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Rossman Alumni Network Continues to Give Back
By: Sixth Grade Teacher Rachel Price
One thing I’ve come to love about Rossman is our incredible alumni network. Our graduates go out and do amazing things for their communities, but they also make time to come back and serve our Rossman students. This fall, I am grateful to the many Rossman alumni who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in our Sixth Grade Alumni Interview Day.
As sixth grade teachers, Jordan Andes and I aim to equip our students with the skills they will need to succeed in the future. One of the ways we do this is by having our students practice their interview skills. Last year, Jordan had the wonderful idea of inviting alumni back to campus to facilitate mock interviews with our sixth grade students. Thus, “Alumni Interview Day” was born. We were able to have our second annual Alumni Interview Day this fall in a virtual format; each sixth grader was able to participate in a Zoom interview with a Rossman alum. It was such a joy to overhear snippets of each conversation: “What are some of your strengths?” “Who do you admire/look up to?” “What do you think makes a good friend?” I was delighted to hear our students’ eloquent yet earnest responses.
While our alumni continue to give back to us, it is also impressive to see how Rossman maintains support for their graduates. Every year, the Rossman School Alumni Association, led by Director of Development Cathleen Wyckoff, puts together care packages for Rossman alumni who are in their first two years of college. This fall, our sixth graders were able to help put these care packages together. Mrs. Wyckoff set up an assembly line and we placed Rossman gear, candy, snacks, and much more in each package. Our students also wrote personal notes to the college students and included them in the care packages. As the sixth graders marveled at all the snacks and swag, they kept saying, “I can’t wait until I’m in college and I get one of these from Rossman!”
A few days ago, I checked my mailbox at school and found some letters addressed to our sixth graders. At first, I wasn’t quite sure who they were from. One student had a letter written to him with a return address in Tucson, Arizona. I went up to this student and said, “Do you know anyone in Arizona? You got a letter from someone in Tucson…” We decided to open the letter together. As we read the hand-written note, we realized that the college student who received the care package with his personal letter had written back. A huge grin spread across this sixth grader’s face as he realized he was holding a letter from a college student written just to him! In our attempt to support our college alumni, they returned the favor tenfold by giving support back to our current sixth graders.
Our alumni are incredible examples of what it looks like to carry the Rossman values into adulthood. As I look at the sixth grade class this year, I can’t help but already feel proud of the kind, honest, respectful and responsible alumni they will be in six short months.
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in St. Louis, is a private preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.