Alumni Share Their Experiences with Students in a New Speaker Series

Mary McNulty, Parent & Alumni Coordinator


Carroll uses a variety of data to tell the story of how our students progress and thrive. No chart or graph, however, is as powerful as the stories we hear from families and alumni themselves. If you’ve served on or have been in the audience for a Carroll parent or alumni panel, you know just how incredibly inspiring they are. In particular, alumni panelists not only share their post Carroll experiences and triumphs, of which there are many, but they also reflect openly on their struggles and what led them to Carroll.

Every year, Carroll hosts a seminar for incoming families. Parents report that one of the most meaningful and poignant sessions during the seminar is when they hear from a panel of alumni. All are able to tell their stories, answer questions, reflect on what Carroll means to them, and share the extraordinary impact their teachers, friends, and community continues to have on their lives. New parents especially appreciate this opportunity because in our amazing alumni they see their own children. They once again are infused with hopeful confidence that Carroll is a place where their kids will be understood and given the tools for success.

During this year’s seminar, new Upper School Division Head Kate Collins experienced an Alumni Panel for the first time. She was in awe:

Being new to Carroll, I was told "get ready to tear up" at the New Parent Seminar (NPS). Publicly, I chuckled but privately I was thinking, "Yeah, right, I won't cry!" Fast forward to the evening of the NPS, and there I am -- crying on Zoom. Roy Dow ‘99's story literally brought me to tears. It was immediately clear to me that the power of his story coupled with his message of determination and perseverance needed to be heard by Upper School students too.  

As Division Head, I take the responsibility of creating community seriously. Pandemic learning has challenged me to think about how we can engage students and create connections in a different way. Rather than mourning the loss of “field trips,” and “school dances” I decided to capitalize on Zoom culture and tap the assistance of our amazing alumni so they too can see themselves in Carroll's incredible alums.

Kate moved quickly to partner with Mary McNulty, Carroll’s Alumni Coordinator, to create an Alumni Speaker Series specific to the Upper School. Having the sessions take place virtually this year has been an added benefit as alums from across the country can participate. To date, Upper School students have heard the powerful stories presented by:

  • Roy Dow ’99: Special Education Teacher and Varsity Soccer Coach at Newton North HS
  • Erin McNulty ’09: Athletic Trainer, Auburn University at Montgomery

Both shared thoughts on their Carroll journey - their lives before Carroll, during Carroll, and the tangible ways Carroll is still with them everyday. Equally as important is for our students to understand that there is no “cookie cutter” Carroll experience and that the dyslexic advantage is real. Roy and Erin explained clearly how they use their unique advantages in different settings and professions. Current students have benefited from these visits and look forward to welcoming more alumni throughout the year. 

Here are a few kudos shared by Upper School students:

"It's nice to meet people who went to Carroll--and hear how Carroll impacted their lives." 

"Seeing these alum has shown me that I am being prepared to pursue a career that I love." 

"It's super cool to see people like us go beyond this place and do so well." 

If you’re interested in sharing your story with our Upper School Students, please let us know HERE.



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