12/21/15 — Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) 6th grader Tay’Viona Harris gained the title of published author when her story Zulie’s Long Journey was selected for publication by READ 20 to be added to the library of books in the organization’s READmobile. Harris’ classmate Jimena Irineo-Abundez was named Best Illustrator and will draw all artwork for the book. Winners were announced during CGLA’s second STEM Night celebration, which was fitting as all of the students used technology to produce their e-stories.
A public/private partnership, READ 20 works to fulfill its mission by encouraging adults to read with children and helping children learn to love books. READ 20 is dedicated to creating a strong community of readers by promoting the importance of reading with children at least 20 minutes a day or more.
12/15/15 — Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) 7th graders Carrigan Collins and Abigail Stone have been featured as playwrights for The Muse of Fire Project, which will be performed December 11 and 12 at The Public Library in downtown Chattanooga.
The Muse of Fire Project invites kids from a variety of backgrounds to come together once a week to create original theater pieces. Adults then act the plays in front of a live audience. Collins and Stone completed the 10-week theater program where they wrote their own plays entitled Trapped In An Unwanted World and Flashing Lights, respectively.
“We believe that effective learning reaches beyond the traditional classroom and we like when our girls take advantage of these opportunities,” said CGLA Executive Director Dr. Elaine Swafford. “Writing is such an integral part of project-based learning at CGLA so when our students have the opportunity to practice their creative skills outside of the classroom, it’s a win-win.”
12/14/15 — Rene Gavic has been named Convent of the Visitation School’s next Head, effective July 1, 2016. Gavic will succeed Dr. Dawn Nichols, who announced last year she will retire after 16 years at the helm.
Gavic brings more than 25 years of education experience to her new role. She began her career at Visitation in 1987 as coach of the track and field teams, adding cross country in 1989. In 1990, Gavic joined the faculty as a mathematics teacher. In 2002, she was named Dean of Students for Visitation’s Upper School, and later became Director of Visitation’s Upper School.
“I am deeply honored and thrilled to have been selected to lead Visitation,” said Gavic. “I feel tremendously blessed to be a part of this amazing community and I look forward to leading this great school for many years to come.”
12/10/15 — Marisa Porges has been named Baldwin School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Porges will succeed long-serving Head of School, Sally Powell.
A Baldwin alumna from the Class of 1996, Dr. Porges has remained connected to her alma mater, serving on the Board of Trustees and the National Board of Advisors and receiving the Young Alumnae Award in 2006. A passionate believer in lifelong education, she holds a bachelors from Harvard University, a masters from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate from King’s College London. Most recently, she served as White House Fellow to the National Economic Council.
Layered on top of these qualifications was her understanding of and personal passion for the advantages of a Baldwin education, and her clear standing as a role model for Baldwin’s students as they seek their own professional and personal paths. She is uniquely able to show Baldwin’s girls the boundless and diverse dreams they can pursue after graduation.
12/8/15 — Roland Park Country School (RPCS) and Garrison Forest School have been honored as 2015 Top Workplaces by The Baltimore Sun Media Group. The Top Workplaces list is based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm specializing in organizational health and workplace improvement.
“Who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together,” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics.
Both schools are honored to be recognized among the 2015 Top Baltimore Workplaces.
11/10/15 — Roland Park Country School’s Board of Trustees has appointed Caroline Blatti to succeed Jean Waller Brune upon her retirement at the end of the 2015–2016 academic year.
Blatti currently serves as Upper School Head at the Hutchison School in Memphis, TN. Passionate about bringing her skills in leadership development to Roland Park, Blatti is committed to upholding four principles – exploration, vision, voice, and balance – that are core to her leadership style. She is dedicated to innovation, single-sex education, and to creating a dynamic learning environment.
11/9/15 — Dr. Sarah Pelmas has been named Winsor School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2016. She will join Winsor from the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., where she is currently Associate Head and Head of the Upper School.
Dr. Pelmas reflected on her educational philosophy, “Now, more than ever, schools need strong leadership so that the vision aligns with the mission, inspires everyone to work and learn, and above all keeps the institution moving forward in exciting ways.”
Board Chair Allison Kaneb Pellegrino said Dr. Pelmas’ career reflects the key qualities – “leadership, vision, inspiration, and drive” – that align with Winsor’s.
11/6/15 — Homa Tavangar recently paid a visit to Girls Preparatory School to deliver a simple message, “Be a friend to the whole human race.” Tavangar, author of the widely acclaimed Growing Up Global: Raising Children to be at Home in the World, helps audiences from CEOs to kindergartners learn and thrive in a global context.
Global citizens, she said, make a difference in the world through their empathy for others, sincere questions, and use of social media for social good. She encouraged the girls to look locally for opportunities to make new friends and discover shared ideas and ideals. She also challenged the girls to “pioneer innovation” and be change makers in their own community.
11/4/15 — The Archer School for Girls received $7,000 in grant funding as part of the Lemelson-MIT Program’s 2015–2016 InvenTeam initiative to inspire young people to solve real-world problems through invention. “I’m so proud of our students for coming together to stretch themselves to invent something new and take on a real-world problem that they care deeply about,” said Michael Carter, faculty mentor to Archer’s InvenTeam of 20 students. As grant recipients, the school’s InvenTeam members are invited to develop their invention, a compact faucet mounted water meter, to be showcased at EurekaFest™, a multi-day celebration of inventions and inventors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June 2016.
11/3/15 — Stoneleigh-Burnham School placed first among U.S. schools at the International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition. Students Claire Lane ’16 and Clara Swartzentruber ’16 were selected to attend the World Debating and Public Speaking Championship in March 2016.
Dr. Paul Bassett, head coach of Stoneleigh-Burnham’s Debate and Public Speaking Society, said while the school’s teams have done well at this competition over the years, the last time Stoneleigh-Burnham earned Top U.S. Team was in 1993. This is the first time Stoneleigh-Burnham will have two speakers participating on the U.S. team at Worlds.
11/2/15 — The Ruth T. Bedford Merit Scholarship for the Arts, which will support as many as eight Foxcroft School students with $25,000-a-year grants, has been endowed by a portion of the largest gift ever made to a girls’ high school. “This scholarship will help us to reach new students who might not otherwise attend Foxcroft,” said Head of School Catherine S. McGehee. The scholarship will be awarded to new 9th or 10th grade students dedicated to the performing or visual arts and who have a strong desire to excel in that arena. The girls must also be academically focused, inquisitive, outgoing, and interested in developing leadership skills. They must be individuals who will add to the integrity and to the intellectual and creative richness of the school community.
10/30/15 — Dana Hall School’s Board of Trustees has named Katherine Bradley as 11th Head of School, effective July 1, 2016. Bradley joins Dana Hall from Groton School, where she has spent the last 14 years deeply immersed in academic and residential life and school leadership. Her demonstrated passion for educational excellence and enthusiasm for working with the varied constituencies of an independent school has made her uniquely qualified to take Dana Hall into the future. Dana Hall seeked “an inspiring, bold and accomplished leader who is a champion for young women’s education and who models the values of Dana Hall.” With Bradley, they found such a leader, whose passion and energy “will guide Dana Hall to its next level of excellence.”