Students dressed as crayons jumping and waving

Rising to the Moment


 The fall trimester was anything but normal—and utterly amazing as a result 

If you have ever been behind in the final moments of a championship game or started your term paper the night before it is due or literally broken a leg on opening night, then you know that challenges can be, well, extremely challenging. But you probably also know that moments like these force you to dig deep—and sometimes, if the stars align, can result in their own against-all-odds synchronicity and beauty. That is the story of this fall at Williston. 

After a remote spring trimester, Williston spent months answering the question: How the heck do you run a boarding school during a pandemic? The answers—masks, distancing, testing, Plexiglass, and a lot of rules—required tremendous sacrifice, discipline, and resilience from our faculty and students. Was it hard at times? Yes! Did we miss normalcy? Absolutely! But, as you will see on these pages, the sheer pleasure of just being able to live, study, compete, and have fun together resulted in a spectacular kind of joy that we will always remember. 

girls sitting at a table separated by plexiglass 

DINING OUT(SIDE) Mealtimes looked different this fall, with partitioned picnic tables, safari-style dining in tents, grab-and-go lunches, and our very own food truck

two people fist-bumping 6 feet apart

ACTIVITIES With traditional events like indoor dances and shows on hold, Director of Community Life Erin Davey (right) got creative with activities. Students bonded over costumed kickball on Sawyer Field, outdoor movies, al fresco trivia contests, and a haunted Halloween Schoolhouse. Weekend s’mores sessions around firepits on the Quad became a cherished part of pandemic life. 

teacher and student wearing face masks

ROOM TO GROW Ever resourceful, students and faculty adjusted to new norms such as masks and widely spaced desks (as in Mr. Liebowitz’s AP English class) and outdoor learning (below, AP Biology students run an experiment at Williston Pond). We’ve never been so grateful for our spacious campus. 

students wearing masks conducting outdoor science experiments


football players tackling tractor tire

GAME TIME In place of interscholastic competition, Wildcats players and coaches embraced a robust mix of scrimmages, strength-training exercises, and team-building games. The football team flexed on a tractor tire.

dancers leap across a stage with dark pink background

THE SHOW MUST GO ON Spurred by restrictions, the arts program took creative leaps throughout the term. In place of public performance, the fall dance concert, Distant Dream, and play, Antigone (below), were taped without audiences and shared with viewers at home. 

actors on stage with face masks