Junior arrives at UAIS… two years late!


Lila Geromin

Juniors Jack Palus, Mariano Mansoor, Giselle Sesi, and Jen McWethy welcome Nick Chandzel (center)

Lila Geromin , Reporter

Since De la Salle has discontinued their IB program this year, Junior Nick Chandzel was forced to choose between the esteemed IB education, or his brotherhood at De la Salle. 

For two years, Chandzel attended the all-boys school De la Salle expecting to continue his junior and senior year taking IB classes. Unfortunately, Chandzel found out late sophomore year that his school would be cutting the IB program. This meant that he could either choose to stick with the norm and remain with the family he created at De la Salle, or he could accept change and attend UAIS for his junior and senior year. The choice was definitely a hard one to make.

“I thought about IB for colleges,” Chandzel said. “I thought it would be more beneficial…instead of AP. And CAS too.”

Since Chandzel made the choice largely based on academics, some of the other aspects of his life had to transition with the change. Chandzel says that the move of schools has impacted him greatly.

“I had to make new friends. It’s a new environment. I have to learn new names,” he said.

While some of these things seem small, they can have a big impact on a person’s life. Since De la Salle is an all-boys school, there are obviously huge differences between that atmosphere and UAIS.

“At De la Salle it was more of a brotherhood,” Chandzel said. “Everyone knows everyone; everyone is good friends with everyone.”

The De la Salle mission is very centered around this brotherhood.

 According to the De la Salle Collegiate High School website, “[their] promise is to provide an educational experience that is driven by faith and supports justice, equality, diversity, and inclusion at all levels of engagement. Together in faith, faith in each other, faith in you, we grow stronger in brotherhood.”

Chandzel said that the biggest difference is “environment and attitude. The mindset at IB is completely different. Here at IB it’s more focused, and more about learning than grades. At De la Salle, grades were everything.”

Alongside the grading and environment, the way the classes are taught differ greatly from what he was used to. Since the grades were the most important part of the student’s learning, teachers at De la Salle helped the kids a lot. 

He says, “[IB teachers] tell you to work in groups, but it’s not always best—to work in a group. That’s why it was hard for me to do Socratics here, because it was a lot of group work—like interacting with a group about the reading—and it was more the students do the work. At De la Salle, we would ask the teacher questions, and then discuss as a class, not as just the students. Here, the students are more involved than the teachers.” He continues, “I think that’s why UAIS is more difficult.”

The students here at IB are incredibly happy to have Chandzel join the family. 

Giselle Sesi, a junior, said, “He provides new perspectives that I was previously unaware of. I also think he’s very amusing.”

And while this transition was surely hard for him and will require continuous growth and change, Chandzel is overall happy with his decision too. 

“I would say that the IB students and the IB teachers are very embracing. They took me under their IB wing,” he said.