Bob Costa, ACS Hillingdon 1998 - 2000
"I had the chance to study with dozens of students from Asia, Europe, Africa and other areas, which provided me with an enriched sense of the world and how others perceive events and values. That was invaluable.”
From the Hallways of Hillingdon to D.C.’s Corridors of Power
Like so many ACS families, the Costa family moved to London following a parental career opportunity. It was a move that advanced one father’s legal career, but also helped to launch another career, one involving a love affair with politics that started in the ACS Hillingdon Middle School. And echoing today’s political headlines, there was some intrigued involved.
Robert “Bob” Costa was a seventh-grader (age 13) when he arrived in the UK in 1998, accompanied by his parents, a fraternal twin brother and two other siblings. Bob learned lots of lifelong lessons at ACS, including how to manage an election campaign. It was one with a surprising, no one-saw-it-coming outcome.
At the time the Costa children enrolled at ACS, the Hillingdon Middle School didn’t have a student government. So Bob worked with the teachers there then to found one, including writing its first constitution and rules of order.
As an American new to the UK, young Bob’s new government resembled the one he’d left behind in the States. It included an executive branch and someone had to run for president. Bob did and a Costa won: his twin brother James. This early defeat prepared Bob for the sometimes rough and tumble world of politics, his passion ever since.
Today, Bob (age 34) is immersed in politics 24/7 as a national political reporter for the Washington Post where he covers the White House and Congress, a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and perhaps most famously for being the moderator and managing editor for “Washington Week” on PBS, one of the longest running programs on American television.
The thinking sure didn’t stop when Bob left ACS. Returning home to Yardley, PA he was well prepared for high school. In many ways he was a different person. Academically Bob felt he was ahead of his peers, but there was more to it than that. Bob reflects, “When I did return to the States, as we'd say at Hillingdon, I came ready for high school with a depth of knowledge about history and culture due to my time abroad. Most importantly, I had the chance to study with dozens of students from Asia, Europe, Africa and other areas, which provided me with an enriched sense of the world and how others perceive events and values. That was invaluable.”
During high school and while at the University of Notre Dame, Bob began reporting in print and on TV, taking the kind of bold steps that landed him internships, forging relationships that helped launch a nationally noted career, but not before returning the to UK to earn a master’s degree in politics from the University of Cambridge.
Bob still loves his work, a role giving him a ringside seat at witnessing the day’s headlines in the making. As he puts it, “I'm inspired every day by the events I cover as a reporter. It's hard not to be when you are covering history up close, whether it's the Trump White House, the campaign trail, or the debates in Congress. I’m also deeply aware that I have responsibility to cover the news fairly and with vigor, to shine a light on people in power. My readers and viewers crave in-depth, reliable information.”
As busy as he is, Bob still finds time to give back serving in volunteer leadership positions for Notre Dame. But as they say in TV and show biz, stay tuned.
“I can trace my love of 20th century history and journalism back to Mrs. Zwick's eighth grade class. I have kept in touch with her over the years, and will always appreciate her bright mind and giving spirit. Instead of just going through the material, she prodded me to think big and think hard. Those lessons have stayed with me.”
- BOB COSTA
Lina Ogaily Sami, ACS Hillingdon class of 1991
“It was really a wonderful opportunity to come back here and be able to give back to the school community. I owe a lot to ACS for the confidence it built in me."
Olutade Olulade, ACS Cobham, 2005 - 2007
"My time at Cobham not only prepared me for further education but I feel more so that it gave me the tools to live a fulfilling life."
Laura van Holstein, ACS Egham class of 2011
"The subjects and teachers that really shaped how I ended up approaching evolutionary biology were those in English, maths, and art."