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Calhouners Share Their Perspectives During Annual Student Panel

Each year students come together to shed light on life at Calhoun during the Middle and Upper School Student Panel. With division directors acting as moderators, students share what being a Calhoun student is like and answer questions from current parents, providing a glimpse into what younger students have to look forward to as they continue on their educational journeys. 

Read what some of our students had to say during the panel:

Middle School

Individualized learning:

“Calhoun is one of the best experiences I've ever had. The teachers really connect with you. At Calhoun, they know that every kid learns differently and every kid has a different mind, but they make sure every kid gets the best out of their education. I love Calhoun with all my heart.” Hudson L. ‘25

“I really like how the classes are very interactive and how we always work in groups, so we can hear other people's ideas. Teachers know that we all work differently and they really help us learn in our own ways and at our own paces.” Anika S. ‘24


“I think Calhoun teaches you empathy and how to see outside this bubble of privilege that you live in.” - Hudson L. ‘25

“I really like how diverse Calhoun is. We get a lot of different people's perspectives on things.”- Baelee G. ‘24


“I like how kind and helpful the teachers are and helpful. If you ever need help outside of class, you can go to them.” - Baelee G. ‘24

“Over the years I've had a lot of great teachers. My first teachers were just so warm and nice when I first came into the school. I didn't really know that many people but they introduced me to so many people that I'm still friends with today. They were a really big part of my journey in Calhoun.” - Tafari G. ‘25

“Larry [7th grade English teacher] is a really understanding teacher. He really gets to know each student, what their strengths and weaknesses are. At the end of the year, he writes a letter to each and every student saying how he's learned from us and how our role in the grade has impacted teachers. I think that was really amazing. It’s not something we get to see every day.” - Anika S. ‘24

“Amy, the Middle School art teacher, had a huge impact on me. She is my cluster advisor and has been since sixth grade. She has always made me feel welcome and she never hesitated to say that if I needed her help, she would be more than willing to support me.” - Ella L. ‘24

Student shares work with teacher

Transition to Big Calhoun

“On my first day I felt so comforted. It was not scary at all. They explain to you how [the division] works do you don't feel scared. They slowly bring you into the new environment.” - Hudson L. ‘25

“I was really excited to go to the big building. They started easing us into the community step by step. We met with our advisors and they were super kind, warm and helpful.” - Anika S.’24

“I had no idea how the kids at 81st Street would behave, especially the older kids. I wasn't sure if they were going to be as welcoming but they really were and took us under their wing and showed us the way.” - Baelee G. ‘24 


“A project that I had a lot of fun with was the catapult project. In seventh grade, we made catapults [in science and woodshop] with a group from class. We got a bunch of wood and had to turn that into a catapult, and then there was a competition with different challenges. One challenge was using the catapult had to shoot a beanbag into the basketball hoop, another was using the catapult to knock an egg off of a tower and another one was to knock down the entire tower. I had a lot of fun and my group actually won the basketball hoop contest!” - Christian L-S. ‘24

“We did a lot of good projects in science, one of which was the egg drop. It was a group project that we got to do with other classes, so it was a great way to get to know other people.  Also we were able to have all our voices heard as we created the design for the egg drop. Everyone had an equal opportunity to share their ideas.” - Anika S. 

“In seventh grade English we had a philosophy project where we were given 12 different philosophy questions. After I did the project, so many ideas started coming into my head. It was a great experience to work with someone else and hear two different perspectives on something, because there's not a right or wrong answer in philosophy; everyone thinks about it differently.” - Hudson L. '25

“In sixth grade we did something called the utopia project and we got to make up our own society.” - Baelee G. '24

Students test catapult

Overall Learning Experience

“Calhoun teachers understand that we all really love to learn and they teach us in a way that really gets us into [the material] and really makes us interact. They’ll assign projects that let us demonstrate what we've learned. It's not just a worksheet or things we have to memorize. Calhoun's a really fun learning experience because we get to be creative and show our knowledge.” - Anika S. ‘24

“Calhoun gives you the right amount of work, so that you can enjoy what you're learning. You can actually learn [the material] and not feel stressed out by it. There will always be days where you have a more homework, but that's just part of middle school and teaches  you time management. - Hudson L. ‘25

“Even if you're doing stuff after school like I do (I play basketball and soccer) you're still going to have time to get home and do your homework. Teachers don't give so much homework to the point where you don't enjoy learning or doing the work. They give you just the right amount so you can learn and you have fun.” -Tafari G. ‘25

Upper School

Favorite Class Experiences

“My favorite was teaching spring session. Between mod four and five there is a four day period where students or teachers can teach a class on something that they feel passionate about. I taught a class with two of my peers about gender roles, rape culture and society. It was a really impactful experience for all three of us who were teaching it, not just because of the information we were teaching but also the leadership skills and facilitation skills and [that we built.] - Emily B. ‘21

“My most memorable [classroom] moment was taking a class on child welfare. We learned about the entire child welfare system and we had guest speakers come in who were either part of the welfare system or work in it. It gave me a moment to step back and think from other people's perspectives.” - Lauren H. ‘22

“My favorite moment was from freshman year when I was put in an elective on feminism. It was mostly all seniors and I was really nervous. We spent a couple of weeks having regular classes, meetings and discussions, and then the teacher turned to us and said, "You have to teach the class now." We all were assigned a topic and made lesson plans, assigned homework, everything. It was really nerve wracking to command the attention of the room with a bunch of seniors, but it was such a good experience in learning about the topic and [building] self confidence.” - Margaret B. ‘20

US work together on Demo Day

Favorite Out-of-Class Experiences

“I’m a lifer and I would say [my favorite out-of-class experience] was the first trip I had with my peer leaders [on the 9th grade camping trip] because no matter what grade you started at Calhoun, getting to high school is always a scary experience, especially your first day. [The trip is] a really nice icebreaker. You're with your whole grade and you have these leaders around you from 12th grade who are guiding you through each step.That was an experience I wouldn't find in many other places.” Anourag S. ‘20

“I was in this year's fall play The Laramie Project. I was a new kid and I really didn't know anybody, but over the course of the play and each rehearsal, I got so much closer with everybody. We had such a fun time during rehearsals, trying to do our best to tell this story. I learned so much about myself by doing that play and I've formed so many bonds with amazing people.” - Basma E. ‘23

“My friend and I run this club called Empowered Citizens and it's all about the prison industrial complex and activism within our community. We hosted a panel outside of school during the winter of junior year. We had four Calhoun alumni come to the theater after school, and we had a really good turn out. It was great to see our hard work pay off and to have the chance to connect with people  over this issue that we were all really interested in.” - Margaret B. ‘20

Peer leader and mentees

Strong Support System

“I started chemistry this year and I was struggling. My teacher really helped me get better. She set up meetings with me where we would sit together and we would go over what we covered in class and we would go through the areas where I felt like it wasn't clicking for me. When I have a struggle with my academics, my teachers are really there for me and they will take the time to help me and make sure that I understand what I'm doing.” - Lauren H. ‘22

“Teachers are really supportive and they’ll help you organize your time. There are also Deans in place for each grade that you can talk to and they’ll help you come up with a plan. Or you have your cluster advisor to also help you.” - Anourag S. ‘20

“The thing that struck me the most about Calhoun is the teachers and how every single one of them is so supportive and there to help you. Another thing was the students — it was easy to get close with so many people and easy to form amazing bonds with the seniors and juniors and just to feel like you're part of a community that truly supports you.”  Basma E. ‘23


“The mod system gives us a lot more free time to do work in school, meet with teachers, and have time for other projects. It also makes it so that you're focused on less things at a time.” - Emily B. ‘21

“There’s a lot of opportunity [with the schedule] to continue whatever you’re passionate about. I’m passionate about chemistry so I’m taking Advanced Chemistry right now. Or if you’re really passionate about history, there are so many electives to choose from.” - Margaret B. ‘20

How Calhoun Prepares You

“Calhoun provides you with a lot of skills for being independent. I've gained a lot of skills in terms of being able to speak with adults and people who I don't necessarily agree with and have productive conversations. I've learned a lot about how to seek information relating to things that I want to learn about and want to know from outside of my community.” - Emily B. ‘21

“I feel more prepared than I would have in a standard semester or a trimester system. I really had to learn how to manage my time going through this mod system, balancing work and getting really deep into all your subjects. I feel like I'll be able to talk to [future] professors and come up to them during office hours because I was able to do it in high school with my teachers.” - Anourage S. ‘20