The Landegger-Antonioli Family: Luigi, Adrian ‘21, Daphne ‘27, Dylan ‘19, and Vanessa at St. Luke’s Middle School Awards & Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony on June 8, 2023. Daphne received the Junior Loyalty Cup — an award given to a student who demonstrates academic excellence, loyalty to the school and programs, and a caring sincerity to build friendships in the community both in and outside of school.
Middle school is a critical time in a child’s learning development. Students are growing physically, socially, cognitively, and emotionally. At St. Luke’s, the joy of discovery is palpable. With care and guidance from exceptional teachers, middle school students explore exciting topics, discover new interests, and forge their own paths. They develop confidence, study habits, and communication skills needed to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.
Vanessa Landegger, a mom of three from New Canaan, shares her family’s experiences and how St. Luke’s helped her kids discover who they are.
How did your family benefit from a St. Luke’s Middle School education?
One of the many benefits of St. Luke’s Middle School is how it nurtures learning, friendships, a sense of community, and flexibility. My three kids each tried something different during middle school — whether it was a new sport or trying to level up in math. Despite the hormones and the self-consciousness this age brings, St. Luke’s Middle School fosters a remarkable amount of “beginner’s mind.” The school promotes excellence and sets high expectations while simultaneously providing space for kids to make mistakes. And the teachers encourage growth intrinsically and organically.
What did you hope for your child when starting at St. Luke’s, and have your hopes been realized?
I had different hopes for each of my children when they started St. Luke’s. For my two boys, Dylan and Adrian, we were looking for a strong community, a stimulating academic environment, and strong performing arts — areas they both excelled in. For my daughter, Daphne, we hoped for a place where a more introverted individual would be seen for her quiet contributions, hard work, and character.
Our hopes were realized and exceeded by the teachers at SLS, who have invariably and, with few exceptions, seen and cared for our kids. Our children are three very different learners and have entirely different emotional landscapes. At St. Luke’s, my children were met with care, compassion, recognition for their gifts, and support for their struggles.
Daphne with the Junior Loyalty Cup
Is there a particular moment when you knew you made the right choice for your family at St. Luke’s?
At the Middle School Awards & Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony in June, Daphne was recognized by the school with the Junior Loyalty Cup Award. This award is given to a student who “exhibits intelligence and character, and demonstrates academic excellence, loyalty to the school and programs, and a caring sincerity to build friendships in the community both in and outside of school.”
I knew Daphne was academically strong, with a zeal for her academic growth, but she tends to be more reserved. Having her singled out for her broad accomplishments was a great affirmation to us that she is seen in her unobtrusive ways and that St Luke’s will carry her forward in the thoughtful way that it has cared for all our kids.
How would you describe your child’s evolution over these school years?
Daphne has discovered her studentship. She loves a challenge. She has become a passionate writer and student of history. She has taken on the math curriculum with aplomb, carving her path and rising to the most advanced section of eight grade math. Moreover, she sees her academic tasks as opportunities to prove her abilities and quiet her mind. She once shared, “Math is so relaxing, even when it is hard.”
Daphne presents at St. Luke’s Eighth Grade Declamations.
What has been the most valuable thing about your family’s St. Luke’s experience?
St. Luke’s is not a one size fits all school. What makes this place unique is the relationships kids form with the faculty. Each student and each teacher are different, so no two experiences will be the same.
ABOUT ST. LUKE’S MIDDLE SCHOOL
St. Luke’s Middle School curriculum is designed to get students out of their seats and engage with learning firsthand. Teachers integrate real-world topics into our traditional curriculum, challenging students to make connections, think critically, and find their voices. In time, our middle schoolers become purposeful and spirited learners and leaders, confident in themselves and an integral part of our diverse community. Be it in class, on stage, in our state-of-the-art designLab, or across athletic fields, students at St. Luke’s find they can accomplish much more than they ever thought possible.
Learn more about St. Luke’s Unmissable Middle School.
St. Luke’s is a secular (non-religious) private school in New Canaan, CT, for grades 5-12. St. Luke’s mission is an exceptional education that inspires a deep love of learning, a strong moral compass, the commitment to serve, and the confidence to lead. Learn more.