Open House entices new students


The annual open house took place on Sunday, Nov. 3 and was very successful. Members of our community welcomed prospective students and their families to campus where they learned about all things KO. The afternoon was filled with a variety of informational panels, mini classes, and the Wyvern Nation Fair. According to Senior Associate Director of Admissions  Rebecca Benavides, 87 people attended Open House.  

During check in, prospective students and families were assigned to specific groups led by Shield and Dragon representatives. Next, they took their seats in Roberts Theater where they listened to the jazz band perform as well as a few opening remarks from Head of School Tom Dillow and Director of the Admissions Office Zaira Santiago. 

Following the introduction, parents went to an informational panel led by current KO parents. Meanwhile, students visited classrooms to participate in mini lessons. “The idea was to give the students a little flavor of academics here at KO,” Ms. Benavides said. 

“The students definitely enjoyed Ms. Deeter’s class because she gave out king sized M&M’s and she taught them how to get out of cleaning their room by using Econ methods,” senior and Shield and Dragon Executive Mai Lin Pomp-Shine said.  

Transitioning back together, students and families traveled to a series of three different programs based on their group assignments. A presentation called“Academic Journey” was led by Director of the Upper School Daniel Gleason. There was also a student panel, moderated by Dean of Students William Gilyard and Form 4 Dean David Baker. “The goal of this portion of the program was to allow people to ask our students questions about their personal experiences at KO,” Ms. Benavides said. 

The Wyvern Nation Fair took place in Hoffman Field House. The fair showcased all of the opportunities for involvement at KO. Clubs, student government, musical ensembles, athletic teams, the KO News, college advising, and archives were among the many tables at the fair. 

“I was helping out Coach Deeter and Coach McCarthy at the varsity girls soccer table,” Mai Lin said. “Many families were interested in what we had to offer and they were excited to meet the coaches.” Senior Juliana Kulak agrees that the fair was a nice time to talk one on one. “I worked at the KO News table and discussed how to join the paper as a student along with what the experience of being an editor is like,” Juliana said. 

The open house would not have been possible without the members of Shield and Dragon. “It can be challenging to coordinate the specific jobs of all 118 Shield and Dragon members but everyone rose to the occasion,” Ms. Benavides said. “Our students serve as amazing ambassadors of the school. Many families comment on how well they represent KO and how much they clearly love it here.” Senior Alex D’Addabbo remembers attending Open House a few years ago, when she too was a prospective student. “After talking with my tour guide, I knew I wanted to come to KO,” Alex said.  

The admissions staff is always looking to improve Open House for the future. Next year, the plan is to give families more choices in terms of their schedule. “Everyone comes with different questions and interests, so students and families will get more out of Open House if they can choose where they spend their time,” Ms. Benavides said.