Photos courtesy of Sydney Streimer
Sydney Streimer had a pretty impressive resume upon arriving at Springfield College in the fall of 2010. She was a three-sport athlete in high school, was the co-president of her school’s student council and finished near the top of her class academically as the salutatorian. Rarely can someone accomplish so much over the course of a high school career.
Then again, rarely does anyone have the high school experience that Streimer had.
Streimer attended high school at Fishers Island High School, located just off the Connecticut coast on one of the smaller peninsulas belonging to Long Island Sound. While the location wasn’t ideal, Streimer’s class size was; she was one of two graduates of the Class of 2010.
“When I first started attending the school in eighth grade, I had seven kids in my class,” said Streimer. “Over the years, the class just started getting smaller; kids decided to go to boarding schools or other magnet schools that were located off the island. Then, when there were only three students left, one girl in my class decided halfway through junior year that the school wasn’t for her, so that left only me and my best friend.”
Streimer, who lives in Mystic, Conn., attended a regular public elementary school and middle school in her town. Around this time, she heard about Fishers Island from a good friend and decided it was something she wanted to look into.
“I thought it was really cool. I found out while at the beach from a girl who happened to be there who went to Fishers,” said Streimer. “She started telling my friend and I about [Fishers], and I thought, ‘Wow, I kind of want to go there.’”
After discussing the matter with her parents, the Streimers went for a visit to the school, with Sydney deciding that she would begin attending after her seventh grade.
Streimer could no longer take the traditional methods of transportation, such as a school bus, to arrive at school on a daily basis. Instead, Streimer had to take a ferry based out of New London at 7 every morning to arrive on Fishers Island in time for the start of her school day.
“My classmates and I from Fishers had an ongoing joke about when anyone would ask us whether it was cold when taking the ferry in the winter,” said Streimer. “We’d have to answer people with, ‘No, it’s a ferry, it has an inside and it’s heated. It’s not like we’re taking a sailboat out to the island.’”
Aside from the unconventional arrival to school, Streimer’s class schedule differed slightly from an average high school. While most teachers focus on a few particular subjects and only teach a few separate grades, Streimer’s instructors taught students ranging from seventh through twelfth grade. Also, the teachers would have had to be able to teach a wide variety of subjects under a particular branch of education, such as all math classes, ranging from geometry to algebra to calculus.
“I would have some classes combined with other grades,” said Streimer. “I took regular classes just like any other high school student would, but when I was a junior, I took chemistry with the seniors and took physics my senior year with the juniors. Also, for gym, I would have class with the sophomores and juniors.”
Streimer’s class was unusually small, even at this tiny school. While the Fishers Island class of 2010 only consisted of her and one other girl, the average class size at the school is anywhere from 10 to 12 students.
Despite the small classes, Fishers Island was still able to provide extracurricular activities for its students. Streimer took full advantage of what was offered, as she was a member of the girls’ basketball and golf teams, and was also part of the yearbook committee and student council. Streimer also played tennis in her hometown of Mystic, which she continues to play here at Springfield for the Pride.
While Streimer enjoyed her time at Fishers Island High, the realization that colleges did not consist of two students was an apparent one. Streimer’s decision to come to Alden Street was helped by the academics, but also the amount of students on campus.
“I definitely chose Springfield College not only for my major (Physical Education) but because of the size,” Streimer said.
Nate Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.