Alums, parents and students reflect on the impact that Calhoun has had on their lives.

Erika Brinzac '10

Current teacher and Calhoun alum Erika Brinzac '10 shares how Calhoun educators place children at the center of their learning, keeping them invested as they make new discoveries in the classroom. 

Teacher and parents Shnieka Johnson

Hear from Calhoun teacher and parent Shnieka Johnson about what makes students excited about coming to school every day and how teachers keep children engaged in the classroom throughout their time at Calhoun. 

Livingston Family Photo

Calhoun Parent

“What Calhoun wants kids to do is to grow in a way that makes sense to them, not in a way that someone else has decided makes sense…As I watch [my children] I’m constantly thinking, ‘I wish I went to Calhoun.’”

Khadijah Rahim Thumbnail

Upper School Student

“At this school they really teach you to take hold of the opportunities given to you and run with them. Coming into Calhoun I realized, there’s more out there, I’m not limited to this little box. I’m thankful that I chose Calhoun.”

Zak Wegweiser '17

Graduation Speaker
Brown University

In his graduation speech, Zak Wegweiser shared how Calhoun gave him the freedom to think without walls. “Calhoun mirrors the inherent ability to break down walls in real life.”

Delsa Lopez '17

Graduation Speaker
Williams College 

“Calhoun gives you a home, no matter who you were when you entered…every person graduating today has matured into a young adult who will conquer the world beyond 81st and West End Ave.”

Gabby Chapman '17

Upper School Student
Princeton University

Gabby found her love of all things STEM while at Calhoun. “Our school really encourages you to do what you’re passionate about. For girls, [that means that] if you are passionate about science, you can learn more about it and go into that field, and not feel afraid or judged.”

Seth Melnick '05

NYC Marketing Manager, Lyft
Named to the Silicon Alley 100 in 2015
BA, Columbia University

“I think Calhoun more than anything gave me a boldness for learning…I was able to take that to Columbia and not be afraid to go on an unbeaten path in my career. The biggest way that Calhoun prepared me for that rigorous academic environment was by removing that fear of learning.”

Katherine Tineo-Komatso '05

LMSW, Social Worker, Village Care
BA, Brown University
MS, Columbia School of Social Work

Through the courses and extracurricular opportunities at Calhoun, Katherine was able to explore her identity, discover her passions and develop her creativity. “Calhoun was a space where I was allowed to explore myself.”

Dale Allsopp '91

Finance Manager, Google 
BA, Wesleyan
MBA, Wharton 

Dale attributes the confidence and entrepreneurial spirit that has allowed him to succeed at Google to the academic experience he had at Calhoun. “When I see myself now, so comfortable in an unstructured environment, I think it’s a direct correlation to my time at Calhoun. I developed a lot of confidence here.”

Emma Newman '14

Commencement Speaker/Thespian
Muhlenberg College 

“The main message I take away from Calhoun’s mission boils down to the power and possibility hidden within these three simple nouns: inspiration, passion, and curiosity.”

Max Marcus '07

Hofstra NS-LIJ School of Medicine
BA, Vassar College

“Calhoun taught me to be a critical thinker, which is something I’ve carried with me through college and beyond.”

Jordan Peele '97

Director, Writer, Actor
Sarah Lawrence College 

Jordan Peele ’97, an Oscar-winning director, comedian, writer and actor, returned to Calhoun to talk to students about his career path and how he found his voice in comedy.

Julie Presten '15

Fashion Designer/Entrepreneur 
Univ. of Wisconsin

“I couldn’t have done this without Calhoun’s pathways to pursue independent studies. I don’t know of any other school that would have allowed a student to follow his or her dream as much as Calhoun has allowed me to pursue mine."

Xander Green '09

Composer, Lyricist, Teacher
BA, NYU 

Xander could have never predicted his career as a writer of musical theater, but the freedom he experienced at Calhoun to explore a variety subjects led him down this path. “A lot of what Calhoun is about is discovering things that you didn’t necessarily know you liked.”

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