an interview with Kelly Eidson and Megan Philip
What’s your role at Wilson?
Kelly: I have been the president of the Wilson Parents' Association for two years now, and as a family, we’ve been with Wilson for four years. We started at Wilson when my oldest child started third grade.
Megan: This is my 10th year being a part of The Wilson School. I’m currently a board trustee. Previously, I was the Wilson Parents' Association president for two years, and have been on the board for six years. I’m currently completing my second term on the board. We came to Wilson when my daughter started Senior Kindergarten.
What is something you feel Wilson does for families?
K: Really, one of the greatest things Wilson does for families is preparing students for transitioning to secondary school. The administration takes this process very seriously, and starts talking about it with students in 5th grade. In 5th and 6th grades, the leadership gives you and your student feedback and insight for preparing for the transition. They work to ensure Wilson students put together the best application they can. Teachers even do mock interviews to help students sharpen their presentation and communication skills for those settings. The faculty know each individual child so well at this point in their life as a student that their tutelage and preparation is less of a dart throw and more of a deliberate roadmap to the success of each student. Wilson leaders and teachers give tremendous feedback and advice for making strong decisions for the future of these students.
M: I wholeheartedly agree with everything Kelly said, both in my own experience and what I’ve seen in other families. Wilson offers families the ability to partner with the school in ways other schools can’t or don’t. That’s because of our commitment to community. It’s not just something we say; it really is such a priority for Wilson faculty and teachers to know the kids and their parents, and it’s evident in conversations, feedback, and support. Wilson families are supported as they’re raising their children, and not only during the school day, but throughout their life as a Wilson student.
I think our size at Wilson is a real advantage when it comes to students growing and reaching their potential. The entire family is known by our faculty, staff, and other families. That can be difficult at other schools, but at Wilson because of our size and commitment to community, families are an integral part of our larger Wilson family. It’s a great way to be involved in your kids' education, have fun, and build strong relationships along the way. Wilson is very unique in that regard.
What does community mean at The Wilson School?
K: When I was growing up, I went to giant public schools where every grade was its own entity, separate from the others. At Wilson, where we have a smaller class size, students are very connected to other grade levels throughout the school. The buddy program is something special here. This program connects pre-kindergarten students to 4th grade students in a mentorship-style relationship. Think about that. A three or four year old might be shy or timid, but their older buddy is their mentor, taking care of them and nurturing them through the school year. For the next few years, they build relationships and get to know each other and rely on each other. The older buddy gets to be proud of their younger buddy, and we see the younger students get excited about seeing their older buddy throughout the school day and different events. They do special projects together, community service projects, birthdays parties, and more. The buddy program has absolutely been so important to my own kids at Wilson. It’s one of their favorite things here!
M: The relationships going both ways were so special to my daughter. My daughter's older buddy even came back to see her graduate from 6th grade. She and her younger buddy still have a strong relationship to this day.
Regarding community at Wilson, we are welcoming to all different types of families, whether you’re new to town, new to independent schools, or have been in the area your entire life. Wilson provides unique opportunities for parents and adults to get involved, no matter their skill or amount of availability. This goes back to our size and emphasis on relationships. There’s a legitimate chance to be involved in the life of the school in meaningful ways you might not get at other schools. It really makes everyone feel a sense of belonging to the Wilson community.
K: If you're comfortable with leadership, there are roles for that. If you’re more of a behind the scenes person, there are roles for that, and everything in between. During the school day, you’ll see parents everywhere. They serve on committees, help planning, etc. It sends a great message to the kids: my mom and dad are part of the school, too. It’s not different from home life or compartmentalized. If you have a special cultural background, skill set, or ability, Wilson is excited about embracing that. The Wilson community is so warm, so welcoming.
Wilson in the News