Alumni Stories

Alumni Stories

Elizabeth Culp graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mattawan High School. Throughout her high school career she took many Honors and AP courses. She completed the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP) in English during her sophomore year, then continued her studies as a dual-enrolled student at WMU as a junior. During her senior year, she had the opportunity to take part in a marketing internship at Ope’s, a local business focused on producing healthy, sustainable, and delicious vegan food products. This past spring she worked as an assistant in Mattawan’s Chemistry Lab, designing and testing experiments for Honors and AP Chemistry classes.

During her free time, she trains in ballet, participated in FIRST Robotics as part of Team 2767 Stryke Force’s business team, and volunteered as a youth board member with First Day Shoe Fund.

Elizabeth is now attending Haverford College, a private liberal arts school just outside of Philadelphia. As of now she intends to pursue a major in Political Science with a focus in International Relations. Her ultimate goal is to do diplomatic work overseas.

KCDS taught me to always embrace a challenge!

More than anything, my time at KCDS is what has kept me motivated over the years. An environment that supports individuality and ambition, especially in younger students, is incredibly valuable in a culture where others’ perceptions can so quickly define you, and where being different is rarely seen as a good thing. I can’t thank the teachers and staff enough for those lessons. Keep up the excellent work!

Elizabeth Culp, Class of 2011



KCDS helped lay a foundation for me in all subject areas. Socially, I was able to create connections with teachers and administration. Kalamazoo Country Day School taught me how to approach a teacher for help, and speak up about something that I didn’t agree with or understand. In my opinion, those are two very important communication skills that a student can carry with them throughout life. Today, I continue to have a close relationship with some of the teachers and administrators at KCDS. They really nurtured their relationships with all students and they were eager for each and every student to succeed. Being in a small learning environment was beneficial because there was a lot of one on one help. At a young age we were paired with an older student (a buddy), and they were designed to help be a mentor to a younger student. Today in public school I am not afraid to raise my hand and ask for help when I need it, or approach a teacher to get help one on one. Many students in the classroom are afraid to speak up in a large crowd, but I am not and I truly believe that KCDS contributed to my ability to speak up and have my own voice.

Lauren Rankin, Class of 2012


I have hundreds of memories of KCDS. However, Mr. Steele always remains in the forefront of my mind. His teaching style made me love Science and his enthusiasm for wanting all of us to understand Science made me want to learn it that much more. My favorite thing Mr. Steele did for my class was participate in the trial for Keebler Cookies testing packaging. I remember we had these cookies sitting in the closet for weeks and they would be handed out to students through a variety of methods that always encompassed something academic.

Ben Strine, Class of 2011