middle school students in classroom wearing masks

Sam Sirois

Class of 2024 • Curious, Meticulous, Reflective

As a homeschooled student making a transition to Landmark in 2018, Sam Sirois faced a daunting challenge: What would it mean to work with a variety of new teachers across distinct subjects as “one of the new kids” in an unfamiliar community? Sam recalled, “It was scary at first until Rowan came up to me and I made my first friend. Since then, it’s been good!”  

Sam’s  innate curiosity, insightful nature, and social instincts were evident from the start. He began his Landmark journey in the Summer Program, and his first tutor, Erin Herzeelle, was also his counselor in the fall. Connections from that first summer into his first school year made Sam feel secure. His program recognized his strengths while addressing skills in reading comprehension, math, spelling, and executive functioning. Rich Mangano, Sam’s academic advisor, and Charlene Williams, Sam’s tutor, implemented flexibility and support to ease Sam into his new routine, helping him manage his time and school work, experience success, and develop more self-confidence. Since that first year, Sam’s advisors and teachers have simultaneously built skills and opened doors to ever-expanding opportunities for Sam.

Amanda Maddox, Sam’s current tutor, noted, “Sam is meticulous with his work and will linger after the bell to explore a topic more.” Amanda smiles when she cites Sam’s in-depth writing about conserving endangered redwood forests. In his tutorial, they work on reading comprehension and written production strategies. Metacognitive learning (e.g., why intonation and pace are important and how they impact Sam’s enjoyment of reading) resonates with Sam’s reflective powers.

Geoff Russell, Sam’s current advisor, explains that Sam has taken social risks this year inside and outside the classroom: in Eighth Grade Leadership, playing soccer, and as a student panelist sharing his experience with prospective parents, to name just a few.  “I see Sam coming into his own, realizing his own potential. He continues to seek out opportunities to make a difference,” said Geoff.

Ask any teacher who has had the pleasure of working with Sam and you will hear a consistent message: They appreciate Sam’s desire to help make things better, eagerness to reach out and embrace opportunities, and his determination to be kind to all. Sam calls Landmark his second home, even as he feels secure and confident enough to contemplate his next educational setting. 

For Sam, the future holds limitless possibilities.

Sam boy smiling

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