The Savannah Country Day School

Service Through Knowledge and Character

Alumni Spotlight: Rex Steele '04

Rex graduated from Savannah Country Day in 2004 and went on to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point where he majored in American Politics and French. Upon his graduation, Rex was commissioned as a Field Artillery officer in the U.S. Army. In addition to completing tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has commanded Airborne Field Artillery and Reconnaissance units during his 10-year Army career. Rex is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. After his graduation in 2019, he will return to West Point as an instructor in the American Politics department.

What memories or lessons from your time at Country Day have resonated?
I have the fondest memories of growing up at Country Day: history class with John Kwasny, Peter Foley and Byron Boyd, learning the violin and bass with Paula Swart, science with Bill Eswine, and Cross Country with Lamar Kirkley, to name a few. These memories continue to resonate with me because of the joy that I felt from learning in these moments. I admired, and still do to this day, all of the amazing teachers and coaches I had at Country Day that provided strong guidance and showed me how to love learning. I am still working to be a better French speaker, runner, and violinist on a regular basis. The exposure and academic rigor that I experienced at an early age gave me a strong foundation and made my transition to West Point significantly easier than that of many of my peers. I certainly would not be where I am today had it not been for the skills and interests I cultivated during my time at Country Day.
How has your Country Day experience and community been influential in your life?
From the education that I received to the friendships that I made, the SCDS community has remained an essential part of my life story and has largely made me who I am today. During my time at Country Day, I had many positive mentors who pushed me to do more, think critically, and to dig deeper as a student and as a person. The Country Day experience gave me the ability to deal with the incredible highs and lows of life along with everything in between.
What extracurricular offerings, including arts or athletics, did you participate in during your time at Country Day? How did this complement your school experience?
I participated in a variety of extracurricular opportunities at Country Day throughout my Lower, Middle and Upper School years that include: student council, honor council, orchestra, cross-country, track & field, soccer, football, and quiz bowl. These activities complemented my experience at Country Day by providing me with different areas in which I could hone my public speaking and leadership skills, satiate my competitive edge, and have fun! The wide range of extracurricular activities allowed me the freedom to explore many interests and broaden my horizons. I only regret that I couldn’t have done more!
How would you define the "Country Day Difference?”
The “Country Day Difference” is the community of highly skilled and unique educators, administrators, and staff who push every student to succeed. Whether it is in the classroom, on the athletic field, in fine arts, or elsewhere, Country Day’s commitment to excellence in all that it does shines through in the accomplishments of everyone affiliated with the SCDS Community. It is a challenging institution that makes its alumni better as a result of its rigor. As the son and grandson of educators, the power of a good education was instilled in me from a very early age. The “Country Day Difference” is something that I appreciate more and more as the years go by.