“We chose private school from the very beginning,” says Shaylah MacDonald. “It was one of the decisions we never really had to talk about.” Shaylah was a public school math teacher before she had her son Wyatt, now sixteen. “We knew from her teaching in the public schools for ten years that that was not the environment we wanted him in,” adds her husband Barry.
The MacDonald’s primary concern for their son was that he get the best education possible: one that would prepare him for the real world. “Wyatt is being challenged at a level that we are very pleased with,” Barry says of Wyman King, Wyatt’s private school (where Barry sits on the Board and Shaylah also now teaches). “When I got to college I realized that everyone doesn’t have the same background in math and English,” says Shaylah, “and those fundamentals are very important to us.”
In addition to challenging academics, the MacDonald’s were also drawn to Wyman King in part by the athletics. Wyatt loves team sports and has a greater chance to play because it is a smaller school. Since enrolling Wyatt at Wyman King, the MacDonald’s have had no regrets about their decision. “Half way through that first year, we had a very strong conviction that we had made the right choice,” they say. And they’re not the only ones: “Wyatt says he wishes we had have done it sooner!”, says Shaylah.
The MacDonald’s are deeply involved in Wyatt’s education and enjoy being in an environment of parents who share that commitment. “He would have gotten the same level of involvement from us wherever he went to school, but here, there is a whole different level of expectations about how involved parents should be. Teachers are more receptive to a parent’s input since they know that parents are paying for it,” says Barry.
Their advice to other parents considering sending their children to private school? “Just do it,” they agree. “It’s been so good for us.”