Allison Brenneman Goertz ’02 | #youareims
In one word Allison Brenneman Goertz (‘02) describes IMS as COMMUNITY. She said the connections between fellow students and also between teachers and students are strong and unique for a high school. Saying, “It really was more like an extended family!” One her favorite memories that led her to say this, was the time spend together at team meals prior to volleyball games. Allison played not only volleyball, but also softball and was involved choir and was on the yearbook staff.
Allison went on to mention the undercurrent of a faith-based worldview built on love and acceptance is what made her IMS experience positive. The expectation is that people respect each other and differences are honored instead of ridiculed. She said attending IMS gave her the confidence to try new things because she was able to try a lot of different activities that she probably wouldn’t have attempted in a larger school. It also helped her avoid what many high schoolers seemed to face with peer pressure or stressful, miserable social interactions at school. When I got to college I couldn’t believe how many people hated their high school experience. That’s when I started to realize that IMS was very different.
And how did Allison feel IMS prepared her for college and life? She said, “While IMS was academically rigorous to prepare me well for college, I think even more important was the confidence in myself that IMS gave me. Those high school years are critical and extremely vulnerable. To spend those formative moments in a safe and caring environment was the foundation I needed to springboard me into college life and beyond.”
We asked Allison, what she would tell a friend to encourage them to send their child to IMS, and she gave us a very thoughtful and creative response. “In the modified words of Dr. Seuss, I’d say to a family who doesn’t think IMS is for them, ‘Try it! Try it! And you may. Try it and you may, I say.’ That’s because it’s hard to describe how unique the IMS experience is. It’s something you have to experience for yourself. And while it may not be for everyone, I think it is just the safe space many high school students need to blossom and stretch out their wings before flying off to life as an adult.”