College Admissions Book Talk

College Admissions Book Talk

Dear Newton Families,

As many of you know, college admissions has become an increasingly frenetic and pressured process. While our high schools in Newton have developed a college planning philosophy designed to support students and families, the energy, angst and resource devoted to the process can push some students and their families to the brink. What should we do about a phenomenon that can feel out of control?

New York Times columnist and best selling author, Frank Bruni, has written a compelling new book which offers a thoughtful perspective on college admission. In sum, Bruni argues that where a student goes to college is far less important than many of us previously believed. The book offers a counter narrative for students and their families who feel that their future and self-worth depends on a “yes” or a “no” from a certain group of colleges.

 (click on image to view at Amazon.

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I think Bruni’s perspective is especially timely given that we have seen a spike in stress and anxiety among our students. Since reading the book, I have a consistently quoted Bruni when the topic of college admissions comes up in conversation: “Where you go is not who you’ll be.” I hope this message resonates with others after reading his book.

On Wednesday, December 2nd, I will hold a superintendent/parent book discussion on Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be. It will give us an opportunity to talk about the book as a community and hear from a panel with extensive experience in the college admissions process. The panelists will include:

  • Jennifer King, College Consultant and Retired Guidance Department Head, Newton South High School
  • Beth Swederkas, Guidance Department Head, Newton North High School
  • Ronne Patrick Turner, Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions – Northeastern University

Here are the details:

December 2nd (7:00 p.m-8:30 p.m.)

Newton South Library

Here is the link with further information about the book. We have also included articles written by Frank Bruni on the topic.

I hope to see you for what should be a lively conversation on December 2nd.


David Fleishman

Superintendent of Schools

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