Claire Womack '16
Q: What are 3 words you would use to describe Madeira to someone else?
Accepting. Challenging. Motivational.
Q: What is your favorite class (or favorite teacher) and why?
Mr. Sharp is so willing to work with students until they are confident in the material. This was especially helpful with my AP US History research paper. I also have very fond memories of my junior year English classes with Ms. Heishman, she always made discussions fun and relatable!
Q: What activities, sports and clubs are you involved in? How have these activities enriched your Madeira experience?
I'm captain of the varsity equestrian team and the praetor (secretary) of Classics Club. I'm also a member of BSU (Black Student Union) and Young Democrats. I've been riding on a high school team since freshman year, it's nice that I get to culminate my time in high school as a leader. My teammates are my best friends and the barn is like our own niche on campus. I've also taken Latin since middle school and love it so much that I wanted to continue outside of class.
Q: In what ways have you changed since coming to Madeira?
I’ve learned to seize opportunities and establish a strong sense of self-advocacy. Girls become really passionate about working towards multiple things, inside and outside of the classroom.
Q: What is the best thing about living and/or going to school near DC?
Being from a city, I love that Madeira is its own community, but that there's also a dynamic, powerful world not far from our white fences.
Q: Describe your favorite Madeira memory.
Probably my junior year when I was new, I sat with my SWING Sister and a few other boarders. I was going through my courses to find some common ground with the girls, and one girl turns to me from the opposite end of the table and exclaimed, "You take Latin too?!" Apparently it was odd for new students to come into Latin III, but that girl is now one of my best friends!
Q: What is your favorite Madeira tradition and why?
For both years I've been here, on the first night all the boarders are moved in, a food truck comes that serves cookies and ice cream. Everyone sits on The Oval and just talks; it's really low key and a lot of fun.
Q: Tell us about your Co-Curriculum experience: what you were involved in and what you liked about that experience?
Capitol Hill is such a unique experience; I can't imagine any internship that could compare. I worked in Rep. Elise Stefanik's (NY) office. I was very nervous my first few days because I wasn't that busy, but once they got constituent surveys in and went back in session, things really picked up! Congresswoman Stefanik is the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, came from an all girl's school, and believed strongly in empowering women to take on higher political offices.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give a student who is interested in attending Madeira?
Look at the community around whatever program you may be interested in and place yourself in that setting. For me that was riding and I felt like every rider I met during the admissions process I could see myself becoming friends with at the barn and in the classroom. I also think it's worth looking at the school without that program. It's important to like the school for other reasons, for example: the people, the beautiful library, or the small class size.