Compass Graduates frequently stay in touch with teachers and staff after graduation, and we enjoy sitting down with alumni to reflect on the Compass Experience.

Are you a Compass Alumni? Click here to take our 20th Anniversary Survey!


University of Vermont, major in Art and Sociology

What you have been up to since leaving Compass School? I tried out art school for a year in Ohio, then transferred to the University of Vermont. I joined the ultimate frisbee team to make some friends (the entire time I regretted that I hadn’t played at Compass), I volunteered at a prison, I worked on a farm, and I had an internship in NYC with a fashion designer. Throughout, I made a lot of art. I graduated with a bachelor's in Studio Art with a minor in Sociology and started my career as a production material coordinator at Commando (responsible for organizing and shipping fabric, elastic, lace, thread, etc). Six months later I got a promotion and now I’m responsible for quality control!

How Compass has helped you in your current life? Between Winterm, Junior/Senior project, and, even, Exploratories-- there was always encouragement to reach out to people beyond the Compass community for help, support, or ideas. I’ve gotten internships, grants, and jobs, simply by shooting an email expressing that I was excited by someone’s work. I wouldn’t have known how likely people are to say yes to help and talk to a stranger without my experiences at Compass.

What do you tell others now about Compass? I tell people about the small intimate class size, the honest and informative Health Week, Giving Day, how in every assignment we were encouraged to be creative, and the list goes on. I’ve talked so highly of my experience at Compass that my boyfriend frequently asks if the school is hiring.

What do you value most about your Compass experience? I value the dedication of the teachers at Compass. I am so amazed by the amount of work and time that all of the staff devoted to the school. I barely survive 40 hours a week without feeling drained-- I don’t know how the Compass staff does it but I’m glad they do. The teachers make the school the amazing place it is.


Vermont Technical College, Major in Electromechanical Engineering

Most interesting experience at Compass: The experiences that my senior project created. A partner and I worked on research for an electromyography device that we developed to encourage physical therapy among persons with muscular impairment. We went down to Atlanta, GA to do some of this, we did a lot of it at Compass, and it was an extremely rewarding experience.

How Compass has helped you in your current life: Compass has opened my eyes to the realm of possibility and creativity. I have the notion now that there is no obstacle that I can’t overcome, and almost no problem that can’t be solved, which is what led me to become an engineer and want to help the world.

What you tell others now about Compass: I tell others that Compass is an incredibly amazing place that still nurtures creativity that is often shunned in most high-school settings. When I was given a problem at Compass, there was that old saying that one should think outside of the box. I soon realized at Compass that there was no box, there were no limits on what we could learn, and that I was free to build on my knowledge in ways that benefited me immensely.

What you value most about your Compass experience: I was able to find many subjects that interested me at Compass . Once I found them, I was able to use the fine resources and teachers at Compass to build a passion for them. My interest was mechanics and electronics. I know that without Compass, I wouldn't have found this passion that makes everyday a joy for me knowing that I will be giving back to the world someday very soon.


Manhattanville College, Major in Political Science, Minors in Dance and World Religions

Most interesting experience post-Compass: I have had many interesting experiences from living in the jungle in Costa Rica to participating in a model UN conference at Harvard University. Most of all I have enjoyed exploring philosophy and political theory and how it relates to life as it is lived. Currently, I am formulating a thesis for next semester on the development of sustainable communities in the American liberal democratic system.

Most interesting experience at Compass: I thoroughly enjoyed being on Student Council. It was this experience that inspired my Political Science studies and further exploration of leadership.

How Compass has helped you in your current life: Compass has taught me how to be a student and learn from every experience I have.

What you tell others now about Compass: Now I tell people that Compass showed me what I wanted and needed out of my education. It developed my unique world view that has served me so well as a student of politics.

What you value most about your Compass experience: What I value most about Compass was the opportunities it gave me to travel and explore the world. Compass allowed me a holistic world view that put my own life in context.