In his first year at MBS, then sixth grader Henry D’Andrea had an early and uncommonly strong debut in musical theater. In addition to being cast in the Middle School production of “Honk, Jr., Henry also landed a role in the Upper School’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” This is truly a standout achievement, and it’s what Henry points to first among the highlights of the school year, but he already has so many other new experiences under his belt that it’s hard to keep track. Whether it was Origami Club or Drawing Club, tennis or swimming, tap-dancing or playing centerfield, Henry recognized the opportunity to put himself out there and he did it time and again.
Middle School Head Boni Luna marveled at the way Henry took to each of these ventures. In Drawing Club, she found that Henry is “an excellent artist with incredible focus and natural ability.” But she also saw that Henry “commanded the stage” when he took on the role of Sergeant Greylag, a key character in the Middle School play.
When asked how these experiences might play into his dreams for the future, Henry says, “I could be a cartoonist, or maybe an animator or an actor...I don’t know for sure yet. There are so many possibilities.” His reflections on his academic experience so far share a common theme with this take on his extracurriculars. He understands that most Middle School classrooms have a singular, set purpose each day that is usually determined by the teacher. What he enjoyed most about his sixth grade classes at MBS was that his teachers don’t fit that mold; they care about student choice and about their students’ independence and it shows in how they organize their curriculum.
Clearly, exploring the world that’s opening up before him is Henry’s top priority, and MBS is the ideal place for a young person with such a goal. Still, Henry didn’t know that MBS was the school for him until a special person stepped in. Henry’s brother is a rising tenth-grader at MBS and Henry believes his own decision to attend is because of his brother’s positive experience at the School. Without his brother's influence, Henry might not have known just how many things a sixth-grader can accomplish in one year. Now, Henry continues his journey through Middle School with confidence, optimism, and the firm belief that there is always more to learn and more to do.