The Paideia School

William Johnson '18

If someone asked me to describe myself in three words, two of those would be “Paideia Student.” That label, “Paideia Student,” just about sums up my worldview, my love of learning, and most importantly, my religious devotion to ultimate Frisbee.

Although Paideia is a large part of my identity, I’ve only been here for four years. Before that, I lived in Lexington, Massachusetts. I had a difficult time adjusting to Paideia. I missed what I had grown to love in Lexington: my old baseball team, Rancatore’s ice cream, and of course, all my friends. At the ancient age of 14, I had no clue how I was going to rebuild what I lost.

Upon arrival at Paideia, the students and teachers were extremely welcoming. Many of my current friends went out of their way to introduce themselves. Some invited me to hang out with them after orientation.

However, I still felt somewhat isolated and lonely.

While there is no doubt that Paideia went above and beyond to welcome me, I was reluctant to let go of the past. I felt like making new friends and memories was too much effort. Instead, I would just stay at home as some sort of rebellion against the reality of having moved.

During my absence, people I barely knew checked in on me. It was then that I learned Paideia was, and still is, full of caring people. Thrower, one of our guidance counselors, helped me realize that moving was not the end of my life. Laura, our director of studies, made it possible for me to pick up right where I left off when I was ready to come back. Many of my friends … helped in one way or another, whether they invited me to see a movie, taught me how to throw a Frisbee on the green, or just said hi in the hallway.

With the help of Paideia, I’ve built a new life in Atlanta. I fell in love with ultimate Frisbee instead of baseball. I found Jeni’s ice cream, which is almost as good as Rancatore’s. And most importantly, I’ve made amazing friends.