Maddy Kidd ’15

Published On: September 29th, 2019 | Categories: Alumni Voices |

Maddy Kidd
Powhatan School 2015
Highland School 2019
Harvard University 2024


High School Activities:

Volleyball (captain, all conference), key club ( project manager), Community service award, NHS, National Merit Scholar, and valedictorian.


What first comes to mind when you think of Powhatan?

The grounds and just driving up every day. I loved coming to school.


What was the time you felt most confident at Powhatan?

For me it was always POSTS/RAILS Field Day. That end of the year celebration where we are all out there competing with each other. I think it just brought out the best in all of us and I really felt confident – especially when we won. I’d say that goes for sports in general.


Can you give me an example of the most challenging activity you had at Powhatan?

The Geometry Pop-Up Books. I was supposed to be one of the best in the class in math, so this project drove me crazy (laughing). It was math, and math comes easy to me. So this a huge challenge because math was not usually a class that you had to use creativity very often. I was up late into the night on multiple occasions trying to get it perfect. It was extremely precise. I had to slow down, problem-solve and focus on the work.


Who was your favorite teacher?

Ms. Jaffe and Mr. Holloway were my favorite teachers. Mr. Holloway just always made math fun but also kept it challenging so I would never lose interest. I loved Ms. Jaffe for much of the same reasons because she always kept class interesting, and more than anything, made me want to keep learning even though she taught my least favorite course (Laughing – sorry history). They were also both people I could talk to beyond what they were teaching and that connection, and dare I say friendship, was also really important to me. I would also like to say, every teacher at Powhatan was amazing and I could have really picked anyone to be my favorite.


What skills did you come away with from Powhatan that helped you in high school?

The foundation that Powhatan provided me helps me in almost every aspect of school, but more than anything else, my writing skills have served me the greatest. With all of the varied types of writing we did over and over again from poems to the long chapel talk, I had much more experience and skill than a lot of my peers as a direct result of Powhatan. My freshman English class was more focused on reading and discussion, yet going into writing-intensive Sophomore year, I was still perfectly prepared from eighth grade even compared to classmates who had had the same writing-focused teacher the year before.


What do you think of when you hear our school motto? (“We learn not for school, but for LIFE.”)

I actually think about this motto a lot and am so grateful I was raised in this mindset. It’s very easy to get trapped in a mindset of just get through this next test or this next chapter in high school, and it was actually very calming to realize that school was not the end all be all but that I was doing this for my future and for life.


What advice would you give to the rising eighth grade class?

It is cliche but, enjoy the year. Half of the people can’t wait to leave and half of the people are dreading the change (same goes for seniors), and I think both camps end up losing out by focusing on the future and missing out on that last year that really is the most fun. It’s kind of tough being the freshmen or new kid in any situation, so relish that last year of such familiarity. Some of you will have been there for more than half your lives, and probably never again will you have spent a majority of your life in the same place with the same people, and I think those friendships and that comfort is both rare and valuable.