The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Admissions office increases community outreach efforts with new position

Tom Reese

In an effort to make applying to Lakeside more accessible and increase the diversity of applicants, the school recently welcomed a new staff member to its admissions office.

Ms. Kayesee Schermerhorn joined the staff in November, assuming the newly created position of Assistant Director of Community Engagement and Outreach for Admissions.

The aim of Ms. Schermerhorn’s work is to ensure that Lakeside’s applicant pool reflects the demographics of King County. Right now, the percentage of Lakeside students who identify as Latine/Hispanic American is just 3% (though according to the school website 16% of Lakesiders selected “Declined to answer” when asked their race). This number is far less than King County’s 11%, as reported in the 2020 Census.

Ms. Schermerhorn hopes to change this. “What I have the most motivation for right now in my role is the outreach … because it’s so needed,” she said.

Her work will add to Lakeside’s recent outreach efforts. In the last few years, the school has begun hosting an admissions event for prospective Black and Hispanic families as well as an event for prospective LGBTQ+ families. The events are both virtual webinars wherein a panel of Black/Hispanic or LGBTQ+ current students and parents and guardians speak about their experience at Lakeside.

In addition to these existing events, Ms. Schermerhorn plans to host more off-campus information sessions. “It’s so important to meet people where they’re at…so I’m excited to [do] that but also invite people to our school.” But, she added, “We can’t just be sharing the word about Lakeside without actually supporting families through our very complicated application process.” To this end, she plans to create guides, videos, and additional resources to help students and families complete their applications.

Ms. Schermerhorn is eager to get more students involved in outreach efforts. “Students … know what it’s like to be a student at Lakeside. They could potentially go back to their home communities and share about what it is to be a Lakeside student. They can be mythbusters … and share the realities here rather than misconceptions and perceptions that families have.”

Ms. Schermerhorn’s interest in expanding educational opportunities was sparked by her own background.

Growing up in Vancouver, Washington, Ms. Schermerhorn attended public schools and was the first in her family to attend college.

“Through being a first-generation college student, I … learned how important educational equity and access is to me,” she said. Ms. Schermehorn attended the University of Washington Tacoma, and shared that her proudest accomplishment was planning a special graduation for first-generation students.

After graduating with a degree in Law and Policy, Ms. Schermerhorn worked for a program called Riverways that connects UW students with kids in grades K–12 attending low-income schools in Seattle and tutored at the Rainier Beach High School homework center. But it was her recent job at Open Window School that led her to Lakeside.

“I started working at an independent school. And while I never had the experience of going to independent school … I was pretty blown away [by] how much potential is here for students, and how many resources are available for students, and really, how transformative going to an independent school can be,” she said. “I’ve really just been motivated to make sure that students from all backgrounds, especially students who don’t have families with resources to know about independent schools, can learn about the opportunity that is here for them.”

Ms. Schermerhorn is hopeful that the light rail stop opening this August across from the AAC will make Lakeside accessible to more students, though she realizes there is more to be done to increase diversity at Lakeside. “We have a lot of work to do,” she said. “But I’m really excited to work on this.”

If students are interested in learning more and want to be involved in Lakeside’s outreach efforts, please email Ms. Schermerhorn at or visit her office in Fix Hall.

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About the Contributor
Samara N. '26
Samara enjoys writing, playing basketball, and spending time with her chihuahua-pug, Ivy!

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