Years Attended – Two years through Seventh Grade
Favorite teacher – Amy Aufrecht
Takeaway from Kehoe-France –
Education is important, but so is community.
Favorite thing about Kehoe-France –
The eleven years I spent there, add up to one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
When 20-year-old college student and published author Emily Bissel recalls the 11 years she spent at Kehoe-Northshore, she remembers them as the time when her fervor for writing was ignited. “My biggest area of success is my writing,” Emily says. “This reflects back to my time at Kehoe. My fourth grade English teacher encouraged my creative writing abilities. From a very young age, I can remember writing exercises in class. I would bring my stories to her and she would give me feedback. If I had not had that experience, I wouldn’t have found such a deep passion for creative writing.”
Emily describes the teaching staff as a whole as hands-on and teachers who used unique ways to help students understand concepts, while at the same time, maintaining an expectation of responsibility and accountability. “They taught me that you have to rely on yourself. They instilled responsibility,” she says. “If you forgot your book, there was no going back to get it. You would have a consequence like standing at the fence instead of playing. I am so organized to this day because I liked to be prepared before I went to class.”
Emily graduated summa cum laude from Archbishop Hannan High School in 2013, with more than a half dozen scholarship offers, from colleges both in and out-of-state. She attributes many of the skills she learned at Kehoe-France to the reason her high school career seemed easy. “I can remember learning in middle school how to take notes from a lecture. Because of that I was prepared for high school,” she remembers. “It stuck with me through college — that even at such a young age we were learning things that I still use today.”
In addition to high standards in academics and personal responsibility, she describes the tight-knit social atmosphere of Kehoe-France. “Everyone knew everyone. It was a great community because everyone was so close,” she says. “It was a good feeling to know that you had these people if you needed anything. We were more than just a community — we were a family.”
Within the bonds of that family, Emily described teachers who cared deeply about their students succeeding in academics as well as in everyday life. “The teachers cared about you truly discovering yourself, through art, or writing, or whatever it might be. They really instilled academic excellence, but also how to give to others and how to care for others,” she says. “I really feel like they helped me grow into the woman I am today and that Kehoe-France helped to lead me to all of the successes I’ve had.”