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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Excellence in College Prep


As part of the International Baccalaureate recruitment process for freshman and sophomore students, Associate Dean of Academics and IB Coordinator Mr. Nick Kuhar sat down with brothers Lawson Nash '20 and Logan Nash '20 to create a podcast episode discussing the benefits of St. Ed's IB Diploma Program from a student-athlete perspective. Click here to listen to "A SEHS Podcast: On Common Ground in IB and Athletics (featuring Lawson and Logan Nash, Class of 2020). Reflecting on how the knowledge and skills they've acquired through the IB program resonates both on and off the football field, Lawson and Logan acknowledged how the challenging IB curriculum pushed them to work hard, become open-minded young men, and prioritize their responsibilities to excel in both their academics and athletics. "One of the most frequently asked questions regarding the IB program is, 'Will my son be able to balance his IB courses with his sports, extracurriculars, etc.?'," says Mr. Kuhar. "Though the short answer is 'Yes!', the most powerful response is from students who are still living the experience or from young alumni who can bring some additional appreciation for how IB coalesced with their athletics and extracurriculars. One thing I really appreciated is how transparent, candid and authentic Lawson and Logan were about the benefits and challenges inherent in the IB Diploma program. IB champions balance and the Nash brothers speak openly about the time management skills, willpower and rigor it takes them to get in the groove. What's incredible is that the Nash brothers noted that the way they've been trained to think in their IB courses (IB French, History and Physics) has sharpened their minds on the football field."

"The IB program has given me tools such as discipline, time management and organizational skills and I've seen practical applications of these tools both in my everyday life and on the football field," says Logan. "On the football field, I feel as if the discipline, attention to detail and work ethic that I've practiced through the IB program also show up in my play on the field. I've really enjoyed finding my passions, meeting new people and hearing their perspectives through the IB program. I'm someone who believes diversity of thought and greater perspective is important. I think if you're someone who wants to be challenged and put to the test, IB will definitely bring out the best in you. Although it takes hard work, it's possible to excel and you'll only be better for the experience in the long run."

Having signed their national letters of intent to play football at the University of Pennsylvania this fall (Lawson will be pursuing a Biology degree with a specialization in orthopedics to prepare for medical school and Logan will be pursuing a Business degree through the Wharton School of Business with a concentration in business ethics and legal studies), the Nash brothers accredited the IB program for providing them with a new outlook on life to overcome any challenges they may face. "I think it's important to hear student perspectives about the IB program," says Dean of Academics Mr. Matt Stepnowsky. "A faculty or staff member can holistically talk about how students will grow by participating in the IB program, but a student can tell you about his personal growth and why his experience mattered to him. Hearing student-athletes specifically talking about IB is great because it might relieve the fear of a student considering the IB program. Our sports programs strive for excellence just as our academic programs do and I think Lawson and Logan help to inspire others to take risks and push themselves."

"The Nash brothers' testimonial bears witness to how the mindsets IB courses promote can enhance students' powers as athletes," says Mr. Kuhar. "Sports are mental as much as physical, and the IB Diploma program is the most rigorous, gutsy course of training you can gift your mind as an Edsman. As student-athletes with incredibly bright futures, Lawson and Logan are gregarious about how confident and in control of their futures they feel IB has empowered them to be."

"I hope Lawson and Logan inspire other students to strive to be more," says Mr. Stepnowsky. "They lead by example. They want to be the best at everything they do and they seek out opportunities to improve themselves in all facets of their lives. There is nothing preachy about these guys. They are who they are and, if you want to push yourself to be a better version of yourself, they provide a great template. If you look at the students who make up an IB Diploma cohort or even a single IB class, you will see all types of students, but the one thing they all have in common is that they want to challenge themselves to be better today than they were yesterday."

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