Building Character and Community Program Helps Alumna Excel Beyond TCS

Assistant Head of School Allen Broyles likes to tell prospective parents at our See Us In Action events a story about meeting his daughter’s principal at Paideia for the first time and telling her that Catherine graduated from The Children’s School.

“Her first comment was, ‘I love getting The Children’s School kids. They’re the ones who when that school drama pops up, they can see both perspectives and will help bridge the differences,’” Allen said.

Chelsea Mason (TCS Class of 2015) is in the middle of her high school career at The Lovett School, and she uses those “peacemaking” skills that she learned at TCS every day.

“People, especially in high school, can be a little bit mean,” said Chelsea. “I think you need to understand that they could be going through something. Learning compassion at TCS helped me to not judge first.”

When talking about everything TCS taught her, Chelsea was quick to point to our Building Character and Community (BCC) program and how it’s helped her navigate tough social situations in high school.

“TCS helped me academically, but (the school) also helped me become a better person and friend.”

“I learned that when you’re upset with someone, you can’t expect them to just pick up on that,” said Chelsea. “You have to say, ‘I’m upset with you,’ and if they don’t do anything to change, you have to accept that and move on.”

One of her favorite TCS memories is the puppet shows former guidance counselor Kathy Roberts put on to help students work through different emotions and how to respond to those emotions.

“She’d have these little puppet shows with different scenarios. I think that’s really helped me a lot,” said Chelsea.

Today on campus, you can hear students on the playground or in the classroom using the “I statements” they were taught by TCS counselors Natalie Grubbs or Erin Joyner so they can build their feelings vocabulary and express themselves calmly and respectfully.

TCS also encouraged Chelsea to show up as her authentic self. While here, Chelsea wasn’t afraid to show up in tutus. She even bedazzled her cast after breaking her arm on the third-grade camping trip. The class picture shows Chelsea, in a huge tutu, proudly displaying her bedazzled cast!

“I look back at my time at TCS as some of my best years. It was such a safe environment and really nice to grow up here because you can truly be who you are and I never felt judged.”