Parent testimonials: interview with Yaël Benguigui and Amanda Eaman '97

Parent testimonials: interview with Yaël Benguigui and Amanda Eaman '97

Study parents are treasured members of The Study community. In the interview below, Study parents Yaël Benguigui and Amanda Eaman '97 share their thoughts on school values, how their daughters have grown since joining The Study, and the benefits of small class sizes & a caring environment. 

Click here to listen to the audio interview with Study parents Yaël Benguigui and Amanda Eaman ’97, with questions from The Study’s Director of Admissions Tara Ramiengar as well as prospective parents (7 minutes).

The written transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: Yaël, how would you describe the values of the school and of the families in the school community?

Yaël: I would say that academic excellence is an important value, which the parents share with the school. But The Study is also an incredibly well-balanced school; there is a balance between a nurturing environment and an academically rigorous one. There is also a great balance between traditional values and innovation.

Amanda: Yes, the students start their technology classes as early as Kindergarten, and they each get an iPad in Elementary School. And then, a laptop in Senior School.

Yaël: Yes, that’s fantastic. I think that we're cutting edge. We're always pushing forward, we're always breaking barriers. The school went fully independent just a couple of years ago, which was incredible because it has allowed for anyone, regardless of where they’re from, to apply to The Study. I think this allows parents to connect even deeper with the school value of breaking barriers.

Q: Amanda, what advice would you give to students just entering the school?

Amanda: I would advise them to take advantage of everything that The Study has to offer. I would advise them to say yes to as many opportunities as they can, to enjoy the freedom of being yourself and finding yourself at The Study, because it’s such a nurturing environment, where it’s OK to try something new and to be yourself. I would also tell them that they’re absolutely going to find their place here.

Q: Did you notice positive changes in your daughters since they started at The Study?

Yaël: Yes, absolutely. Their confidence level went through the roof. After being in a co-ed Elementary School, they gained so much confidence in Senior School at The Study from not having to compete with boys for leadership positions. My girls feel like they can do anything, and I feel like The Study truly taught them that there are no limits. Recently, they were joking that in CEGEP and university classes, you can always tell which girls went to The Study, because they’re the ones raising their hands with confidence every time the professor asks a question.

Amanda: My daughter started when she was in Kindergarten, and she’s now in Grade 4. To build on Yaël’s point, I would say that when we go to a place with lots of people, or a new learning environment, she is never intimidated or shy to ask questions. She knows that there is no such thing as a silly question, and she’s very confident with anyone she meets – which I largely attribute to The Study.

Q: Would you say that the school is able to educate different personalities in different ways?

Yaël: Yes, absolutely. This reminds me of the distinction between introverts and extroverts. Although my daughters feel like they are introverts, they also became fantastic public speakers throughout their time at The Study, and the school really brought this out in them. And the school is also great at teaching the more extroverted students about being respectful and considerate, and making space for others. The school doesn’t prefer one personality type over the other, and it really is excellent at bringing the best out of different personality types.

Amanda: Yes, and I feel like lessons can be tailored to what works for different students. The classes are small enough that teachers truly know each student, and they find ways to connect with each student and make them shine. Whether you are introvert or an extrovert, whether you have an issue with something in particular, or something that you really enjoy, the teachers and the staff will find a way to make it work.