Heather Davis Powers '84
"For the first 15 years of my life, I lived and breathed The White Mountain School. My mom was an alumna and director of development. We moved to live on campus when I was just three years old."
Growing Up White Mountain
For the first 15 years of my life, I lived and breathed The White Mountain School. My mom was an alumna and director of development. We moved to live on campus when I was just three years old. My earliest memories are of the maintenance man who always winked at me, singing silent night in the great hall, getting creeped out by the deep water wells near the pond, watching a calf be born when the Rocks Estate was still a working dairy farm. I liked finding my mom in her office that overlooked the circle that leads to the main building.
My mom was married in the great hall and memorialized there as well. So many of the most significant moments of my life have taken place at The White Mountain School. For me it was not a high school that I attended, but the first home I remember and a place that shaped the rest of my life.
I began my freshman year in 1980, 4 days after my 12th birthday. I have an 11 year old son now and cannot imagine sending him to high school in 10 short months. I was really LITTLE: 102 pounds and still slept with a security blanket. The only reason it was possible for me to start high school so early was because it was White Mountain. Not only my early home, but an environment solely structured to nurture, support, teach and help students grow.
I believe that the small class size and emphasis on promoting the whole person, and our place in the community, made learning rewarding. I was excited to do my work and projects. I was personally connected to my teachers and wanted to achieve for them (well, and for my mom, too, who was pretty insistent on good grades).
When I started at Middlebury College in the fall of 1984, I was nervous that I would not be as prepared as the kids from Andover, Exeter, Thatcher and all the other big name secondary schools. I realized quickly that The White Mountain School had fully prepared me for the high level of academics. I was ready. I was confident. And that made all the difference.
I will close by saying that I remember well the 100th anniversary celebration for the school. My mom worked on it for 3 years, holding events as early as my senior year. I know she would be as proud and excited to celebrate another 25 golden years. Congratulations to our little school. May it continue to thrive and teach young people to thrive as well.