The Nemo Family, The Haverford School
With three sons, learn why the Nemo Family chose The Haverford School for all of them.
Cynthia Nemo is the mother of three boys and a girl, so she’s seen first hand the differences between the genders. The Haverford School, where her three sons are students, gets exactly what that means, she said.
“I get this feeling when I drive up to school that it’s an extension of our house a little bit,” she said. “You just get a really warm feeling when you’re there, and the kids pile out of the van, and they’re immediately laughing and psyched to be there.”
The family came to Haverford, a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school for boys, through their second son, Alex, who began there in kindergarten and is now in sixth grade. The youngest son, Nicky, was next, and the oldest, Brooks, joined his brothers in fifth grade.
Haverford — and its unique curriculum designed just for boys — has been a fantastic fit for all of them, Cynthia said.
“I would say the most amazing thing about Haverford is what they expect out of the boys,” she said. “I say to my boys, ‘Be the best version of yourself.’ You don’t have to be the best in the class, but be the best that you can be, and I feel like that’s what Haverford expects from the boys.”
“For my three guys — who all learn differently, they all play different sports, they all have different interests — I feel like Haverford makes them all rise to that occasion for each individual thing that they’re interested in,” Cynthia said. “They cater to boys, and they teach for an active body and an active mind.” That means recess every day, even in the Middle School, and classroom work that’s adapted to boys, too. A science class involves more than just sitting around a lab, for example. That movement has been critical for Cynthia’s three active sons.
“Haverford teachers know that about boys, and they’re not making them feel ashamed that they have this energy,” she said.
Most impressive of all, Cynthia said, is the care with which Haverford is crafting a path to manhood for students. Because of her father’s and brothers’ experiences at Haverford, she felt familiar with the school. When she and her husband took a campus tour, Cynthia was struck by how the school had kept many of its traditions while adapting the curriculum, and the school environment, for today’s boys. Their tour guide, then a ninth-grader, was so confident, poised, and articulate that the couple were essentially convinced on the spot.
“My husband and I thought, ‘If that’s who your kid becomes going to this school, we want all of our boys to come here,’’’ she said. “It blew every other school that we had looked at out of the water.”
Profile by Gwyneth Shaw. Photography by Abbe Foreman
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