I babysit a lot. And I’ve been asked by a lot of new parents what I think of our town of New Providence’s schools. I’m supposed to respond to the question, “What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned at New Providence High School,” so I’m going to give you the same spiel I give to countless couples who still think they’ve just graduated college and wish they still bar-hopped around Hoboken without a care in the world. My big lesson is: if you work in New York or have any desire to live in New Jersey, send your kid to New Providence High School. Heck, I’m only 18 and already want my future children getting an NPHS education. Why? Because New Providence produces good people.

New Providence kids are well-rounded. I’m currently serving my fourth consecutive year as Class President of NPHS’s Class of 2015. I am this year’s Women’s Choir President, a member of Peer Leaders, a peer tutor, and the Student Representative to the New Providence Board of Education. I have played varsity soccer and run spring track, participated in Model United Nations and Youth and Government, and the list just goes on and on. But I’m no anomaly; I’m part of the crowd. A crowd who thinks participating in marching band is impressive, not geeky, because our band constantly wins national championships, is the heartbeat of every football game, and consists of “cool kids”. If you don’t believe me, stop by one football game and take a close look at the halftime performance. You’ll see a couple kids in football uniforms marching across the turf covered in sweat playing large brass instruments. That sight alone embodies how well-rounded New Providence students are. One student who graduated two years ago was captain of two varsity sports, played in the marching band, and was in the select Men’s Choir and Jazz Choir. Oh, and he’s so brilliant that he is currently in the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.

A lot of kids may take such school engagement for granted. While many large, Group IV schools are great, it’s so easy to just become a number. And if you want to make it into the Jazz Choir or be a starting player on a varsity team, that’s just about all you can do. I mean, it’s common sense: when you’re competing for spots against an additional 600 kids, securing just one position becomes pretty difficult. Though those four years on the baseball team may be special, were they worth missing out on the skills that could’ve been attained through the Debate Club, or the leadership talent could’ve been honed by joining Future Civic Leaders?

Besides all of the well-roundedness that New Providence High School provides its students with, it also embeds in them a sense of humility that many of those in surrounding towns lack. Do not get me wrong, I have many dear friends in Summit, Berkeley Heights, and other surrounding areas. But we live in a very wealthy area of a wealthy state, and many towns’ kids are raised to believe they are superior. They care what kind of cars everyone’s dad drives, which tropical island people are traveling to for Spring Break, and all of the other nonsense that doesn’t reveal one’s character in any way. So when debating between moving to New Providence vs a surrounding town, unpack your bags here and be grateful you did. Then hire me to watch your kids.