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By: Kelley Brown Sipe, MDS Class of 1999 and current parent // MDS Musings Blog

I have lived in Macon most of my life, and I am very proud to be a Mount de Sales Academy alumna and Cavalier.  When I began middle school, I attended public school as my parents could not afford private school.  I never thought much about private school because I attended a great public elementary school and had a wonderful experience.

I attended public middle school for one year. It was not for me. Soon, my parents enrolled me at Mount de Sales Academy, so I could learn more about Christianity and become a well-rounded person, inside and out.

As a mother of two, my only real desire is for my children to have a happy, healthy, and fulfilled childhood and an excellent education which means something to them as they mature into adulthood and have children of their own. I want their school experiences to be ones they will remember and learn from as they grow each year, as I did when I attended MDS.

This year, my husband and I chose to send our daughter to MDS. Her first middle school year was at a public middle school primarily for financial reasons. However, we discovered she would adapt and excel at MDS in so many areas. We owed it to her to not limit her accomplishments.  And, so far, we made an excellent choice for our daughter. She is very happy and excited to learn.

School Search Tips:

  • Do your research.
    • Look online at school websites and compare data, but keep in mind you may be comparing apples and oranges. Look at class size, test scores, course offerings, and extra-curricular opportunities.
    • Do not put too much value on school rating websites. Many of these companies look at a wide-range of educational data, but they also consider how many reviews each school receives. These reviews can come from anywhere – current families, current students, and alumni. Some of the reviews could all be from the same person, giving five stars each over and over. Situations like this definitely skew figures and rankings.
  • Visit Campus.

    • In today’s technology-filled world, we have easy access to school information, but do not take for granted a visit to the school. Take a tour, meet the teachers who will educate your child, look at the faces of the students – are they happy and engaged? You cannot fake campus culture and visiting during a school day will help you gauge the personality of the students and school environment.
    • Many schools have shadow day opportunities for prospective students. What a wonderful way to get immersed in the environment – sitting in on classes, participating in experiments, meeting new friends, and enjoying lunch together. More and more students have a say in their school choice, and as parents, we need to make sure they are comfortable and excited about their educational future.
  • Ask Questions.
    • Do not be shy about asking all of your questions and having your concerns addressed. You need to fully understand the value of your child’s prospective school and confirm you are making the best investment possible. It is the job of the admissions staff to be available, welcoming, and concerned about parent and student worries. Let them help you and ensure you are making the right choice.

For more information about Mount de Sales Academy and its admissions process, please contact Ashley Griffin, director of admissions, at 478-751-3244, or via email at

Click here for more MDS Musings Blog posts. 

Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, which is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served  a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.