Maurice McCarthy ’03, Campaign Officer
"I found a job posting at WMS to help with the planning of the 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign. I jumped at the opportunity to return to the School that had given me so much."
While we all share similar WMS experiences, everyone has their own WMS story: the story of your time here, what you learned, and how WMS turned you into the person you are today. My WMS story began in Philadelphia two years before my arrival at WMS. In the spring of 1999 my mother passed away following a 12-month battle with pancreatic cancer. I began to let my mother’s death define my life as a student and I stopped caring about my schoolwork. Having just lost my mother, my teachers let me get away with missed assignments. It became normal for me to fail. After a couple years, my confidence as a student shaken, it was clear that I needed a change.
I started searching for a school that would offer small classes, personal attention and the structure of boarding school life. I found plenty of schools that boasted all of these characteristics. Many of these small schools simply felt too small. However, when I drove through Franconia Notch and onto the campus of The White Mountain School I instantly knew I was somewhere unique. Although I wasn’t a climber, a hiker, or a skier, I was intrigued by the new opportunities and experiences that awaited me here. WMS also had a strong academic curriculum where I knew I would be both challenged and supported.
At The White Mountain School, I was no longer simply the kid whose Mom died. My teachers here were aware of my situation, but I found that I wasn’t very different from many White Mountain School students. Although few had experiences similar to mine most students came to WMS seeking the same things. We were looking for new experiences and a challenging curriculum at a small, supportive school where we could discover and pursue our strengths and passions. I found my focus at The White Mountain School. I began to believe in my abilities as a student again. I felt secure and I regained the confidence I had lost.
All of that “growing up” was put to the test my junior year when my father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Like my Mom, my Dad received treatment for about 12 months before passing away during the summer before my senior year at WMS. Like before, I could have made excuses and tried to skate by and let people pity me. But WMS had changed me. I wouldn’t let a death in my family define me again, and neither would my teachers or friends. I received the support and encouragement I needed on campus and I finished my senior year on the Honor Roll.
After college and a few years working in television in New York City I decided to make a career change and pursue non-profit fundraising. I found a job posting at WMS to help with the planning of the 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign. I jumped at the opportunity to return to the School that had given me so much. I am reaching out to our alumnae/i and past parents and hearing their stories of how WMS changed their lives or the lives of loved ones. However different our stories, all of us have been enriched in similar ways by what WMS has to offer. I have returned to help ensure that it can offer those same benefits to students for many years to come.
- Maurice McCarthy ’03, Campaign Officer