulfilled as a person, as a student, and as a friend. I'm now a Student Ambassador because I want to be able to express the same passion and friendliness that all those ambassadors, students, and teachers gave me when I first came here.
Every person should be able to experience a strong sense of community in their lives. This is what drove me to Wooster and has allowed me to have success and fulfillment in my life. Our Wooster community unites us. It gives us opportunities to pursue our goals and connect with people on a level unmatched by most private or public institutions in this country. Despite the fact that this is a private school, you can't put a price on that. As a member of this community I am just one of many people who want to help each other, whether that be socially or academically. A community is a powerful thing. A community can help you when you need it the most. A community can be your source of support. A community is a group of people who deeply care about, respect, love, and appreciate one another. Wooster is that place. I've been provided the wonderful opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger and more meaningful than myself. I will never forget that. Like many alumni and current students I hope to pay it forward someday, I hope to give back. Wherever we go in life, we will be reminded of the time we had at Wooster School. A community of learners, of doers, of friends, of athletes, of teachers, and human beings. What we've had has been invaluable. Although it is a bittersweet goodbye, we go forward having truly learned the value of a Wooster education and the value of community.
Thank you for everything, Wooster School, truly.
- Cole Breen