News

Sophie Kemether Travels Across the Pond to Reconnect with Whitefield Teacher
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 11/4/2016

Sophie Kemether (’14) stopped by Whitefield at the end of the 2016 school year to see her former teachers. As she expected, when she stuck her head in the door of Ms. Bonnem’s classroom, she was busy with another student, so Sophie later emailed her former teacher and friend to see if they could meet up and get coffee. The only problem was that Ms. Bonnem was in the United Kingdom finishing up her masters’ program and would be there all summer.

Sophie continues her story…

A few weeks later, after being bored to tears at an internship and securing my parents' “ok,” I started off on a spur-of-the-moment backpacking trip across Europe. After meeting alumni Audrey Garrett (’15) in Amsterdam and Bennett Shilling (’14) in London studying at Imperial College, I realized Ms. Bonnem was only an hour-long train ride away in Oxford, so I shot her an email! I met up with Anna Moore (’13), another Whitefield grad studying there, for lunch at Oxford's Covered Market and some friends from the University of Virginia for croquet, then quite literally sprinted to make the 4:01 p.m. train back to London that Ms. Bonnem said she would be on in order to see a play (tickets she said she won and I'm sure she won from a writing competition in her class or something that I'm sure she was too modest to specify). We sat together on a very crowded train and covered my future goals, her future goals, and everything in between! We even got shushed by an angry fellow passenger on the “quiet carriage” for talking too loudly!

It may sound cliché, but our hour together literally flew by, and it felt like minutes before we were back at Paddington Station in London. We said our goodbyes in the "Tube" only after snapping a selfie. It was an incredible experience to catch up with one of my favorite teachers from Whitefield and trusted Student Council advisor in such a cool location.

On a more sentimental note, Ms. Bonnem is incredibly talented at what she does and incredibly passionate about English writing and history (not to mention a pretty hardcore biker chick). She is someone I would definitely consider an inspiration and someone I look forward to staying in touch with as we both progress in life! She truly is such a gem, and it was an absolute treat to get to spend some one-on-one time with her.