October 19, 2018

Recent stops on the Listening & Learning Tour include Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame School of Manhattan, the Student Leadership Network’s (Em)Power Breakfast, the Association of State Girls’ Schools’ Leadership Conference, and the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools’ (CAIS) Heads & Chairs Conference.

Director of Strategic Initiatives & Professional Development Jen Shakeshaft visited Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, IL, just as the fall colors were starting to show on the school’s beautiful 41 acres. She learned about Woodlands’ new Center for Global Studies, the mission of which is to empower girls to engage with, immerse themselves in, and act as responsible leaders of the global community. Students have the opportunity to go on international exchanges [pictured above] at one of the Sacred Heart Network’s 150 member schools, pursue a Global Scholars Certificate, and participate in an annual Global Odyssey program, all with the goal of fostering the ability to understand issues of global significance.

Director of Research Initiatives & Programs Natalie Demers visited Notre Dame School of Manhattan, a private Catholic college preparatory school founded in 1912 by the Sisters of St. Ursula that draws 350 young women from more than 90 middle and elementary schools in the New York metropolitan area. Following a campus tour where Natalie observed classroom activities and met with faculty and students, she met with Vice Principal Karina Vargas. Notre Dame has twelve values that are highlighted throughout the year: Prayer, Trust, Gratitude, Hope, Perseverance, ConversatioMagis, Friendship, Courage, Service, Responsibility, and Respect. Each value is assigned a color and hanging throughout the school are decorative panels of the twelve colored ribbons woven together by all the students.

While in New York City, Natalie attended the Student Leadership Network’s (Em)Power Breakfast. A total of 700 guests gathered to celebrated more than 2,500 girls in grades 6–12 who attend The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS). NCGS is proud to count the five TYWLS schools among its members. Tracee Ellis Ross, Bruce Mosler, and Valerie Radwaner were honored at the breakfast, each addressing the audience on the importance of giving young women the opportunity to use their voices.

Earlier this month, Executive Director Megan Murphy spoke at the Association of State Girls’ School’s (ASGS) annual Leadership Conference in London about the Coalition’s Purpose, Principles, and Practice. She briefed attendees on the outcomes of the Global Forum on Girls’ Education® II and invited ASGS delegates to attend the Global Forum III scheduled for June 21-23, 2021, in Boston. The ASGS conference theme was, “’Walking the Tightrope: Balancing Leadership, Creativity, and Well-being” and was chosen to reflect particular challenges facing school leaders.

While attending the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools’ (CAIS) annual Heads & Chairs Conference in Calgary, NCGS Board President Martha Perry (Principal of St. Clement’s School in Toronto), new trustee Cheryl Boughton (Head of Elmwood School in Ottawa), and Megan hosted a lunchtime meeting for Canadian NCGS members including Balmoral Hall School, Bishop Strachan School, Branksome Hall, Crofton House, Elmwood School, Havergal College, Queen Margaret’s School, Sacred Heart School of Halifax, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, St. Clement’s School, St. Margaret’s School, St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School, The Study, and Trafalgar Castle School. Topics of discussion included NCGS research initiatives, women leadership, political participation, and STEM confidence among all-girls school graduates.