We are pleased to announce our final Peabody Alumnus of the Month for the 2014 – 2015 school year, Pepper Nagle. Pepper graduated from Peabody in 2010 and moved on to boarding school, where she played varsity soccer and tennis and served as editor for the school’s athletic magazine and on the student council. She is now a student at UVA, honing her creative skills and engaging her passion for creative endeavors. This summer, she will be working at a photography company in New York City, and she intends to pursue a career that is “creative in nature, hopefully having to do with creative writing in the entertainment field.”
Pepper’s transition to high school in New England was not easy: “Peabody was my world of happiness, a place where I was always supported and where everyone around me was determined, kind, and full of passion.” Although boarding school was a completely different world, Pepper was able to draw upon her experiences at Peabody to overcome the challenges she faced in this new environment, and to emerge successful. Specifically, Peabody gave her a solid foundation for her future built upon the experiences with her teachers and classmates at Peabody, who “shared an unparalleled love of learning. Peabody taught me to be me, and gave me the confidence to jump into high school knowing myself and knowing who I wanted to become.” She says that the Peabody community created a learning environment that cultivated both intellectual and emotional growth, and that all the students graduating with her left with a strong sense of self.
Pepper’s teachers at Peabody have made a lasting impression on her. She says that, as she moved through high school and into college, her appreciation for Peabody teachers has grown exponentially: “Peabody was a place where I felt entirely comfortable with all of my teachers and that is something that should not be overlooked. The teachers went above and beyond to make us feel at ease.” The relationships she and her peers developed with their teachers made their subsequent academic immersion possible. Pepper especially remembers Marie Beaurline, our current Middle School math teacher. “She saw me at my best, at my worst, at my sassiest, and she supported me no matter what.” Pepper acknowledges that the lessons Ms. Beaurline taught her, “and the occasional lecture concerning my behavior,” remain with her to this day.
Peabody teachers likewise remember Pepper quite fondly. In fact, Ms. Beaurline specifically remembers Pepper’s “tenacity and determination to learn.” Of Pepper, Ms. Beaurline says, “Pepper’s determination and willingness to work hard made her one of the most rewarding students I have ever worked with.” Pepper also found creative ways to contribute to the Peabody experience. She would often bake treats for her teachers and classmates, and even made hats for the math club. (Ms. Beaurline still wears hers.) Demi Runkle, who taught Pepper in 4th and 5th grades, remembers her as a “very social child who had lots of friends – always smiling and eager to learn.”
As for her time at Peabody outside the classrooms, Pepper recalls the joy she felt as part of the “Book Buddies” program, in which older students would read to younger students, a Peabody tradition that continues to this day. She also loved French Day and Field Day, and has great memories of her participation in a 4th grade production of The Princess Bride.
When she contemplates the future, Pepper imagines herself in five years living in Iceland (her top choice) or somewhere in Europe with a new puppy. Wherever she lands, she plans to own a coffee shop and to start an eco-friendly clothing line. Her fantasy job would be to join the cast of Saturday Night Live after returning from Europe (or, of course, Iceland).
Pepper honors the Peabody community with her creative spirit and her unstoppable intellectual curiosity, and we are so pleased to honor her as our Alumnus of the Month. Congratulations, Pepper! You make us all proud, and we can’t wait to see where your journey takes you!