Middleburg, Virginia

Merrill knew she wanted a more challenging high school experience that would help her pursue the rigorous education she was looking for, so she decided to come to VES. When her parents dropped her off, however, she panicked. Did she really want to leave home? Soon Merrill realized that VES was the right place for her. She has found community through her teams, her classes, and in the dorm. She is very much at home here now.

“There’s no one in this school I wouldn’t go to if I was having a problem. We’re all in the same boat, after all.”

"At my previous school, I had the same friends for nine years, which was nice, but there were no surprises. Being at VES makes me feel so much more grown up. I’m friends with kids from China and Germany. It’s just so easy to make friends here. And my involvement with athletics has opened up a whole other dimension of community. I play three sports - field hockey in the fall, basketball in winter, and lacrosse in spring . Everyone here does afternoon activities. It’s required and I think that really works. No one judges you for not being as good as somebody else. If you can’t do sports, then you can manage a team or do art or dancing and no one judges that either. I guess I’d have to say VES is just not a judgmental kind of place. Really, we’re all like one big family here. We’ll go to a teacher’s house and cook ourselves dinner if we want. We all hang out together on the weekends. There’s no divide with day students. In fact, some of my best friends are day students and I’ll often spend time at their houses on the weekends. And I love the connection with the upperclassmen. I live next to two seniors and they always help me when I don’t know what to do or where to go.”

Read our other stories

Zach's Story

Ife's Story

Bill's Story

Vincent's Story


Field Hockey - V and JV
   Offensive - Most Valuable
Girls' Basketball - JV
Girls' Lacrosse
Drama - Cinderella

Honor. Rigor. Community. Relationships. Individual Attention.

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