PERSPECTIVES

student & alumni

Otto

Otto J.

Comes to Sussex from:

Missoula, Montana 
Year in School:

Kindergarten
What makes Sussex so special and different from other schools? What do you love?

Sussex is SO COOL because you get to do stuff that other schools don't – like going to Camp Paxson and learning music. In music, we do “singing monsters” a lot. And another cool thing about Sussex is that every day we do a new thing. They teach us stuff in groups, like our tool box. It teaches us nice things about other people and how to calm down. There is the Breathing tool where we say "I calm myself" and take a deep breath. There is the Listening tool where I say "I listen with my eyes, ears and heart." Then there is the Empathy tool where we say "I care for myself and I care for others." We learn A LOT at Sussex. 

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Harlow H.

Comes to Sussex from:

Bonner, Montana 
Year in School:

First Grade
What makes Sussex so special and different from other schools? What do you love?

Sussex is a special place because there is a ditch to play in. Every single day I’m excited to go to school because I love playing and learning with my friends and teachers and watching Serpentina the snake.

Sage

Sage W.

Comes to Sussex from:

Missoula, Montana 
Year in School: 

5th
What makes Sussex so special and different from other schools? What do you love?

Sussex is a great school!

Daisy

Daisy Kulina

What years did you attend Sussex?

K-8th Grade

Hello! My name is Daisy Kulina and I’m a senior at Missoula’s Sentinel High School. Throughout my high school career, I’ve enjoyed taking a variety of classes in the social studies department, running cross country, volunteering my time at Soft Landing, and being a part of the policy debate team. 


As I continue with my academic journey, I will always have Sussex to thank for embracing the creative side of academics, fostering a tight-knit community of students and teachers, and most importantly, teaching me how to love learning. In being immersed in the crazy world of high school, I am incredibly grateful for the unique classroom perspective Sussex offered me. In fact, as I have started to look at colleges for next year, I’ve gravitated towards several small liberal arts schools that encompass values very similar to Sussex. In thinking about the start of my college chapter, I am confident; Sussex has left me with a rich set of skills that have bettered my academic career and will continue to set me up for a future of learning and success.
 

Quinn

Quinn Bear Slotnick-Murchison

What years did you attend Sussex?

1998-2007
Field of Study/Higher education:

Studied Education with a focus on history and policy at Brown University.
Current Profession:

Currently teach 1st and 2nd grade at Sussex School 
What has the Sussex School experience in your educational journey meant for you?
My time as a student at Sussex helped me to see what was possible in a school setting. The incredible outdoor opportunities and amazing teachers at Sussex fostered a communal, inspiring and friendly place to learn. After leaving Missoula I sought out teaching opportunities with the image of Sussex as the educational space I hoped to recreate. I have used lessons and games that I remember from my Sussex teachers in every school or environmental ed. program that I have worked in. Most importantly I have sought to recreate the same feeling for students that I experienced as an elementary and middle school student. I never thought that I would return to Sussex as a teacher, but I am so lucky that I did!

Hallie Bornstein Banziger

What years did you attend Sussex?

I attended Sussex from 1975 (I think) until 1987. 
Field of study/higher education?

I attended Cornell University for my undergraduate degree, which was in philosophy with a concentration in women’s studies. I attended the University of Wyoming for my PhD in Clinical Psychology 
Current Profession?

I am currently working full time as a clinical psychologist. I am also working full time as a  mother, and a wife. I also have part time jobs as a daughter, sister, friend, short order cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, tennis instructor and dog trainer.
Current city/state of residence? I recently moved back to Missoula but most of my stuff is still in Bozeman, where I lived for the past 18 years.

What has the Sussex School experience in your educational journey meant for you?
Sussex definitely taught me to believe that anything is possible if I work hard enough at it. Sussex was a big part of building my confidence and helped me to dream big. I believe that Sussex helped instill a sense of social justice within my soul and Sussex encouraged me to question things and try and leave the world a better place than I found it.  Sussex also encouraged life balance and self-efficacy. I believe that it was at Sussex that I learned that learning was fun and that being good at something was not always how you start. The fact that 2 of my 3 kids get to attend Sussex (even for a short time) is a thrill for me.  

Jordie Bornstein 

What years did you attend Sussex?

1975-1983 
Field of study/higher education?

Got BS in applied earth sciences from Stanford University and I did environmental consulting for 25+ years. That was enough. 
Current Profession?

Property Management and Design - self employed 
Current city/state of residence?

Oakland CA 
What has the Sussex School experience in your educational journey meant for you? 
Sussex taught me: 

  • critical thinking skills

  • to ask questions of anyone/everyone/anything

  • not to color inside of the lines (unless you want to!)

  • to take initiative in one's own path of learning, knowing it may look different from other's 

  • that the "classroom" can happen anywhere 

  • to value creativity in all things 

  • to be an engaged citizen

Brette Pedrick

What years did you attend Sussex?

1983-1992
Field of study/higher education?

BS in Environmental and Renewable Resource Economics from Penn State University
Current Profession?

Spent 19 years in the renewable energy industry doing economics types of analyses. Took last year off while kids were at home due to covid school closures.  Next career move…TBD!
Current city/state of residence?

Portland, OR
What has the Sussex School experience in your educational journey meant for you? 
Sussex taught me: 

  • Kids voices, ideas and interests are some of the most important drivers of their own education

  • Love of the outdoors, learning from the outdoors, and respecting the outdoors

  • Always ask questions & be curious

  • Try things that are outside your comfort zone

  • Love of books and reading

  • Importance of community involvement

Alumni GD

THEN

Sussex Alumni

NOW