Halaina Basham

SJA ALUM CLASS OF ’15

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Education after SJA: St. Timothy’s School

Favorite Memory from SJA:

“I actually have two favorite memories. Mr. Walsh gave us assigned seats when he first started and after a couple weeks let us move around.  I decided to keep my seat and when my friend Julia figured out I wanted the seat she  decided it would be hers. We spent the next two years trying to get that seat every single day, racing and sometimes even wrestling for it. I’m happy to say that my brother, Connor, has continued the Basham tradition and now sits in that same seat each day.

My second favorite memory was a project assigned in eighth grade Tech. We did a spoof of America’s Next Top Model and over the course of two weeks developed our own characters. It was amazing to watch our characters come to life, usually the very opposite of who we are each day. (I was a bubbly farm girl from Kansas who loved to dance…I don’t dance). It was during that project that I realized our classmates had become my family. Each time I watch that video I laugh out loud and while I miss those times, I treasure them as one of my greatest memories.”

How has SJA prepared me for the future?

“SJA prepared me in so many ways for the future. I was able to make a choice like St. Tim’s and really step into a whole new cultural world because I had confidence. That confidence came from family, teachers and friends who really cared about me every step of the way. I had teachers who convinced me that I could do better work even when I wasn’t sure of that myself. I am at a very academically challenging school and I’m not only able to keep up but I’m thriving. I would suggest as much writing and analysis as possible because those skills are very important in high school.”

School highlights:

“My favorite thing about St. Tim’s are the girls that I have met from around the world. Many schools have international students visiting for a short time, but at St. Tim’s we have girls from 29 countries that come from a lot of different demographics and make Maryland their home for four years. I have friends who come from the small towns of Nigeria (who have never seen snow) and I also have friends from the Middle and Far East who have traveled the world. It is amazing to have the opportunity to share their culture each day. I was also really surprised and happy to meet so many girls from around our own country too. Our experiences are American but different from each other because of where we grew up. We are all so very different and yet have so much in common. I am honored that they just elected me their President for the Class of 2019.

Our Head of School has also been amazing at bringing us together and our Dean of Academics asks for, and responds to, our suggestions and feedback about courses. I worried that I could never have the  family SJA experience again, but what I have found is that my family has just grown even bigger. I wouldn’t trade my experience at St. James or St. Tim’s for anything in the world.”