At Roycemore, we see every child as an individual full of endless possibility and potential. Watch our school video and see firsthand what students have to say about the Roycemore experience.
Founded in 1915, Roycemore continues to promote educational excellence through unique partnerships with Northwestern University and Adobe Inc., while offering a welcoming environment that gives students a strong sense of belonging and community.
Zoe Kruse chose to attend Smith College after graduating from high school at Roycemore. Her parents are looking forward to visiting her on the East Coast, as they encouraged her to go away for school and strike out on a new path. Zoe is an incredible catch for Smith, as she was also accepted to Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis, Wellesley, Boston College, Vassar, Vermont, and Clark. Quite an impressive set of options. Zoe spent her years at Roycemore fostering a deeper interest in the sciences while engaging in competitive rock climbing outside of school. Citing her best asset as tenacity, Zoe doesn’t know yet what she will do in her next step, but the future is wide open. She hopes it includes hiking the Appalachian Trail!
“My time at Roycemore was defined by the things that make it a great experience for so many of us. We had small class sizes, so we could dive deeper. We had personal relationships with all of our teachers, and they really got to know us, how to help us, and how to push us. We were a close community that supported each other. I would tell freshman that academics should come first, but make time for the other stuff – it is just as important. Roycemore allowed me to do just that.”
“Thinking back on my time at Roycemore, I most value how my teachers were collaborators in my education. They didn’t tell me what to do or how to do it – they sought out my strengths and used them to help me excel. By the faculty modeling how to pull out my best and play to my strengths, they taught me how to do that on my own. The key to my education at Roycemore went so far beyond the classroom. They taught me to know myself, to love myself, to advocate for what I wanted, and that anything is within reach. These lessons have served me far beyond my years at Roycemore and presented me with opportunities that my peers have missed out on – both academically and professionally. I think more impersonal school settings can sometimes discourage students from asking challenging questions and digging deeper in ways that Roycemore definitely encouraged me to do.”
When I remember my years at Roycemore, it is clear to me that Roycemore’s culture of excellence and individuality has positively shaped my life since graduation. Roycemore emphasized learning through discovery, critical thinking, and challenging oneself; values that have remained with me to this day. Outside the classroom, the opportunities to build friendships through the extracurricular activities offered also shaped my character and proved to be invaluable, particularly through soccer, baseball (which I had never played before), and scholastic bowl. Through my January Short Term projects, I learned and was inspired by the logic behind how computers operate, and went on to study Computer Science in college. I still remember how I learned to critically analyze film on another JST project. Roycemore provided me with a truly unique experience.
Roycemore was much more for me than just a series of challenging courses, competitive teams, brilliant teachers, dedicated coaches, extravagant Palio performances, and clandestine trips to D&D Dogs between periods. Roycemore was, and continues to be, a vibrant, stimulating and diverse community with a wide range of subjects, activities and sports to explore. Not to mention, January Short Term, which I’d look forward to every year. Whether it was living with a French family in Paris, winter ecology and hiking with Mr. Spica in Wisconsin, recreating Normandy’s D-Day invasion, or learning how to run a snowboard shop as an independent study on entrepreneurship, I was able to pique interests, gain international exposure and build lifelong memories.
Geoffrey Mark is a Computer Graphics Supervisor in the Television and Movie Industry. He has worked on such well-known projects as Spider Man 3, Battlestar Galactica, The Vampire Diaries and The Orville. He also spent time in the Video Game Animation business working on several Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo games, even running his own business for a period of time. Reflecting back on his career, Geoffrey is quick to point out that one his first experiences with animation was at Roycemore School during his January Short Term (JST).
He also earned his Private Pilot’s License and participates in search and rescue efforts run by the Civil Air Patrol. He also volunteers with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and was elected Governor of the Special Visual Effects Peer Group, where he helps to shape the current rules surrounding the Emmy awards.
“I graduated from Roycemore in 1985. I’ve treasured my time there ever since.”
When Donnis Hobson graduated from Roycemore in 1966, it was a class of all girls. She sought out a co-ed experience and became the first student from Roycemore to be accepted to Stanford University. It set such a precedent that Stanford came to visit her at Roycemore to ensure the candidate and school were a good fit. At the time, Stanford could only accept 400 women per class of 1200 students. It would be among the first times that Donnis Hobson was in an environment dominated by men.
In 1966 the country was just beginning to see women pursuing careers and families at the same time. Pursuing a career in medicine was all the rarer. When she advanced to the University of Chicago for her MD, she was one of 15 women in a cohort of 90 medical students. When she secured her surgical internship at Northwestern Hospital she was the only female of 30 interns in the surgery rotation. Dr. Donnis Hobson was the 3rd woman ever admitted to the plastics program at Northwestern. Not only was she among the first female board-certified plastic surgeons, she was #769 of Board Certifications in plastic surgery in the entire country. When she opened her first practice in plastics, she served with the first board-certified African American woman in the country.
Donnis had a great start in her career, and it was Roycemore that gave it to her. Donnis’ father served on the Board of Trustees with Dr. Hal Griffith whose children attended Roycemore as well. Dr. Griffith was the first Chief of Plastic Surgery at Northwestern. Dr. Griffith took Donnis under his wing and inspired her to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor. “He gave me great opportunities when I came back to do my plastics residency. Imagine a 4th-year medical student sewing up after the Chief! If I did it imperfectly, he would remove the stitches and have me do it again. It was an incredible experience and I had that because of Roycemore.”
Donnis is now retired. After 25 years in practice including private practice in pediatric plastics, breast reconstruction and her recent service to San Mateo county helping prisoners, the uninsured and other vulnerable populations, she looks forward to what may come next. In between those years, she managed to shepherd a marriage of 46 years, raise children who now have children of their own She even completed an MBA from San Francisco State.
“I set these goals as a kid, to be a doctor and to have a family. Maybe I should have done more – maybe there is more left to do.”
Each Middle School student works on a P3 to experience the joy of self-directed learning and growth. Twice a week, students meet with a teacher or expert mentor to help stay on track as they move forward on a journey of discovery.
The culmination of the project is sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge with others at a P3 Expo.
Each spring, the Lower School devotes a week to an in-depth, project-based study of a special topic. Different groups explore different aspects of the topic, working together in multi-age groupings that engender collaboration and team support. Past topics include The Earth Beneath Our Feet, Architecture and Climate Change.