David Brooks observes in his book The Road to Character that you develop your best character in communities “when you have deep friendships with good people, [and] you copy and then absorb some of their best traits. [You are taught character] When you love a person deeply and you want to serve them and earn their regard. [You are taught character] When you experience great art and you widen your repertoire of emotions. [You are taught character] Through [a] devotion to some cause and [thus] you elevate your desires and organize your energies.” That is what happens in communities that exhibit stellar character and a vibrant good will. And in a nutshell it describes the warm relationships and the wonderful experiences that all of us enjoy here at the Academy. We are a school that delights in and treasures every day spent learning in this friendly and nurturing academic community.
Every member at the Academy cherishes and celebrates the privilege of being in a community that is gentle, tolerant, encouraging, and invigorating. On a daily basis, we encourage and enable everyone at Staten Island Academy to pursue a life that is defined by individualism and originality, to be shared with people who truly care about them and the local and global environment. We like to boast that one of our distinguishing features is that we are about developing hearts and minds. We do this not through counting how many hours of community service we do, which are many, but by enjoying friendships with adults and peers in equal measure, much like being a member of a family.
Ultimately, we are most proud of the fact that we can boast of being more than just a school but a close- knit family, where our children dare to take risks because they know that they will succeed here owing to the love and support that they enjoy at the Academy—just like they do at home.