“We joined Saklan in 2007 when our oldest, Finn, started Kindergarten. Saklan has gone through many changes since then, but it has remained constant as a source of support for our family. It has helped shape our children–Finn (class of ’17), Evy (8th), and Lilah (5th)–into the people they are today.
Finn is now a senior at Athenian and is doing virtual college interviews. I overheard him during a recent one talking about how his role in the middle school musical back in 8th grade–he was “The Man in the Chair” in The Drowsy Chaperone–was an experience that truly changed his life. To hear how he still considers playing that role as such a pivotal experience three and a half years later was a poignant reminder of what an impact Saklan had on him.
He was never interested in theater, but Mrs. Chaffey encouraged him to take on increasingly challenging roles. Learning how to memorize pages of monologues and portray this character and dance on stage took a ton of courage and emotional vulnerability. The unwavering support and guidance he received made it possible for him to do something he never knew he could do. It not only helped him build confidence; it allowed him to learn to understand the life of a character’s emotions, as well his own. It gave him a new passion.
Saklan also gave Finn an incredible academic foundation for high school. He is leaning towards continuing in science in college, but he is just as interested in the humanities and is still passionate about theater and poetry. We credit this wide range of interests to the inspiring teachers at Saklan. They encouraged him to dive into new things and supported him to strive to do his best even when he didn’t think he was good at something.
Our girls–Evy in 8th and Lilah in 5th–have literally grown up at Saklan. Like Finn, they have also had many experiences since their preschool days where they were challenged and were able to shine, and they’ve grown tremendously academically and creatively. The enriching experiences outside of the classroom, along with the Saklan teachers’ support, have been transformative and inspired them to love to learn.
We are grateful that Saklan has helped all three of them to become respectful, compassionate, and engaged students and people. They are aware of themselves, have the confidence to contribute, and want to understand the world.
We are not sure we are ready to have a child move onto college and another on to high school this next year, but we are confident that they are ready and have an incredible foundation. What the Saklan teachers and community have given our kids is hard to measure. To quote Finn’s Saklan graduation speech, ‘Saklan will always be home.‘”
Lori and Eric Anders
Finn (Class of ’17), Evy (8th), and Lilah (5th)