Beth Kingman '90
"Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself breaking out of my shell and becoming such a large part of the campus community."
When I arrived at WMS my freshman year, I was a very shy and self-conscious girl. I was literally moving away from the comfort of my family. My orientation trip that year had me carrying a backpack bigger than me. That backpack was quite heavy, and once I conquered that mountain and admired the view from the top, it didn’t feel so quite so heavy anymore. That trip was only the beginning of what my WMS experience would bring.
The shy young girl that entered WMS became a strong player on the soccer field, a terror on the tennis court, performed an emotional and difficult monologue in drama club and I even wrote a song I performed at my graduation that I played on my flute. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself breaking out of my shell and becoming such a large part of the campus community.
WMS allowed me to carve a niche that I never would have found elsewhere. I was a “lifer”—the term students gave themselves when they were on campus all four years. Lifers had such a rare opportunity to experience the same teachers over several academic years, and I was given that opportunity through Tom Cuddihy’s English classes. (I had three straight years with Tom. I never knew English could be so fun.) Fitz’s U.S. History class junior year and the field trip we took when we all squeezed into vans and travelled to Lexington and Concord to experience first-hand “the shot heard round the world.” Johnathan Meisel’s Russian History class. I loved them all. Four years at WMS also gave me more time to focus on science courses upon discovering I wanted to continue in chemistry after graduation.
My fondest memory of my WMS experience was just a few weeks into my freshman year. It was Formal Dinner night and I was assigned to sit at the Headmaster’s table. I was petrified. Me? Sitting with the headmaster? I sat at that table with my palms sweating. I was surprised when he called me by my first name. “You know me?” I asked. “Of course I know you! You’re Beth Kingman and I see you doing great things here at WMS,” he said. We talked all throughout dinner and when it was over he stood up and gave me a huge bear hug. The rest of the year whenever he would see me on campus he would give me a big smile and hug. Jack Hood was the reason why I knew I loved WMS. Thanks Jack.
- Beth Kingman '90