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Alumna Spotlight: E.B. Armstrong ‘13
Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company
MBA, Harvard Business School, Class of 2022
BA in Economics, Vanderbilt University, Class of 2017
Sage Ridge School, Class of 2013
Favorite Sage Ridge Pillar
Courage - “I see it as pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.”
What should the Reno-Tahoe community know about Sage Ridge?
“We’re the biggest exporter of talent,” Armstrong said. “The best students from Sage Ridge have made a bigger impact on the world. We have great stewards from Reno-Tahoe not only around the country but also around the world.”
McKinsey & Company. Harvard Business School. Vanderbilt University. Sage Ridge School.
What do all of these things have in common? E.B. Armstrong ‘13.
Scorpion E.B. Armstrong joined Sage Ridge School as a seventh-grader in 2007 and immediately marveled at the “depth of knowledge of each of the teachers.” Acknowledging how the quality of her education contributed to her success, Armstrong said beginning Sage Ridge in Middle School allowed her to develop confidence and skills, and she learned how to ask the right questions and form close relationships with her teachers. It prepared her for the culture and curriculum at Sage Ridge’s Upper School.
"You’re going to prep yourself to go to the best-fit college for you," Armstrong said about the Sage Ridge Upper School experience. “No other high school on day one are you thinking about that. Everyone who stays is investing in four years to go to the best college to find the best job. It starts your freshman year.”
Armstrong recalls how during her freshman year, the Sage Ridge College Counselor printed out resumés showing how seniors got into their best-fit colleges, and it inspired and guided Armstrong’s Upper School experience, helping her see which classes and activities would align best with her interests for college.
"Suddenly the idea, the places that seem like such a distant reach, seem possible because you know people getting into these places and already freshman year you’re thinking about this and preparing for it," Armstrong said.
College counseling at Sage Ridge today begins in 8th grade.
"We don't need as much push from parents because you’re feeling the push from classmates, teachers, and the college counselor," Armstrong said. “Everyone wants you to bring your best…there are so many positive forces for students at Sage Ridge.”
When she graduated from Sage Ridge School and attended Vanderbilt University to study economics (with a triple minor in French, finance, and corporate strategy), she felt at ease in the university academic environment because at Sage Ridge, students must drive their “own thinking and learning and develop their own perspective” and she knew how to approach and engage with professors.
"Sage Ridge laid the foundation for how to study in a way that many students didn’t have…and how to engage professors, all of it," Armstrong said. “I was so used to knowing my professors, I wasn’t shy going to office hours or even giving feedback on courses. I worked really hard to have relationships with professors because that’s what I had in high school.”
While at Sage Ridge, Armstrong especially loved AP Latin and English classes with the English Department Head and 10th-grade and 12th-grade English teacher Dr. Tara McGann. Dr. McGann has been a beloved member of the Sage Ridge faculty since 2010.
"Dr. McGann is one of my favorite people," Armstrong said. “Dr. McGann even helped me with my Harvard [MBA] application [for Class of 2022], even after all these years [since graduation].”
During her senior year, Armstrong was Vice President of Student Government, Captain of the Varsity Volleyball team, Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook, and the Head of Prefecture.
"With four major leadership roles, you’re much more comfortable with taking on more leadership roles in college and have better management of your time and responsibilities," Armstrong said.
Armstrong has many favorite memories from her time at Sage Ridge. An Outdoor Education trip to Pinnacles National Park where she and her classmates spent the trip rock-climbing and going on "cool cave expeditions." A 250-mile California coast bike riding trip with classmates senior year. Building schools in rural communities in Nicaragua and Malawi on service trips with a school organization. Attending the 2013 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama as part of her history class. And, of course, hanging out in the senior lounge with her friends.
Armstrong’s advice for current Upper School Scorpions?
"Take every advantage of connecting with your teachers," Armstrong said. “It comes back in so many different ways later on.”