Meet the Rodzewicz Family!
After twenty years in San Francisco, we relocated to Nashville in 2020 to be closer to our aging parents and extended families in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Our daughter, Blair, completed nine years at The Hamlin School, a K-8 all-girl school, and our timing enabled her to have a full, four year run in high school. Blair is currently a sophomore at Harpeth Hall, and she has two younger brothers: Clyde (8th at MBA) and Troy (5th at Oak Hill).
As parents, what influenced you to consider, and ultimately enroll at, Harpeth Hall?
First, we are simply advocates for independent schools. Second, education for us has always been about the development of both competence and character. We were looking for a strong academic curriculum, the opportunity for Blair to compete athletically and a community dedicated to moving kids beyond their comfort zone - a critical attribute for developing and sustaining self-confidence.
The head of Blair’s school in San Francisco would often comment “joy and rigor are not mutually exclusive.” We chose Harpeth Hall because it felt like an environment where enthusiasm exists for hard work, failure, and persistence - and success in challenging situations is valuable for enhancing independence.
How does Harpeth Hall’s mission align with your own values as a family?
The last sentence of the Harpeth Hall mission reflects our belief in the greatest gift we can provide our children is the opportunity for a fantastic education. We have a quote on our refrigerator that reads “Think For Yourself.” Blair has thrived in an academic environment that encourages leadership and independent thought - both concepts that require courage. If Blair can continue to develop her critical thinking skills, we think she’ll have the confidence to sort out and rank competing values. With so many choices ahead for her, that’s an incredible life skill worthy of our support.
How have you seen Blair’s Harpeth Hall experience help develop her academic and co-curricular interests?
Blair only has one year under her belt, and 2020 was an unusual year for everyone. She was a freshman at a new school and took Honors Biology - “the hardest science class ever.” After struggling initially, she adapted and was really proud of her final grade. If you ask her about it now, she’d say it was the difference between critical thinking and simply regurgitating facts she had memorized. Blair continues to enjoy science and the challenge and has signed up for Honors Chemistry as a sophomore!
Athletically, after competing on the varsity volleyball team as a freshman, Blair jumped at the chance to play up on a club team with older girls last winter/spring!
What are you most excited for as she continues through the Upper School?
Four years will go by in the blink of an eye. There are many Upper School opportunities, traditions, and milestones at Harpeth Hall but the one we are most excited about is Winterim. The three week experience is intentional and built into the curriculum. In our view, it truly differentiates Harpeth Hall from other independent schools. Perhaps Blair will discover a passion that she didn’t know she had. Or, she might pursue her love of Spanish and travel abroad to Spain!
From your experience, do you have any advice for prospective families as they go through the admission process?
Honestly, our advice would be to pay close attention to what each school is communicating from a values perspective. If that aligns with your family, and seems to fit your child’s personality, you’ll wind up in a terrific position for their continued growth and development. Good luck!