Raised on Campus, Faculty Children Reflect

The average Choate student remains on campus for four years. For faculty children, the duration can be much longer — living in Wallingford for, say, eighteen years before leaving the Choate community. Because of their many years on campus, faculty children have an evolving perspective on Choate as a community, a school, and a home.

Eben Cook ’18, son of English teachers Mr. Cyrus Cook and Ms. Megan Shea, fondly remembers his time growing up at Choate. He said, “I miss the days of playing wall ball outside of the Dining Hall, sitting in my dad’s office in Humanities when my parents had department meetings, and attending school musicals that felt like I was on Broadway.”

Cook vividly remembers watching and playing sports during his childhood, waiting to be part of a Choate sports team. He said, “Having a free gym at my fingertips has given me a place to play basketball. In fact, many of my fondest memories of my pre-student life at Choate have occurred on that wood court.” He joked, “As a pre-pubescent five-foot-tall middle schooler, I never thought I would be invited by Choate students to play pickup games with them. Although I certainly could not compete with them physically, those seemingly insignificant games at the top have made me a more competitive player.”

In addition to enjoying the school’s facilities, faculty kids also have relationships with a variety of teachers on campus. Abigail Chang ’19, daughter of biology teacher Mr. Deron Chang, remarked, “Teachers treat you differently as a faculty kid. Before you’ve been in class, they know who you are as a person and feel like they understand you already.” Cook agreed, “I have a network of high school students and faculty around me 24/7. It’s definitely an advantage, as now I feel comfortable engaging adults in conversation on campus.”

On the other hand, there are sometimes drawbacks of being a faculty kid. Chang explained, “When other students find out that I’m ‘Chang’s daughter,’ they expect me to be like my dad.” Sam Curtis ’20, son of Headmaster Dr. Alex Curtis, remarked on the attention he receives due to his father’s position on campus. Specifically, he noted people’s stares whenever Dr. Curtis gives a speech to the Choate community. Curtis laughed, “I mean, I know that he’s my dad. It’s like people want you to be embarrassed about it.”

Although officially considered day students, faculty students have the unique opportunity to live on campus in faculty apartments. Regarding the difference, Chang described her experience as “the same life as other Choate students, but with fewer rules.” Likewise, Curtis expressed gratitude for “the best of both worlds,” reaping the benefits of both day and boarding life.

For faculty kids, the convenience of having an on-campus location without having to abide by boarders’ rules proves to be an ideal combination. Cook summarized the experience: “Growing up on this campus has been a blessing for me.”

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