So What’s Your Story?

Alisa, Malea, Xiara and Darrick Clayton

Once Again I Walk Synergy’s Halls

I fell in love with Synergy as soon as I saw the funky rainbow mural above the school on Castro street in Noe Valley, walking into the school I immediately felt a sense of belonging and level of complete ease I didn’t find at my other school. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by the warmest smiles, especially that of Rusty (aka balloon head). It wasn’t the typical school environment I had been used to, there were a couple of rooms, one an office and the other was a big room with pillows and window seats but the rest of the school was pretty much open, there was a loft and a climbing gym in the back. I could hear the gentle hum of the day’s activities; students were visibly engaged with their studies but allowed to move about freely…I realized right then and there – this was a special place I wanted to be a part of. It was 1974.

Teachers and students were on a first name basis, we had morning meetings where we got a chance to share events in our lives and add our thoughts to that of the teachers, we went on camping trips, the best was midnight madness cruising around San Francisco with Rufus and Chaka Kahn, Stevie Wonder and the Bee Gees playing on the radio. My teachers were the best in the world, they really listened and cared for me and I could feel the genuine love they had for all of the students. 

Fast forward some 40 plus years, Darrick and I had two daughters, Xiara and Malea and were now looking for a school for the girls, it was an easy choice…Synergy.

Once again, I walk Synergy’s halls, a different building and neighborhood but a very familiar atmosphere…not as a student but as a parent. I notice the same types of dynamic interactions with students and teachers involved in projects together, I hear the familiar hum of the day’s activities, I see the confidence and openness the kids have moving through the space with ease, I see the teachers engaging their students with thoughtfulness and patience. Morning meetings still start the day off, camping trips have evolved into farm school and the 8th grade midnight madness still happens, now with their favorite music playing on the radio.

Both our daughters have flourished under the care of the Synergy teachers, their confidence, their love of learning and curious nature is because of Synergy. We are so thankful from the bottom of our hearts for the care, love and amazing education Synergy has given our family through the years.

–Alisa and Darrick Clayton, Xiara, Class of 2019 and Malea, Class of 2022

Help us Raise $315,000 by January 15, 2020
Your contribution helps us cover the cost of a Synergy education. The annual-per-child gap between tuition and the true cost of a Synergy education is $2500 this year. Your tax-deductible gift to the Annual Fund helps to make up the difference and strengthens our collaborative and hands-on program and supports our outstanding teachers.
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