The Right Place at the Right Time
Bill and Sally Van Ingen P’21
Sometimes, you just know when a decision is the right one. That’s how Bill and Sally Van Ingen felt when they and their son, Will, visited New Hampton School during their search for a prep school. They had recently moved from California to a small town in western Pennsylvania and, armed with a list of schools recommended by an educational consultant, started visiting schools throughout the northeast. One of them was Bill’s alma mater, St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, which their daughter, Avery, attended and loved. But as every parent knows, what works for one child doesn’t always work for another. The search continued — until they visited New Hampton School.
“Right away, we knew this place was unique,” Bill says. “It started with meeting with Head of School Joe Williams. None of the heads at any of the other schools we visited took the time to meet with prospective students and their parents.” Sally adds that everyone they met — staff, students, and teachers — was friendly, approachable, and helpful. “And you could tell it was genuine,” she says.
The person whose first impressions mattered most was, of course, Will. Like a lot of kids at that age, Will was searching for a place that felt right, a school where he’d be accepted for who he was. After the campus tour and a meeting with Director of Enrollment Management Mr. McCulloch, it was clear that Will had made up his mind.
“We could tell immediately, without even his even saying a word,” Sally says. “He’d found a place where he felt he could be himself. It was definitely the right place at the right time for him.”
Will spent four years at NHS, participating in a wide variety of sports and other co-curricular activities while meeting the tough academic challenges his teachers had set for him. He is currently attending the University of Denver in a program and environment that Bill says is very similar to NHS, with strong academics and the opportunity to satisfy Will’s love of the outdoors. “He also has a cohort of friends from NHS that he keeps in touch with,” Bill says. “Thanks to the connections they developed through their experiences at NHS, they’re friends for life.”
Sally and Bill also keep up their own connection with the school. Bill currently serves on the Board of Trustees, and he and Sally have established an endowment that helps students fully participate in all aspects of life at NHS. “We wanted to make it possible for kids to participate in activities — such as Project Week — that they may not otherwise have been able to afford,” Bill says. “It’s all about giving back. We feel so fortunate that our son had the opportunity to attend this outstanding school and benefit from all that it offers, and we want to help others have those same opportunities.”
“New Hampton School is a hidden gem,” Sally adds. “The place and people are so sincere, authentic, and accepting. It’s the best return on investment a parent could hope for.”
“It’s all about giving back. We feel so fortunate that our son had the opportunity to attend this outstanding school and benefit from all that it offers, and we want to help others have those same opportunities.”BILL VAN INGEN P’21