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Post Oak Graduates:
Adventurous, Accomplished Adults

Alumni Stories

Serving His Country and Seeing the World

Graham Hull (POS 1994) joined the U.S. Navy as an Information Warfare Officer, and has since traveled, with the Navy or on his own, to Poland, Japan, Australia, and Iraq. His current duty station is Navy Information Operations Command Maryland, a counterpart to the National Security Agency.

"Computing" Means "Thinking Together"

Sara Mitchell (POS 1997) was the first female student webmaster at Episcopal High School; after receiving degrees in computer science from Austin College and Stanford University, and a stint with Google (founded by Montessori alumni), she took a position with the software company Adobe Systems. Throughout her college years, Sara came back to assist with Post Oak's technology efforts and alumni office, including compiling stories for one alumni booklet and composing the letter found to the left.

A First Who Cares for the Least

Rahim Kurji (POS 1997) was elected as student body president at Brown University in 2003—the first Muslim elected to any such position in an Ivy League school. Rahim says he learned at Post Oak, "Better to fail at something big than to succeed at something small." After graduating from Brown, he is spending a year working with pediatric AIDS patients in India for the Clinton Foundation, working on the program administration for setting up a nursing clinic. He is currently considering either a master's degree in public service or law school.

Sara Mitchell, Post Oak Middle School class of 1997, worked with the school as a summer assistant during her college studies. She wrote the following letter to accompany a set of alumni stories:

Dear Reader,

As you flip through the following pages, you will find stories about individuals. Perhaps it is because I am an alumna myself, or because I've worked on this publication putting profiles together, but I believe these stories are also about commonality. Do not be misled by my word choice. I do not think Post Oak graduates are ordinary, but rather that we share certain characteristics. It is something alumni know but have trouble articulating sometimes. We cannot quite put our finger on a particular event, but we know that having the Montessori experience has made us different. Looking at the alumni collectively, here is my attempt to express what we are as a whole:

Post Oak graduates have diverse interests. We tend to not limit ourselves to one type of activity and to not be afraid to try something new. Many students who go to high school and play on an athletic team, for example, are also involved in the visual and performing arts. If a student is in an academic club, chances are he or she plays a musical instrument, writes for the newspaper, or volunteers, too. Alumni do not simply become jocks or techies or thespians. We are well-rounded students who are interested in and excel at a variety of activities.

Post Oak graduates are accomplished. We take honors and AP classes. We receive numerous awards and scholarships for our athletic abilities, academic skills, performances, and efforts. We are also leaders: many Post Oak alums are team captains, members of student and honor councils, and national leadership conference attendees. Teachers write about how we are positive influences in the classroom. We serve as presidents at the organizational, grade, high-school, and college levels.

Post Oak graduates show a curiosity and concern for the world around them. We travel extensively and speak multiple languages. We do not tolerate injustice, ignorance, poverty, or disease, and want to make tangible changes in the world. We return to the Post Oak School to volunteer, intern, and teach. We serve as members of the larger, world community by volunteering, going on mission trips, doing research, majoring in medicine, and joining the Navy.

Post Oak graduates are confident. Again and again, you will see students have written that Post Oak gave them confidence. We often declare that Post Oak prepared us well. With confidence and preparation, perhaps it is no surprise that we often write how our transition to high school was "easy." Several alumni wrote that they enjoy challenges. If that does not sound like confidence, I am not sure what does. Many people see challenges as tests of their abilities: tests that can be failed, fearful, and difficult. Caroline Sharp, another Post Oak alumna, once told me that she thought Post Oak grads were "resilient" and that not much fazed them. Now I understand why. We are not afraid of a challenge. We look forward to demonstrating what we are capable of and are confident that whether we fail or succeed, we will learn from the experience.

I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I have.

Sincerely,

Sara Mitchell
Post Oak Middle School Class of 1997