Andrew Stewart is a resident of South Euclid, living just west of the Lyndhurst border. He spent the entirety of his K-12 academic experience in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City Schools, except for two months in the sixth grade when he was enrolled at Hawken School. Since graduating from Brush in 2011, Andrew enrolled and graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He possesses Bachelors of Arts degrees in philosophy and political science. He is currently applying to graduate schools and is a coming year core member for the AmeriCorps City Year program in Cleveland.
Andrew greatly enjoyed his time in the SEL schools. “Overall it was a wonderful learning experience, in terms of academics, activities, friendships, and positive relationships with the faculty,” he states. “I was really grateful to come back to the public schools after my time a Hawken. I really missed them.” At Brush, Andrew took a wide array of classes and attempted to maximize the number of courses he took. “I love learning, and the teachers were great.” He enjoyed the AP classes he took, stating that they allowed him to develop critical thinking and exposed him to new subjects. Andrew also learned a lot from his extracurricular activities. Outside of the classroom, he played the violin in orchestra and chamber ensemble. He was also a member of Key Club, National Honor Society, and Science Olympiad. As a member of the academic team, he had the opportunity to appear of Academic Challenge. “It’s one of my favorite high school memories and it was great honor to represent Brush,” Andrew affirms.
His favorite memory from high school was his graduation. “I was nervous about leaving high school and going on to college and the ‘real world,’ and the ceremony turned out to be very meaningful and fun.” He also says it was very affirming of all his classmates’ accomplishments. As a student speaker, he had the opportunity to reflect on his time in high school and realized that Brush would be with him for the rest of his life. If he could go back, Andrew wishes he would have talked to his teachers more after and outside of class. “They all had interesting life stories and imparted practical wisdom that really benefitted me.” He also wishes he had started volunteering earlier. “I started doing more when I became a member of National Honor Society, but I wish I would have done so sooner.”
Andrew graduated as Kenyon’s salutatorian this past May. This upcoming year, he will work with the AmeriCorps City Year program. “I’ll be tutoring students and working to improve graduation rates within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.” He is also applying to philosophy Ph.D. programs.
Andrew felt incredibly prepared to learn at a liberal arts college thanks to his instructors at Brush. “They really helped me develop critical thinking skills.” He also states that his English teachers emphasized learning for its own sake and that reading was a way to connect with places, times and individuals that were different but, in the end, not that different. “At Brush, I didn’t just become good at learning, but to learn with the right attitude.” The only shortcoming? “There weren’t a lot of practical know-how classes, but that’s probably just the state of education today.”
At Kenyon, Andrew played the violin in the community orchestra for 3 years, was a member of quiz bowl, philosophy club, and the buildings and grounds committee of student council. He also worked in the special collections and archives of the college’s library. In ten years, he sees himself playing a role in educating others similar to those people who educated him. “I want to find a way to work as a professor of philosophy, or perhaps even teach middle or high school.” There is also a chance he may want to work in education policy.
When asked about the community’s perception of the SEL public schools, Andrew believed that is was mostly positive during his time. He says that negative perceptions are perhaps filled by a lack of knowledge. “I think community members have a vague picture of operation and what the public schools need to succeed. If we increase community participation, the gaps in understanding will go away. Outreach will only help.”
Andrew’s final thoughts were advice for students. “High school and college are what you make them.” He says he learned so much in his time at Brush that wouldn’t have learned elsewhere. “There are hardworking individuals throughout the district that will support you when you invest in your education.”