Patricia Shipley, head of school
What sets Rossman apart?
Our character education. We have four guidelines that we really try to live by: kindness, honesty, respect and responsibility. They’re not just for the students, but for the whole community—the parents, the teachers and the children. Our character education program is not separate from what we do every day. It’s an integral part of what we do here. It’s just as important as our rigorous academic program. We try to do the best that we can to help each child grow to be the best that they can be.
What’s your favorite Rossman tradition?
The holiday program. We have 230 students who are all dressed up in little red capes and sing Christian, Hindu and Muslim songs. We celebrate the diversity of our children at the same time we’re celebrating the holidays. Rossman was founded in 1917, and the tradition goes back until the 1930s.
What would people be surprised to learn about Rossman?
People would be surprised to learn about the diversity of the school. Thirty percent of our children represents ethnic diversity. We also have a very good financial aid program, so we’re able to help families who might not be able to afford our tuition. That enables us to have economic diversity, which I think is important for every student in the school.
What’s a rewarding experience you’ve had with a student here?
I think about a child who came to us from another school in a lower grade. When he came to us, he was a shy child, not very confident in his abilities. By the time he left us in sixth grade, he was a very confident little boy who had learned to express his feelings and his concern for others, and the values that were important to him. He gave a three-minute speech at graduation that really set him apart. He told us how much he had developed from the time he had come here, academically and emotionally. It was a great experience to get to watch that development all the way through his schooling.
Rossman provides a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence.