REVIEW OF Stanstead College BY Alum, Thomas Abbott
- Date of Review
July 11, 2019
Gr. 8 - 12
- University (major)
(5) Overall Experience
I had a life changing experience at Stanstead College. The supportive community at Stanstead enhanced my growth both as a student and as a person. I was encouraged to join athletic teams and try new clubs which taught me about the importance of being engaged and varied in what I do. The education I received helped me develop a strong work ethic and time management skills. In addition, the grade 12 AP program and intense university preparation led to an easy transition from high school to university. That being said, the thing that makes Stanstead so special is the staff, students, and friendly atmosphere. Both as a student and as an alumni, I feel like part of the Stanstead College family. This leaves me feeling a tremendous amount of support going into university and beyond. As a prospective student, you should expect a very warm welcome into the Stanstead College community. You should also expect to work hard and try new things if you want to get the best experience you can at Stanstead College.
(5) School Leadership
The strong sense of community at Stanstead College provides a foundation for students to build their leadership skills. For example, the Prefect program gives students the chance to be positive role models for the rest of the student body while gaining leadership experience. Leadership is also prevalent among the staff. With a very diverse and well-rounded group of teachers and coaches, there is always someone to look up to for inspiration. In addition, the administrative staff is very attentive to student's ideas and are happy to implement them. I believe the amount of effort the faculty puts into improving each students experience is one of the biggest factors that sets Stanstead apart from other schools.
The teaching at Stanstead is excellent. With small class sizes, caring teachers, free tutoring, and helpful, hardworking classmates; there is nothing more a student could ask for. The teachers at Stanstead devote enormous amounts of time and effort to be sure each and every student is taken care of and understands the material they are learning. That being said, a prospective student should not consider Stanstead if they intend to breeze through classes. Students are always challenged to do their best. The teaching at Stanstead is most beneficial to those who are passionate about learning and willing to try their best in every class. The university preparation is also excellent. My university guidance councilor made sure I was on top of my essays and applications while my grade 12 teachers prepared me well for higher level learning.
The academics at Stanstead are very strong. While at Stanstead, I had classmates who were equally passionate and hardworking which encouraged me to try harder and harder. In my case, I wanted to be a Theoretical Physicist so in grade 12, I was suggested to take AP Calculus, AP Statistics, and Linear Algebra, AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and AP English. The courses were very useful and made my transition into university seamless. However, I believe it was the teachers that caused me to excel. My AP Physics teacher was a Theoretical Physicist and was happy to stay after class to give me advice about the career path. To this day, I am very grateful for the education I received at Stanstead College, it has prepared me very well and given me the work ethic I need to succeed in undergraduate and graduate studies.
Extracurriculars at Stanstead were highly encouraged and very enjoyable. Every student is required to play one sport and join at least one club per trimester. This means the athletic teams are strong despite the small school size (Stanstead Spartans is a very fitting name) and that the students are actively engaged in all aspects of life. There are a large variety of clubs offered as well, which allows students to diversify their skills and to learn new ones. The encouragement I received to be more involved has stuck with me even years after graduating and it has greatly improved my lifestyle.
The student body at Stanstead is truly phenomenal. In the writing prompt, I am asked to describe a “typical student” at Stanstead but there truly is no such thing. The student body is extremely diverse, every student has something unique to offer. In addition, with most of the students in residence, tight knit sports teams, and small classes; the students are very close at Stanstead, no one is left out. Finally, the students are known for being extremely welcoming. When I entered Stanstead in Grade 8, I was alone and shy, however, within a few minutes, I had made new friends and felt like I belonged. If there is one characteristic that a “typical student” has, it’s that they are excited to learn from each other and share their knowledge with others.
(5) School Life
Overall, students are very happy at Stanstead. The academics (especially in grade 11 and 12) can be very stressful but the fact that students are being active on the sports field, spending time with friends, and enjoying classes, really helps reduce that stress. In addition, teachers and classmates are very responsive to a student who needs help. This allows all students to reach and exceed their goals, academic or not. In my case, I was not a boarding student however, I chose to sleep over every night. Being surrounded by my teachers and classmates helped me learn at a faster rate and made even the largest challenges seem much more achievable. In particular, while preparing for exams, I was very thankful to be able to stay for the evening study period so I could study alongside my classmates.
The community at Stanstead is it’s strongest aspect. I would argue that there is no community in the world that is as welcoming as the Stanstead College community. From the moment you step foot on campus, you immediately see that the staff and students are extremely caring and helpful. Even the campus layout is designed in a way that everybody is close to the center or "heart" of campus. As alumni, this strong sense of community has not changed at all. We are invited to Homecoming every year and frequently treated at Alumni events worldwide. The benefit of having such a supportive community is that each student feels like they are part of something bigger than themselves which allows them to achieve even the most ambitious goals. The Stanstead College community is a wonderfully supportive group of students, teacher, and staff that are happy and proud to see each student grow and succeed.
(3.5) School Location
I grew up in Stanstead (which is somewhat uncommon for a Stanstead student) and from a Stansteader’s point of view, the school is held in high regard. The students frequently partake in community service events and once a year, the entire school ventures out to clean up and help out the town of Stanstead. The town of Stanstead is very safe and friendly which is likely reassuring to a international parent. The size of Stanstead (population of approximately only 2000 people) may be somewhat surprising to a student coming from a city. However, with many of their fellow students experiencing the same transition, the adaptation to living in a quite town like Stanstead is made much easier.
The admissions officers at Stanstead College are extremely helpful. In fact, if you are curious about the school, I suggest you contact them and get to know more about it. This website ourkids is useful for browsing hundreds of schools but when it comes down to it, a phone call or e-mail will be much more enlightening. From my memory, the goal of the admission process at Stanstead College was: 1. To ensure I would be able to handle the workload 2. To ensure I had the right attitude toward learning and broadening my skills. If you feel as if you satisfy those criteria, I strongly suggest getting in touch with an admission officer as they can help you learn more about the school better than any other source.
(5) University placement and counselling
The university counselling was excellent. Starting at grade 10, various university representatives came to present to us each week. This meant that by the time we were picking universities to apply to, we were informed on a very large range of choices. At Stanstead, your university counsellor starts working with you more closely in grade 11 where they will help you with applications, essays, SAT/ACT preparation, etc. By the time students are in grade 12, final edits to applications are made and they are submitted. The university placement is very good, especially for such a small school. In my graduating year, the most common placements for students were McGill University and University of Toronto. Most students decided to go to university in the Canada and the United States however, there were also a significant number who decided to attend universities abroad.