Alumni Spotlight: Road-Tripping with Samantha Reuning
If travel is big on your bucket list, get ready for an adventure. Laurel Springs alumni, Samantha Reuning, invites you to journey with her as she shares stories of her recent jaunt through South Africa and her trip down memory lane.
An African Adventure
Some may think living in Africa is one big safari. Well, it’s certainly been wild for Samantha Reuning and her family recently. In addition to the pandemic, they’ve also been weathering the effects of a cyclone and rolling blackouts. Like many parents, Samantha has been trying to transition her daughter back to online school through it all. Luckily, they were able to get away for a road trip from Pretoria through the Karoo to the West Coast of South Africa and the beautiful mountains of Elandsbaai.
Travel has always been a passionate pursuit in the Reuning family. “At the end of my Junior year, my parents decided that they wanted to travel to the US. They wanted to give me the opportunity to be able to travel and to experience and learn about different cultures and countries, while at the same time being able to finish up my senior year.” This is when Laurel Springs was picked as the premiere destination to continue her academic journey.
“Laurel Springs was one of the only schools that was able to meet my distance learning requirements, as well as my need for a flexible learning approach. From the moment we approached the school, they were incredibly helpful and went above and beyond to make sure that all my educational, emotional, and social needs were met.”
The Academic Journey
Reminiscing about high school can take you down so many roads. It’s a time for transitions and transformations, which can be both exciting and terrifying. However, when you have the right support, the experience is even richer. Laurel Springs not only provided Samantha with support but with an experience she will never forget:
“I have so many amazing memories of my senior year at Laurel Springs, from getting to work with some of the most dedicated and encouraging teachers I had ever met to meeting new friends through the clubs and social events organized by the school. However, my graduation is one experience that stands head and shoulders above all the rest and is a testament to the type of school Laurel Springs is. Since I was unable to attend the official graduation ceremony because I had to return to South Africa, the school held a small celebration for me at Marilyn Mosely's home, the founder of Laurel Springs, something I will never forget. This was just one of the ways LS went above and beyond in their quest to help make me feel more at home during my year at the school.”
A Life-Changing Education
Not only did Laurel Springs put Samantha on the path toward academic success, but it helped set the course for future endeavors, including a teaching career.
“My time at Laurel Springs had a profound influence on me and helped to shape me into the person I am today. I had two incredibly, dedicated teachers who always believed in me no matter what. They encouraged me to see the world differently and to think more critically about the content and material. I had come out of an education system that discouraged independent thinking, and for the first time, I had teachers who encouraged me to ask questions and to formulate my own opinions. I will always be grateful for that.”
With this amount of love for teachers and Laurel Springs, it’s no surprise that Samantha is now, in fact, a Laurel Springs teacher! It also shouldn’t come as a shock that she combines her online school experience and appreciation for the teaching profession and passes on the same support and dedication to her students. There are sure to be many students out there who are gleaning the same encouragement and having their academic and social life positively impacted by Mrs. Reuning’s expert guidance. It’s a journey that has come full circle and everyone involved gets to reap the benefits.
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