Global perspective is woven into the fabric of NA. Faculty members travel widely and bring back ideas that enrich the classroom experience. Math teacher Robert Rezvani, for example, shared what he learned about currency exchange and underground markets on a trip to North Korea in an economics lesson. Thanks in part to the diversity of our student body, many of our students are also well-traveled and eager to add new perspectives. And our location offers countless opportunities for field trips to the country’s richest cultural destinations, from the Met to a Buddhist monastery.
Both teachers and students frequently reference current events in class discussions. The Global Speaker Series sparks school-wide conversation on topics such as lack of academic freedom in Zimbabwe. Interest in social justice and politics has led students to join clubs or take action through service. In fact, in a typical year, NA students perform more than 12,000 hours of community service.
Our language program begins in the sixth grade, when students may choose to study French, Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese. The majority of students are ready to take honors classes in their chosen languages in eighth grade.
“I know that I am teaching the leaders of tomorrow. I have great confidence that my students will bring intelligence, social consciousness, and moral integrity to the positions they will hold.”
–Rayna Lifson, Humanities faculty
All Upper School students complete an Immersion Experience of either 16 days abroad or 10 days on a wilderness retreat as a graduation requirement. We believe that these experiences have the power to shape students in profound ways. Whether they’re hiking in the American Southwest or living with a host family in Guatemala, the unfamiliar surroundings push students out of their comfort zones, accelerate maturity, and contribute to a greater understanding of the world.
Diversity—of ethnicity, race, religion, socioeconomic background, and experience—adds depth to an NA education. In a typical year:
NA is part of a group of independent schools partnering with Stanford University to provide online college courses to students in grades 9-12. NA faculty members will have the opportunity to teach and collaborate with their peers online.
One of several alumni to join the Peace Corps, Meghan Henshall ’08 spent two years in Cambodia working to further community health. One successful project involved working with food stall owners to sell enriched rice porridge that improved infant nutrition and weight.
French horn player Peter Solomon ’00 has performed all over the world with the Boston Pops, the Korea Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Kamerata, and others. He is currently Principal Horn with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.