Newsletter, December 2011


Helpful Tips for Private School & College Interviews
1. Plan Ahead
It is almost guaranteed that your interviewer will ask you questions such as, “why do you want to come to this school?”, “what are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?” and  “what could you bring to this school?” Come up with answers ahead of time.
2. Caught Off Guard?
For tricky questions that you did not expect or plan for, it is perfectly okay to say “can I have a moment to think about that?”
3. "Tell me about yourself!"
Be prepared to walk into an interview and have the interviewer to say that very statement. Obviously, that’s a pretty open ended topic. Take the time to tell the interviewer everything you want him or her to know about you. The idea behind the request is to learn not only about you but also what you consider important.
4. Let the Interviewer Talk
People love to talk about themselves, so if you notice that your interviewer seems particularly enthusiastic about something, ask him or her about it and let them talk for awhile. Not only is it a nice break from being in the hot seat, but people will also appreciate your interest in them.

5. What to Wear?
Your outfit is going to be the first impression the interviewer gets of you, so think about the type of person you reflect through your clothing. Sloppy, wrinkled clothing and messy hair makes it look not only like you don’t care about the interview but also that you do not take things (or yourself) seriously. If you look too business-like, you can appear stoic or intimidating. Dress as if you were going out on a first date to a casual restaurant---you want to impress whomever you’re with, but not to the point that it looks like you’re trying too hard.
Research Pays Off
Every school holds a few things important. Those things change for each place you visit (for example: an all girls school might be extremely supportive of feminism). Try to incorporate whatever the school deems highly important into your interview. You also cannot go wrong by looking up each school’s motto. Most private schools and colleges have a Latin motto that they esteem very highly.

Student of the Month
Sammy Keene

Sammy Keene is a 17 year old senior at Westwood High School. She had a busy but productive fall, earning honor role grades,  while also completing her college applications. Sammy enjoys spending her free time with her friends and family in Cape Cod; She is an avid water-skier, wake-boarder, and wake-surfer. In the winter, she enjoys snowboarding in Vermont and New Hampshire. Her other passions include traveling for personal growth and new learning experiences, which began in 2011 after living with a host family in Spain. Sammy has also cultivated another interest and reason for traveling: volunteering. She has traveled twice to Lizano, Mississippi as part of Project Hope and Compassion to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. We are very proud of Sammy's recent academic achievements and her dedicated, kind-spirited and compassionate way. She will be greatly missed by all of us at JBG when she leaves for college next fall!

Tutor of the Month
Rick Ralphson

Born in Chicago, and a Bears fan through thick and thin, Rick has lived throughout the United States and Latin America. With a BA in Psychology and Masters Degrees in Philosophy and Theology, he has taught high school for four academic years and has tutoring experience that spans eighteen years. Whether it has been accompanying Lakota children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, facilitating annual immersion experiences for teenagers in the Dominican Republic, serving as a chaplain at a West Coast Children’s Hospital, guiding families through Ropes Course adventures, or tutoring your daughter, son, or student; Rick delights in opportunities to learn from others and enthusiastically yet humbly share his gifts. His educational philosophy emphasizes the vital importance of respect, encouragement, diligence, compassion, and patience; and Rick tries to live the following: In all things, love and serve. His primary tutoring expertise lies both in the Humanities, especially English, Spanish and Psychology, and academic coaching, most notably with students wanting to improve their writing and organizational skills. Rick’s hobbies include all types of exercise, flag football, reading poetry, and delighting in the diversity of creation.

Early Action!
To seniors who applied Early Action: college decisions will begin becoming available this month! Most colleges will post admission decisions on their online portals, so be sure to log in and check your status!

Tip of the Month

To help prepare for the SAT, students should try answering the SAT question of the day. College board has created an online question of the day in order to help future SAT takers become more comfortable with questions. Check it out here:

Quote of the Month

“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” - Aristotle

Spreading the Holiday Cheer!

One great way to spread the holiday spirit is by volunteering. Holidays are the most popular time to do community service, so think of those in need. This can be a great activity to bring your whole family together and bless those around you.