Meet The Browns: A Honeybear Family
The Brown Family
Reagan, Paige, Louisa '26, Frances '28
Our family moved to Nashville 8 years ago from Washington, D.C. for Reagan’s work. We had a great landing with young kids at Julia Green Elementary. Since Metro elementary schools finish in 4th grade, we did not have long before the search for the next school began. Our intention had been to remain in public schools, but so many of our new friends here insisted we merely “take a look” at Harpeth Hall for our older daughter. Well that did it. Our girls are now in 8th and 6th grades.
As parents, what influenced you to consider, and ultimately enroll at, Harpeth Hall?
We were immediately impressed with several Harpeth Hall students we met when we moved to Nashville — all very different, but all made an impression. We found the same in the students we met during the exploration and admission process.
But it was the administration and faculty that sealed the deal. Their focus on our daughters rather than on us, their interest in knowing about them (not getting answers to pat questions), their taking little girl questions seriously, their enthusiasm for their job and their students — their obvious delight in the school captured both of our girls.
It is a financial stretch and sacrifice for us to have them here. So we had to be convinced that the education and opportunities were an extremely valuable fit for each of them. We were mostly convinced as applicants, and are now fully convinced as students and parents.
How does Harpeth Hall’s mission align with your own values as a family?
This is an interesting question. And one that highlights the reason we are at Harpeth Hall.
One might be tempted to read this as an alignment with all the personal values found in the Harpeth Hall community — which would be impossible with such a wide variety of personal convictions and commitments. But our alignment is with the mission, especially for us, thinking critically and living honorably.
We were looking for a school that is SCHOOL — academics that inform, enrich, engage, and expand our children. This is exactly what we have found in the middle school at Harpeth Hall.
And thus far the context of their learning has been an unmistakable culture of both listening and being listened to with respect — an environment in which they are made to feel seen and heard, but in which they are also expected to see and hear everyone else.
How has the transition to Harpeth Hall been for your daughters, and for you as parents? Is there a particular academic area or school involvement that motivates or excites the girls?
The transition has been as delightful as transitions can be, even for our younger daughter starting Harpeth Hall during COVID-19. The commitment at every turn to mix up the girls and make sure they have a chance to know everyone has made all the difference.
They of course have differing affinities and abilities in different subjects, but they love the creativity the teachers have brought to every subject at various times. The happy place for our girls outside the classroom is on the sports field or court. Whether playing or cheering from the sidelines or stands, they have found their sweet spot in Harpeth Hall sports. Which has proved to be inclusive and affirming.
In reflecting on your own admission process to now, is there anything that surprised you about the academic programs or co-curricular opportunities?
Since Harpeth Hall has such an established reputation for excellence at every turn, we were not surprised to find excellence at every turn. But we have been surprised at how relational and personal their experience has been — in the classroom and in activities. Their teachers “get” them, really get them. We have yet to have any communication with an advisor or teacher that has not proved again and again that our girls are known, are celebrated, are rightly redirected.
They know that their teachers are FOR them. The class subject is very secondary for them to the teacher, which is a reflection of the fact that the class subject is very secondary for the teacher to the students.
Do you have any advice for prospective families who are unfamiliar with Harpeth Hall or who are unsure of the benefits of an all girls’ school?
Come see for yourselves! There is a confidence and community for girls here that would be very different if it were not a special place just for girls. The admission process is a process for you to see if this is a good fit for your daughter. This is a school with a very strong sense of itself and its mission. Don’t merely ask around about Harpeth Hall, ask Harpeth Hall. You will receive direct honest answers to any questions you have.