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  • Cushing

Ms. Harmon on the New School Year

Deb Harmon teaches in our Academic Support program and has been a part of our Cushing community since 1992. For her students, a new school year is an opportunity to start with a clean slate.  On the first day, she reminds them that they have straight As and helps them to make a plan to stay there. She teaches them that there are a lot of things they can control about their learning experience, and then helps them build strategies that support organization, homework completion, note-taking, essay writing, and/or test preparation, depending on the needs of a particular student.  

“This year on the first day I asked my students to write down at least one bad habit they would like to leave behind – and then I helped them flip this and it turn it into a goal for the year,” she said. “For me it is so rewarding to see hope in a student's eye.  I believe every student can succeed and for many students, my job is to begin to get them to embrace this, too.”

Ms. Harmon loves helping her students achieve success and she often gets as excited about a good grade as her students do. “I love helping them find the technique that finally lets them express what they want to say or follow a pattern or routine to tackle a reading, figure out a math concept, or understand a science equation,” she told us.

In addition to Academic Support, Ms. Harmon also teaches Advanced Reading and Writing, where she puts her Academic Support strategies to work helping self-proclaimed "non-readers" become interested in reading.  In the class, she teaches hooks and strategies to make reading and writing more accessible and students in the class have already practiced many strategies for learning vocabulary. They also use hard copy, electronic, and audio versions of text so that students can become more aware of preference, strength, and challenge.  This group of seniors and PGs has already begun to stock their "toolbox" with techniques and tricks for college success.

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.