From their first jaunt onto campus nearly a decade ago, Joe and Kathy Sapiente experienced a palpable connection with the Hamden Hall school community and its members.
They knew they had found the right learning environment for their three children and that the entire family had become part of something much more than just a school.
“Anyone who knows anything about Hamden Hall always mentions its community. When you first walk on this campus, you feel it. You see it in the faces of the students and faculty as they walk from building to building. You experience it during sporting events and activities. When we first stepped foot on the campus in 2007 we sensed it, we saw it, we felt it, and we knew we wanted more of it,” said family patriarch Joseph R. Sapiente.
Eldest child Joe started in the seventh grade in 2006 and graduated last year. He now attends Wheaton College in Massachusetts and is on the school’s Yearbook Committee and is a staff sports photographer. His father notes that Joe is “leveraging” his Hamden Hall Peer Leadership experience in his quest to become a Resident Advisor on campus.
Son Spencer joined Hamden Hall in 2009 and is currently a freshman. Daughter Ashley is the family’s lifer, having enrolled in PreKindergarten in 2008.
The decision to enroll all three children at the same school produced immediate benefits – including daily development observations.
“Witnessing our children’s growth at Hamden Hall has been so rewarding. Kathy and I believe that while we may be born with certain things; talents, behaviors and skills, the faculty and the entire community offers an enriched environment, enabling all students to flourish,” said Joe. “Every child is given an opportunity to achieve a level of success academically and personally.”
And with Joe’s graduation last year, Joe and Kathy said they knew they had offered him the best opportunity in terms of preparedness for the next phase of his life. Both parents credit the College Counselling Office with offering a personalized approach to their son.
“They knew what he wanted, what his interests and his passions were. They knew that the colleges he would and should interview with would consider his entire body of work as a person, student, and member of the Hamden Hall community. In my view we would not have received such tailored support had he not been at Hamden Hall,” maintained Joe.
The couple noted that while it was the school’s academic program that first drew them to Hamden Hall, they soon learned about an “added bonus.”
“The added bonus is that we get to witness the growth of our children into thoughtful, caring, hardworking young adults. It’s very rewarding to watch their development through their hard work and the dedication of the faculty and staff,” said Joe, who is Vice President of Covidien, a global healthcare products leader in Massachusetts.
Joe holds a degree in mechanical engineering technology and a bachelor of science in business management. Kathy is a certified registered nurse anesthetist and nurse practitioner. She holds a bachelor of science in nursing, a master’s in biology and a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing.
Both grew up in the Connecticut public school system but knew when it came to their children, they would go the extra mile.
“Even before children, Kathy and I knew that when the time came we would do all we could to offer our children the best education and the best chances of being prepared for college and the real world. After six years of public school, and talking with friends Daniel (a 1988 alumnus) and Nicole Skuret, we attended an open house. In 2006 Joe interviewed and enrolled at Hamden Hall. After witnessing how Joe adjusted and how much he loved it, we knew we had to get Spencer and Ashley into this community too,” said Joe.
For the Sapiente family, the Hamden Hall experience seems to have truly manifested in myriad ways.
“What we have come to value most about Hamden Hall is the opportunity for every student to reach their potential no matter what it may be. It’s how the Hamden Hall family embraces the student and helps each explore the possibilities, set objectives and reach their goals.”
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.