Merrill Mandell

P‘21, ’22, ’26 and Board Member

One thing I really feel is special about KO is having teachers serve as teachers, advisors, and coaches. That dynamic creates many opportunities for kids to establish relationships with trusted adults on campus. It creates this 360-degree wraparound of your child where those adults don’t just see them in the classroom or don’t just see them on the field, but they see them in all aspects of their life. And because the teachers here are so approachable, my children were comfortable and encouraged to advocate for themselves. KO supports these kids in building essential life skills in a safe, nurturing, and supportive place. And the impact goes far beyond their time in high school. 

I’m also really excited about the new Community Commons. There are always kids and teachers convening around campus, but right now, there are few of those spaces to go around. So I love the idea that we can provide a larger communal space where kids and adults can be together in sort of less structured times; those community times and free periods, or while studying or collaborating on a project or meeting with a teacher, or just blowing off some steam after classes. A space like this is important because it creates more of a cohesive feeling on campus where the kids get to spend their time. And I love that there’s an outdoor space. It’s an inviting, inclusive space for everybody on campus.