Why I Chose Stony Brook

by Kate Thornbury ’19

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High School. That was a concept I had never really thought much about growing up in Jackson, Tennessee. Like most Southerners, I was enrolled in one, private, K-12 school. There was not a thought in my mind of applying to a high school other than the one I grew up in–that is, until I moved to New York.

If you are unfamiliar with New York City’s infamous high school application process, think of it as a mini application to college. It is an extremely competitive and complicated affair. From long, interrogating interviews, to standardized tests every Saturday, it can leave an eighth-grader quite overwhelmed.

This was my situation: I had left the comfort of my Tennessee home to be cast into the big city and I could find no institution that upheld the standards I valued most. I needed somewhere that both honored my faith in Jesus and promised to pave the path for a successful career through excellent academic prep. Finally, I found one private school on Long Island that seemed to bridge the gap between the academically rigorous and the spiritual.

It was my mother who first suggested we look at Stony Brook. One thing led to another, and soon enough, I’m sitting in a beautiful library on Chapman Parkway, ready to meet the student ambassador who was to show me a day-in-the-life at The Stony Brook School. My tour guide was genuinely excited to share her SBS journey with me, even in the brief time we had to get to know each other. I knew when I went in for that shadow day that I would need to keep an open mind to the new possibilities Stony Brook might hold. What I didn’t know was that I was about to be a part of an encouraging, diverse community and–well, to put it plainly–the school I now call “home.”

“What I didn’t know was that I was about to be a part of an encouraging, diverse community and the school I now call home.”

Stony Brook is so beautifully unique. It values the importance of leadership, humility, and pursuit of the good, true, and beautiful in life. The lens through which I see the world has changed immensely because of the diverse community that I live in. Students are challenged to cultivate meaningful conversations. This school does not exist just to help the individual, but also to form and encourage individuals to work together for a higher purpose.

That’s what I love about Stony Brook. That’s why I’m here.


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