Tyler-Minseok Kim from South Korea followed the music — and his brother’s footsteps — to Church Farm School (CFS) in Pennsylvania. Even before he knew he was a tenor, he would sing along the tenor lines of “Brothers, Sing On!” on his brother’s CFS Choir CD. So it came as no surprise when the younger Kim joined CFS in grade nine to develop his vocal talent.
“This passion for music and Mr. Gary Gress’s impeccable pedagogy and resilience toward our choir made my passion for choral music grow year by year to the point where I went to choir camp for my last two summers,” Kim shares. He joined several chorus festivals and ensembles over the four years of high school. Having graduated in 2020, Kim is attending Westminster Choir College — and he believes his experience at CFS will take him far.
At Church Farm School, boys from grades nine to 12 uncover their true potential for success in academia, sports, and leadership. Teachers here are not just educators, but mentors and guides. “Church Farm School exists to provide real and meaningful opportunity to motivated, hard-working boys from many places in our region and around the world, especially those who desire an excellent education,” says Head of School Reverend Edmund K. “Ned” Sherrill II.
Rigour meets preparation at Church Farm School
Built on three core tenets of faith, hard work, and education, this independent boarding and day school has a history of developing positive, structured young men since 1918. Strong donor and alumni support enable CFS to offer every student a liberal scholarship. This makes CFS a rare find indeed; it is a prestigious private school that’s holistic, affordable, and community-based.
With over 60 courses and a multitude of AP classes on offer, it’s no wonder CFS graduates boast a 100% college acceptance rate. Students approach each project with collaboration, communication, and character. Classes are small and personalised, with a maximum of 12 students at any time.
At the heart of the experience is a challenging, rigorous academic programme that nurtures motivated, critical-thinking self-starters. The boys study languages, history, mathematics in the daytime, and play lacrosse and video games in the evening. Science education is integrated with art and design to create STEAM, which widens the scope of learning.
College preparation and guidance also form an integral part of the CFS academic support system throughout high school, with SAT Prep and College Transition courses for every student. It’s no wonder most of these graduates gain admission into prestigious universities such as Yale, Cornell, Emory, Princeton, and Brown.
Ling Qin from China is the perfect example of a CFS success story. After an illustrious high school journey during which he made excellent grades and got published in a scientific journal, Ling is on his way to becoming an astrodynamics expert at Johns Hopkins University. “You really have to learn how to be self-regulatory here [at CFS], and discover the best balance that works for you,” he reflects.
Community life enriched by arts and service
A CFS education develops the whole individual, enriching them in mind, body, heart, and spirit. The boys learn life lessons through service and civic engagement, which encourage them to apply their knowledge and skills towards the betterment of humankind. Not only does this build a foundation of values-based action, but it also challenges students to design a work-life balance early on.
Arts and culture are also at the crux of holistic education at CFS. At the Buck Family Centre for the Arts, students express themselves through various performance and visual arts including music, photography, painting, and sculpting. They develop socially and emotionally via the Challenge of Required Experience (CORE) programme, which nurtures an appreciation for and involvement in the arts, culture, and environment.
Living on campus transforms boys into purposeful young men who can take care of themselves and their community. Campus life is enriched with community service, clubs and societies, which encourages students to develop diverse interests and skills beyond the classroom. During weekends, the scope of activities widens to include athletic, culinary, outdoor, and cinematic adventures beyond school walls.
Together, nearly 200 boys form a brotherhood of varying cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. They reside in small cottage dormitories in groups of 18. They participate in school traditions for Christmas, Halloween, and College Draft Day. They embark on retreats and experiential learning. Through it all, they form lifelong bonds that teach them the value of human connection in all areas of life.
Explore the official website for admissions and enquiries.