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Sparking a Passion for Inquiry

Beginning in the 5th grade, our Middle School students engage in a robust academic program where they switch classes, establish a relationship with an academic advisor, and can participate in interscholastic athletics and performing arts.

The Middle School focuses on helping students recognize and develop the academic, emotional, and social skills that are vital to their future endeavors inside and outside of the classroom. That's why we allow students plenty of time to explore the outdoors and provide opportunities to dig deeper into their unique passions.

Academic challenge is a major priority in the Middle School, but that rigor is kept in proportion with the goal of helping the whole child mature and thrive. Test scores and grade point averages tell only part of a student’s story, and Heathwood's Middle School offers the chance to write the full, rich narrative in an environment of accountability and compassion.

Curriculum

Recognizing that teachers as well as students need to practice reflection and embrace growth, the Middle School faculty and administration review course offerings annually to assess what classes are most helpful and what teaching methods are most effective in preparing students for future success. That review includes input from students, so that the Middle School student body has a say in their instruction. This responsibility for their academic success is in line with Heathwood’s commitment to service leadership, and community service is a required aspect of the Middle School’s curriculum.

The result is accelerated development, not just of academic performance, but of lifelong skills like agency, independence, self-advocacy, executive functioning, reflection, and critical thinking.

Download the full Middle School Curriculum Guide [PDF]

Programs

Arts and Athletics

We know that students experience significant intellectual and personal growth through their extracurricular pursuits. Most Middle School students are ready to embark on meaningful athletics and arts experiences. All Middle School students take classes in visual arts, chorus, band, and drama. Students can begin interscholastic athletic competition as early as 5th grade in select sports and by 6th grade in all 17 sports Heathwood offers.
A significant body of research suggests that for adolescents, enhanced mindfulness is one of the most productive paths toward both academic success and overall wellbeing. Our unique "Mindful in the Hall" program enhances self-awareness, emotional intelligence, confidence, and resilience in the face of stress, busyness, and the pressure to perform.

Technology

The Middle School has a one-to-one (1:1) iPad program with every student in grades 5 through 8 using an iPad in their classes for assignments, projects, and homework. Students use their iPads for a varied list of activities, including working collaboratively with teachers and classmates on documents and essays, interacting with mathematical equations and graphs, creating movies and presentations, and using the iPads in conjunction with their Logitech Crayon to take notes and highlight e-texts.

The Thought Studio

Recognizing that Middle School students need a different after-school experience than our younger learners, the Thought Studio was developed to be an age-appropriate experience where students can engage their academic work in a structured environment and have a safe place for playing and socializing with their peers.

Middle School Faculty

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Read more about Bonnie Bruner

Bonnie Bruner

MS Administrative Assistant
bbruner@heathwood.org

Bonnie Bruner

MS Administrative Assistant

bbruner@heathwood.org

Bonnie is a Columbia native who attended  from the University of SC, earning a BS.. in Elementary Education.  She taught 2nd and 3rd grades in Charleston, SC for three years before moving back to Columbia, where she was a stay at home mom until she began working fulltime at Heathwood in 1983 in Admissions.  After Admissions, she came to the Middle School where she has served as Administrative Assistant ever since.

Read more about Lynn Cooper

Lynn Cooper

MS English Teacher
lcooper@heathwood.org

Lynn Cooper

MS English Teacher

lcooper@heathwood.org

Lynn Cooper is a Heathwood alumna (’96) and graduated from the College of Charleston in 2000, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English before earning her Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina in 2004. While at the University of South Carolina, she completed teaching internships at both Mid-Carolina High School and Summit Parkway Middle School. Lynn first joined the Heathwood faculty in 2004, teaching 7th grade Humanities. She taught in the Middle School for several years and served as a tutor in the Academic Achievement Center before taking a few years off to spend time with her two young daughters, Vivien and Mary Burwell. Lynn returned to Heathwood in 2009 and has taught Composition and Literature, American Literature, World Literature, and English Enrichment at various levels in the Upper School. With her husband Robert (HHES class of ’93), Lynn also serves as a host parent to Coco Yuan, a Heathwood sophomore from Shanghai, China.

Read more about Michelle Dillman

Michelle Dillman

7th Grade Science Teacher
mdillman@heathwood.org

Michelle Dillman

7th Grade Science Teacher

mdillman@heathwood.org

Michelle Dillman joined the Heathwood faculty in 2018.  She holds a B.S. from the University of Hawaii and an M.S. from the University of South Carolina and has taught for over 16 years in a variety of private schools settings.  Students in her 7th grade science classes learn to apply the scientific method to real life situations and to make science a part of everyday life.  Her hope is to help students become good consumers of scientific information and become life long learners.  Michelle loves the outdoors and she aims to make every student a “greener” citizen.  

Read more about Rich Edwards

Rich Edwards

MS Assistant Head and Academic Dean
redwards@heathwood.org

Rich Edwards

MS Assistant Head and Academic Dean

redwards@heathwood.org

Rich Edwards joined Heathwood Hall in August, 2008.  For the last 25 years, twelve of those at Heathwood, Rich has held a variety of roles, from teaching five history classes in the Middle School to being an athletic director for nine of those years to directing the summer programs at two different schools.  Rich has coached basketball, for boys and girls, and football over that time at every possible level.  Currently, Rich is the Dean of Students/Assistant Head in the Middle School.  He is a graduate of Sewanee and also holds an M.Ed. from Lesley University and a Ph.D. from Capella University. Rich is marred to his wonderful wife, Paige, and they have three children: Thomas (at Clemson), Brooke '21, and Emma '25.  GO HALL!

Read more about Jason Giovannone

Jason Giovannone

MS & US Science Teacher
Sporting Clays Coach
jgiovannone@heathwood.org

Jason Giovannone

MS & US Science Teacher
Sporting Clays Coach

jgiovannone@heathwood.org

Jason Giovannone joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in the fall of 2013. Prior to joining Heathwood, Jason collected and tested water samples for an independent lab. He was an educator and avian keeper at Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens. He received his B.S. in Middle School Education from the University of South Carolina.

“I love that we are encouraged to explore and use our campus to enhance our teaching and develop a natural wonder in all of our students. Our beautiful 133-acre campus includes various habitats and learning environments that extend my teaching from a traditional four walled classroom.”

Read more about Stacy Gross

Stacy Gross

MS Counselor
sgross@heathwood.org

Stacy Gross

MS Counselor

sgross@heathwood.org

Stacy Gross returned to the Heathwood faculty in the spring of 2015 following a period of several years in which she ran her family’s flooring business. Upon graduating as a “lifer” from Heathwood in 1995, Stacy completed her B.A. in Psychology with a Concentration in Sociology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1999. She received an Ed.S and M.Ed in School Counseling from USC in 2002 while working as an ECLC Associate and Afternoon Express teacher. Following completion of her graduate degree, Stacy served as a School Counselor at E.L. Wright Middle School in Columbia 4 years, then remained a stay-at-home-mom to her children until 2011.

Read more about Alycia Guevara

Alycia Guevara

6th - 8th Grade Spanish Teacher
aguevara@heathwood.org

Alycia Guevara

6th - 8th Grade Spanish Teacher

aguevara@heathwood.org

Alycia Guevara began her teaching career in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2018 and taught public school there for three years. She then worked with unaccompanied refugee minors coming across the Southern Border of the United States to be reunited with their families in the U.S. She is a dual citizen of the U.S. and El Salvador, and holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of South Carolina.

 

Read more about Jessica Hawthorne

Jessica Hawthorne

MS Art Teacher
US Graphic Design and Video Editing Teacher
jhawthorne@heathwood.org

Jessica Hawthorne

MS Art Teacher
US Graphic Design and Video Editing Teacher

jhawthorne@heathwood.org

Jessica holds both a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Lander University and has more than 15 years of teaching experience in the visual arts; ten+ in middle school, and four in high school. Jessica taught with the Lexington One District After School Arts Program for eight years and in July 2012 joined the Tri-District Arts Consortium faculty in Columbia, as well as the Aiken County Gateway Summer Programs.

Read more about Emily Hodges

Emily Hodges

MS English Teacher
ehodges@heathwood.org

Emily Hodges

MS English Teacher

ehodges@heathwood.org

Eighth Grade English teacher Emily Hodges joined the faculty at Heathwood Hall in 2011. Before teaching at Heathwood, she taught 7th grade English in Richland One for 11 years.  She holds both a B.A. and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina.

Read more about Liza Johnson

Liza Johnson

MS Math Teacher
ljohnson@heathwood.org

Liza Johnson

MS Math Teacher

ljohnson@heathwood.org

The Episcopal traditions, faith based education, small class sizes, and beautiful campus drew Liza Johnson to Heathwood Hall in 2010.  Her children, Natalie (class of 2025) and Evan (class of 2028), love the nurturing teachers, outdoor education program, and close-knit community. 

Liza holds a B.S. and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina.

Read more about Smiti Lall-Butcher

Smiti Lall-Butcher

8th Grade Science Teacher
slallbutcher@heathwood.org

Smiti Lall-Butcher

8th Grade Science Teacher

slallbutcher@heathwood.org

A native of the U.K., Smiti Lall-Butcher earned a Bachelor of Education at Kingston University in London and worked as an elementary and middle school teacher in England for 10 years before moving to South Carolina with her family. Since arriving in the U.S., she has taught physical science, biology, chemistry, and AP Environmental Science.

 

 

Read more about Teddy Leaman

Teddy Leaman

Middle School French Teacher
tleaman@heathwood.org

Teddy Leaman

Middle School French Teacher

tleaman@heathwood.org

A graduate of Clemson University, Teddy Leaman has also worked in France as a teaching assistant and is pursuing an M.A. in French linguistics and pedagogy at Middlebury College. Teddy's academic interests include phonetics, language acquisition, and linguistic anthropology.

 

Read more about Drew Mabry

Drew Mabry

MS & US Band Director and Music Teacher
Head Boys Golf Coach
dmabry@heathwood.org

Drew Mabry

MS & US Band Director and Music Teacher
Head Boys Golf Coach

dmabry@heathwood.org

Drew completed his undergraduate and Master's degree in Music Education at Auburn University.  During his time at Auburn, he performed in various ensembles and venues, such as the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  He is also an avid golfer and competes in several local amateur golf tournaments.  He taught in Alabama, Virginia, and Georgia, before coming to Heathwood Hall to be the band director for the Middle School and Upper School.  He also serves as the Head Coach for the Boys Golf Team and Assistant Coach for the Girls Golf Team.

Read more about Maria Croley Madden

Maria Croley Madden

Head of Middle School
mmadden@heathwood.org

Maria Croley Madden

Head of Middle School

mmadden@heathwood.org

Maria became Heathwood's Head of Middle School in 2020, joining us from The Lovett School in Atlanta, where she spent eight years as Middle School Dean of Students. She has also served as a middle school math, civics, language arts, and Spanish teacher, and as a track and cross country coach. A graduate of The Walker School in Marietta, Georgia, she holds a B.A. in Spanish from Furman University and an Ed.S. and an M. Ed. from Kennesaw State University. Her sons Sanders '31 and Louis '33 are also members of the Heathwood community.

Read more about Chris McDuffie

Chris McDuffie

MS Civics Teacher
cmcduffie@heathwood.org

Chris McDuffie

MS Civics Teacher

cmcduffie@heathwood.org

Chris McDuffie joined the Heathwood Hall community in the fall of 2013 along with his two daughters Suyan (Class of 2019) and Gabi (Class of 2025).  He has more than 20 years of experience teaching 8th graders and has taught in Richmond, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina as well as his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina.  

Chris holds a B.S. and an M.Ed. from The Citadel and an M.A.T. from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2021, he was named South Carolina Independent Schools Association Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Read more about Kenyata McNeil

Kenyata McNeil

5th Grade Science Teacher
kmcneil@heathwood.org

Kenyata McNeil

5th Grade Science Teacher

kmcneil@heathwood.org

Kenyata McNeil joined the faculty at Heathwood Hall in 2020. Her teaching career began in 2014 when she served as a Substitute Teacher in the public schools of Jasper County. She left the classroom for two years after she was offered a position as a NEPA Planner with the U.S. Forest Service in Missouri. Kenyata returned to the classroom in 2016, teaching Biology and Marine Biology Teacher at Fort Dorchester High School. As a teacher, Kenyata has taught Biology, Marine Biology, AP Research, and Chemistry.  Outside of her teaching career, Kenyata has served as Technical Writer-Editor and Environmental Coordinator.

Read more about Lauren Meekins

Lauren Meekins

7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
lmeekins@heathwood.org

Lauren Meekins

7th Grade Social Studies Teacher

lmeekins@heathwood.org

Before coming to Heathwood, Lauren Meekins spent 16 years in Columbia public schools, working in social studies curriculum, gifted and talented courses, and magnet school programming. Originally from Pawleys Island, SC, she holds a B.A. in History from Furman University and an M.Ed. in Divergent Learning from Columbia College. Her two children, Bryce and Avery, are also Highlanders.


 

Read more about Jonathan Monk

Jonathan Monk

MS & US Drama Teacher
jmonk@heathwood.org

Jonathan Monk

MS & US Drama Teacher

jmonk@heathwood.org

Jonathan was raised in Columbia, graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon in 2004, and spent over a decade working as a professional actor based in New York. As an actor, he has been seen Off-Broadway, in regional theaters across the country, and in several national and international commercials. As a singer, Jonathan has performed with Liza Minnelli, Leslie Odom Jr., and others. As a teacher, Jonathan has taught middle school drama in Richland One and high school drama with the Trustus Apprentice Company, and has been at Heathwood since 2017. 

Read more about Sally Mourateva

Sally Mourateva

EC, LS & 5th Grade Spanish Teacher
smourateva@heathwood.org

Sally Mourateva

EC, LS & 5th Grade Spanish Teacher

smourateva@heathwood.org

Sally Mourateva graduated from Heathwood in 2008 and went on to major in Spanish at the University of South Carolina. She studied Spanish in Buenos Aires, Argentina and completed her Master in Arts and Teaching in Spanish. Since completion of her MAT, she has taught Spanish in language immersion programs at the middle school and the elementary level in Lexington One and Richland One school districts and at the university level. Her daughter Elena is also a Highlander.

    

 

Read more about Ryan Novak

Ryan Novak

Instructional Technology Specialist
MS Technology Teacher
rnovak@heathwood.org

Ryan Novak

Instructional Technology Specialist
MS Technology Teacher

rnovak@heathwood.org

Ryan began teaching middle and high school social studies in Washington state before moving to South Carolina and transitioning into academic technology. He now works with teachers, helping them use technology to expand and enhance students’ learning opportunities, focusing primarily on our 1:1 iPad and laptop programs and our use of Haiku. It is his hope that students will grow as learners, citizens, and as young men and women through the experiences they have while at Heathwood, and that the technology they use here can play just a small part in that development.

Ryan holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia and an M.Ed. From Pacific Lutheran University.

Read more about Molly Peterson

Molly Peterson

7th Grade English Teacher
mpeterson@heathwood.org

Molly Peterson

7th Grade English Teacher

mpeterson@heathwood.org

After previously teaching at Irmo High School, Molly took time off to stay home with her two boys, Pete (Class of 2022) and Cal (Class of 2025). The Petersons joined the Heathwood community in 2009 when their oldest son, Pete, started kindergarten.  Eventually, Molly became an active volunteer in the Heathwood community, chairing both middle and upper school HPA committees, as well as the 2019 Annual Auction.  Molly joined the Heathwood faculty in 2020 as the seventh grade English teacher. Heathwood’s sense of community and small class-sizes make it an ideal place to teach.  Molly has really enjoyed being back in the classroom and particularly loves being in middle school. 

Molly holds a B.A. from Wofford College and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina.

Read more about Curtis Player

Curtis Player

Middle School P.E. Teacher
Head Girls Soccer Coach
cplayer@heathwood.org

Curtis Player

Middle School P.E. Teacher
Head Girls Soccer Coach

cplayer@heathwood.org

Curtis joined the faculty at Heathwood in 2001. While at Heathwood, he has taught Middle School Math and Lower and Middle School PE. He also served as the Assistant Athletic Director for 10 years and earned the SCISA Charles Smith Volunteer of the Year, in 2009. Outside of the classroom, Curtis has coached numerous teams on campus, including Boys and Girls Middle School Basketball, Junior Varsity Girls Basketball, and Girls Varsity Soccer. In 2013, the Girls Soccer team won their first and only State Championship. Curtis earned All-American Honors in soccer while at Hampden-Sydney. He was inducted into the HSC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. Curtis and his wife, Cheryl have two children, Callie (’27) and Charlie (’29)

Read more about Pamela Pope

Pamela Pope

MS Latin Teacher
ppope@heathwood.org

Pamela Pope

MS Latin Teacher

ppope@heathwood.org

Middle School Latin Teacher Pamela Pope joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in the Fall of 1994 and she has taught in both the Middle and Upper Schools. She is also an alumna of Heathwood Hall and the parent of two alumni (classes of 2021 and 2022). Students in her classes are exposed to a variety of teaching methods and assessments in order for the students with their various learning styles to connect with and understand the demanding curriculum.  They are exposed to the ancient history and culture of the Romans while learning the vocabulary and grammatical components of the Latin language.

Pamela holds a B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more about Helen Roman

Helen Roman

MS English Teacher
hroman@heathwood.org

Helen Roman

MS English Teacher

hroman@heathwood.org

Helen Roman joined the Heathwood faculty in the fall of 2007. She taught Humanities for three years and has taught sixth grade English ever since. After earning her B.S. from Clemson University, she began her teaching career in the public schools of Charleston, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Columbia. She "retired" from professional life to guide her own children through their formative years. Her son is a 2004 graduate of Heathwood, and her daughter attended Heathwood for six years. Helen returned to the workforce with EdVenture Children's Museum, helping to foster the idea that "play equals learning" and is the key to life-long success. 

Read more about Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders

7th Grade Math Teacher
msanders@heathwood.org

Matthew Sanders

7th Grade Math Teacher

msanders@heathwood.org

Mr. Sanders grew up in Bennettsville, SC, and graduated from Marlboro Academy in 2007. He attended College of Charleston, majoring in middle level education, concentrating in math and science education, and graduated May 2011. He taught has taught 8th grade math and science in the Clover School District; Algebra I and II, Computer Science, Geometry, Psychology, and Statistics at his alma mater, Marlboro Academy; Algebra I, Geometry, Statistics H and AP, and Yearbook at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School in Darlington, SC. He is excited to join the staff at Heathwood Hall Episcopal school to share his love for Algebra and middle schoolers.

Read more about Tim Sebring

Tim Sebring

Upper School Computer Science  MS/US Makerspace
tsebring@heathwood.org

Tim Sebring

Upper School Computer Science  MS/US Makerspace

tsebring@heathwood.org

Mr. Sebring joined the Upper School faculty at Heathwood in 2020 after finishing up his Masters in Teaching in Portland, Oregon.  Prior to becoming a teacher he worked as an analyst and telecommunications engineer. He holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester and an M.A.T. from the University of Portland.

Read more about JuLayne Shiflett

JuLayne Shiflett

Head Athletic Trainer
MS PE Teacher
jshiflett@heathwood.org

JuLayne Shiflett

Head Athletic Trainer
MS PE Teacher

jshiflett@heathwood.org

JuLayne Shiflett graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Physical Education in 1990. During college, she worked as a camp counselor for the Richland County Recreation Commission and after a couple of years took over as the director of Camp Sunshine, a program for special needs children and young adults. She remained the director of this camp until 2006. Her teaching career began in Anderson District Five in 1991, and she soon returned to the Columbia area to teach in Richland School District One. While there, she was a Physical Education/Health teacher and a middle school volleyball and basketball coach.  After teaching and coaching in the public school system, she went back to the University of South Carolina to continue her education in the field of Athletic Training.  In 1997, she became a Nationally Certified Athletic Trainer and began her career at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School.   She is currently the Head Athletic Trainer and a Middle School Physical Education teacher. She is married to George Shiflett, and their daughter is a member of the Heathwood Class of 2025.

Read more about Jeri-Katherine Sipes

Jeri-Katherine Sipes

Assistant Chaplain
Religion Teacher
Head Boys Cross Country and Track Coach
jsipes@heathwood.org

Jeri-Katherine Sipes

Assistant Chaplain
Religion Teacher
Head Boys Cross Country and Track Coach

jsipes@heathwood.org

Rev. Jeri-Katherine Sipes joined the Heathwood Track & Field coaching staff in Spring 2020, and she began full-time employment at Heathwood as an assistant chaplain, religion teacher and coach in Fall 2021. Before coming to Heathwood Jeri-Katherine served in United Methodist Churches across the Midlands for eleven years, and she coached cross country and track for ten years at Dreher High School, growing the program from a dozen runners to over sixty runners, taking the program from an unranked team to consistently competing as one of the top 5 teams in the state and coaching many state champions and future collegiate runners from the 400m to the 5k. Jeri-Katherine’s interests include the Hebrew Bible, Ecotheology, Theology & the Body, Wesleyan Theology, and Social Justice/Advocacy. She has a passion for learning and sharing her love of God, learning and running with all ages. She is currently enrolled in a Youth Ministry program at Princeton Theological Seminary, hoping to learn and grow into her new role as a youth religious educator. “Heathwood gives me the opportunity to do everything I have been made to do: learn, teach, pastor, coach, run and enjoy God’s beautiful first incarnation–creation. The community and campus at Heathwood are life-giving.” She and her husband, Hiram, have three boys, Hiram Clyde (‘33), Grady (‘35), and Obie (‘37).

Read more about Lesa Steedly

Lesa Steedly

6th Grade History Teacher
lsteedly@heathwood.org

Lesa Steedly

6th Grade History Teacher

lsteedly@heathwood.org

Lesa Steedly is a veteran teacher with more than 35 years a of experience teaching ELA, World History, and Math to middle school students. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Middle School certification from The University of South Carolina and an M.A. in Counselor Education from South Carolina State University.  

 

 

 

Read more about Kelly Turbeville

Kelly Turbeville

Associate Director, PEAK Program
kturbeville@heathwood.org

Kelly Turbeville

Associate Director, PEAK Program

kturbeville@heathwood.org

Kelly Turbeville joined the PEAK Program as Associate Director in the spring of 2017 after an early graduation with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College, where she was also a four-year letter winner in soccer. The innovative and immersive program at Brevard provided Kelly with numerous teaching and technical outdoor skills. In addition to her regular curriculum, Kelly participated in and planned two 21-day wilderness expeditions in North and South Carolina. This knowledge has transferred to her position with the PEAK Program seamlessly as she helps plan many of the program's weekend and week-long excursions. She is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, trained in basic first aid, and is a Leave No Trace Trainer. When she is not passing on her love of adventure to students at Heathwood, Kelly can be found skydiving, mountain biking, kayaking, or camping. She is a graduate of Heathwood Hall (class of '13), where she served as a valuable PEAK student-leader and played many sports including soccer, which she helped lead to a state championship in 2013.

Read more about Ashley Webber

Ashley Webber

5th Grade Math Teacher
awebber@heathwood.org

Ashley Webber

5th Grade Math Teacher

awebber@heathwood.org

Ashley Webber holds both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the University of South Carolina. She is married to her college sweetheart and is this mother of two boys and a huge Gamecock fan.

 

Read more about Ali Woron

Ali Woron

5th Grade History Teacher Yearbook Coordinator

Ali Woron

5th Grade History Teacher Yearbook Coordinator

Ali holds a B.A. from Furman and an M.A.T. from Augusta State University.

See it for yourself.

The best way to experience Heathwood is to tour our campus and talk to our teachers.