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Meet the Michael Family

Susan, Avery, 7th grade, and Madelyn, 6th grade

Avery and Madelyn’s Nashville roots run deep. Both sides of their families are Nashville natives going back several generations. When the girls were very young, their father and I knew we wanted to explore Harpeth Hall in the 5th grade entry year. We were very interested in an all-girls academic environment and knew it would be our top choice! The girls’ father excelled in a single gender learning environment at MBA, so it was a no-brainer to start the application process once the girls were in 4th grade, for 5th grade admission.

As a parent, what influenced you to consider, and ultimately enroll your daughters at Harpeth Hall?

There were several factors that helped influence the decision to consider Harpeth Hall, but I knew this was the place for my daughters after our tour. Harpeth Hall has an incredible reputation for both academics and extracurriculars, but I knew I had to be on campus to really determine if it would be a right fit. The kindness I felt from the admission team and the sweet student ambassadors made it an easy choice. The admission team was helpful and so engaged in the application process. I also loved that while touring, the girls I saw on campus seemed so happy! Giggles, smiles, and engaged students. You really do have to be on campus to feel the warmth of this special community.

How have you seen Avery’s Harpeth Hall experience help develop her academic and co-curricular interests? 

I have been so pleased with Avery’s academic progress while at Harpeth Hall. She was well prepared to meet the challenges of the academic rigor at Harpeth Hall. I wanted her to continue the momentum of her love of reading and learning. I have been so impressed by her teacher’s genuine care and interest in her academic pursuits. Avery had previously studied Spanish and Chinese and decided to take French at Harpeth Hall! One of the greatest gifts of Harpeth Hall has been the close relationship I have felt with my daughters’ advisors. They keep a close eye not only on academic pursuits, but also social development and extracurricular interests. I feel like their teachers, especially advisors, get to know the girls in a way that helps guide them through what is both an exciting and sometimes challenging time in a young person's life (middle school!). I have felt a true partnership with the advisors, teachers, counselors, and other administrators at this school.

How has the transition into Harpeth Hall been for Madelyn? What are you most excited about as she continues her journey?  

Madelyn and I were both nervous at the beginning of 5th grade! Within a few short weeks, it was clear she was home. It is far and away the most important and right decision I have made for her. I have seen her excel academically and make kind new friends. I knew from my experience with Avery that Harpeth Hall would provide many opportunities for Madelyn to socialize with fellow 5th graders. She made fast friends, and I have never seen her so happy! She has been able to try new sports like tennis, has continued to dance, and has loved being able to continue playing lacrosse. There is truly something for every girl at Harpeth Hall.

In reflecting on your own admission process to now, is there anything that surprised you about the academic programs or co-curricular opportunities?

I have loved that both daughters have been able to try sports in 5th and 6th grade with no cuts! Harpeth Hall provides many opportunities for girls to find their passion. There are so many clubs on campus that girls can participate in. It is a safe and loving environment to try new things, which is not always easy.

I have been so impressed by the community engagement of Harpeth Hall. I am serving as a member of the middle school parent council and have had the joy of helping to plan a few middle school community events. Harpeth Hall does a stellar job of providing both the students and parents with opportunities to socialize and get to know each other better. This has been crucial to both girls’ success at Harpeth Hall, as well as my own familiarity with the school. Honeybear Breakfast with Special Friends, Daughters and Dancing, parent socials on campus are just a few. There are so many ways to become a part of this community.

What advice would you give prospective families as they go through the final steps of the admission process?

I would advise families to ask lots of questions! There is so much to learn about the school. From the sweet traditions, the extracurriculars that are offered, to class size, and parent engagement. The website has a plethora of information about the school. I would encourage spending time poking around the website. I would also advise chatting with a current school family. I think it is important to hear from community first hand.