Paideia’s junior high is a combination of seventh and eighth grade self-contained “homebase” classes and departmentalized specialist classes. Each student spends two years in a homebase class with a pair of teachers. The homebase classes place particular emphasis on literature, writing, and social studies. Students see specialist teachers for math, science, foreign language, art, and music. There is a wide range of extracurricular activities to choose from, including sports teams, drama, academic and non-academic clubs.
Nathan Karnick '17
Nathan Karnick recalls being angry—really angry—when he entered Paideia in seventh grade and discovered he was required to take chorus for a whole year. Yet within a few months Nathan says his attitude had changed completely under choral teacher Scott Morris’s instruction, and soon he was auditioning for the junior high musical. From then on Nathan was hooked; he participated in every musical he could during his junior high and high school years and made All-State Chorus his final three years. As a senior, Nathan starred in both The Addams Family and Fiddler on the Roof and sang in Paideia’s chorus and student-led a cappella group. He was also a star on the tennis court, where he helped lead the varsity squad to a state championship in 2016 and captained the team in 2017. Currently enrolled at Northwestern University and pursuing a performance studies major with a music theater certificate, Nathan acknowledges the value of his Paideia education. While many of his college classmates focused almost exclusively on musical theater in high school, Nathan reflects that he had “the ability to do both sports and music, which is huge. Being more well-rounded is a nice thing.”