Jasper Brey: Presidential Scholar

Magnolia School alumnus Jasper Brey was one of only 141 students in the nation to be named to the 48th class of the Presidential Scholars in 2012. Now attending the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where he is studying composition and theory. Jasper wrote an essay about the educational experiences that influenced him as part of the Presidential Scholar application. Following are his words:

“Through most of my childhood, from first grade through eighth grade, I attended the Magnolia School for Active Learning, which is a small private non-profit with a progressive educational approach—the teachers go by first names; the curriculum focuses on hands-on study rather than straight book learning; different age groups learn together; and the classes are small and tight-knit, with only six or seven students in each year. Learning in an environment like this taught me to think outside the box and approach problems holistically. At Magnolia, I developed a set of basic thinking skills that are hard to learn in a traditional school environment, while the kindness and creativity I found there gave me the confidence to take academic risks.”