Sam Barton '16 4

Sam Barton '17

Cambridge, Mass.

Boys Cross Country at Concord Academy


Dining hall food: Make-your-own noodles
Way to spend time: Reading or riding a bike
Book: Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon; The Stranger, Albert Camus
Place to be alone on campus: The library
Place to be with friends: The upper Stu-Fac
Hobby: Cycling, traveling, photography
Thing about CA: The people

Academic interests

Math, history, languages, visual arts

Student leadership, clubs, and affinity groups

German Club

Arts and athletics

Cross-country, visual arts, track


How has CA shaped the person you are today?

CA has made me feel comfortable diving into all of my interests. I try to do everything that I like, and for the most part, I can here. I have supportive friends and teachers that allow me to grow in whichever manner I please, gently helping me along the way as I develop my path.

How do you think CA is preparing you for life after high school?Sam Barton '16 3

I think that it is preparing me quite well for my life beyond high school, but perhaps specifically because it is not explicitly doing so. At CA, there aren’t many otiose topics — everything that I learn has purpose, and I find meaning in everything I do. I am able to see connections in the ‘real world,’ share my opinions, and manage a heavy workload. The beauty of CA might be that the teachers do not teach for the sake of teaching, rather they teach for the sake of learning. In this way, as a student, I feel that I have a more important role than I might have at other schools, because I can learn through my own bits of teaching, which is something I imagine I will continue to do for a while.

How would you describe chapel talks?

Chapel talks show how much CA cares about its students. They aren’t required to be reviewed by faculty beforehand, and students can talk about whatever they want. This demonstrates the commitment to common trust, and CA’s dedication to the individual. The whole community gathers to listen to one teenage voice, which makes for 15 amazing minutes, three times a week.

Which athletic experience have you enjoyed most at CA?

By far the best athletic experience that I have had at CA has been the cross-country team. Every year the team is a very different creature, but I believe that is important; new faces and voices shape the team just as much as the older, more mature ones. Our coach, Jonathan Waldron — or JWal, as the CA runners affectionately call him — is much more than our cross-country and track coach. He is a seemingly constant presence at CA. Through the athletic season’s end, JWal keeps running with us, and ‘us’ is always a considerable number of people, despite the inclement winter weather, or (sometimes) sweltering late-May heat. He faithfully attends every single chapel of a runner that he has coached, then shows up right after school, with alacrity, ready to run. Once, I was feeling a bit uncertain about my running abilities before the New England Championships, and he helped me tremendously. He did not just tell me why I should have more confidence, but he embraced my anxiety and told me that the best thing for the team was in fact whatever is best for me.