11/9/18—The Harpeth Hall School Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Jess Hill as the next Head of School, effective immediately.
Jess is an experienced leader in girls’ education and is a frequent speaker and panelist at national independent school conferences. Her expertise and commitment to the Harpeth Hall community has been evident for over two decades. She currently serves as the interim Head of School and previously served as Director of the Upper School from 2005-2017 after teaching Upper School math for a decade.
Harpeth Hall Board of Trustees Chair Jane Berry Jacques noted, “Mrs. Hill’s commitment to girls’ education along with her collaborative leadership style, strategic focus, and passion for lifelong learning will enable her to lead Harpeth Hall and to continue Harpeth Hall’s forward momentum into the future.”
11/8/18—St. Paul’s School for Girls (SPSG) recently announced the appointment of Ereni Gleason Malfa ’89 as the next Head of School effective July 1, 2019.
Ereni is a lifelong educator and school administrator with 24 years of distinguished service at Roland Park Country School where she served in a number of roles, most recently as Head of the Upper School. With the recent unification of the Boards of The St. Paul’s Schools, Ereni arrives at an important moment for SPSG, and she looks forward to capitalizing on coeducational opportunities while still preserving the distinctive culture and traditions of the all-girls school.
As an SPSG alumna, Ereni already feels a deep affinity for the school, stating, “My years as a student at St. Paul’s School for Girls helped shape who I am today. SPSG fostered in me the confidence to take risks. It was in those very classrooms, hallways, and playing fields that I learned the true meaning of respect and integrity. I was challenged to think deeply and act with compassion and empathy. In today’s complex world, the school’s continued commitment to fostering the intellectual curiosity, creativity, and spiritual growth of girls and young women sets its graduates on a path of purpose and meaning… I am truly overjoyed to be returning home to SPSG.”
11/5/18—The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, recently launched the Institute for Social Impact, an expansion of the school’s service learning program designed to empower students with the essential tools and life experiences necessary to lead lives of purpose and positive influence.
The Institute will allow students to engage with diverse partners, learn from civic leaders, and tackle projects to make a direct impact on the organizations and the people in the surrounding community. Based on the four pillars of Service Learning, Community Service, Community Engagement, and Social Entrepreneurship, the multi-faceted Institute will expand the experiential and real-world learning opportunities for students through new and existing partnerships with fellow schools, non-profit organizations, local businesses, and other community groups.
Students will be able to explore the intersection of community engagement and problem solving through projects ranging from “Developing Solutions to Water Issues Impacting Dallas” at a local farm to “Increasing STARR Results through Fine Arts Partnering ” at neighboring schools to “Solving Environmental Issues through Strategy” at the Dallas Zoo. These carefully designed projects and experiences will provide Hockaday students opportunities to test what they are learning in the classroom, tackle tough problems, learn to work in teams, cultivate empathy and respect for others with different backgrounds and expertise, build character and confidence, and explore their purpose in the world.
A recent alumna reflected the institute, “Prepared me to lead a life of purpose and impact. It’s more than just making the grade. …I want to help share my knowledge with others and make the world a better place. Girls are really going out there and doing amazing things with what they know.”
10/31/18—Archer School in Los Angeles believes in the power of sisterhood. In the case of their tennis team, that sisterhood is biological: the team include eight sets of sisters.
“It’s kind of weird,” said the No. 1 singles player, sophomore Lexie B. “It symbolizes Archer as a whole. Everybody is sisters, maybe not biological necessarily, but in spirit.”
Coach Paula Feigenbaum lets the older sisters serve as role models for the younger ones. “The unique part about the tennis program is I start with the middle school and have a seamless transition to high school and recognize all the sisters between the two teams,” she said.
Just like on the tennis court, Archer girls harness the power of their sisterhood in the school’s Saban IDEAlab to “come and create anything their heart desires,” described senior tennis player Miayunique S. The comprehensive engineering facility provides the young leaders with the tools they need to develop their passions and creativity. Miayunique said she’d like to use the lab to “create a ball machine… that would help with my overhead.”
Head of School Elizabeth English reflected on this collaborative atmosphere on and off the court saying, “We produce girl power.”
Click here to read the full story in The Los Angeles Times.
10/24/18—Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois, recently received a generous financial gift to its Center for Global Studies that will help the school achieve its goal of providing opportunities for international travel for all of its students. This transformative donation came from Nancy Scott Considine, the mother of seven and grandmother of two Woodlands Academy alumnae.
International travel is woven into the fabric of the Center for Global Studies curriculum. Students can make exchange visits to sister institutions comprising the worldwide network of approximately 150 Sacred Heart schools in 41 countries on six continents. The Global Odyssey program provides every Woodlands student with an international experience, either by traveling to another country or through a special class on campus, in order to spark global curiosity and develop global competence. The program’s launch last year sent students to Sacred Heart schools in Austria, Chile, France, Mexico, Spain, Japan, and Ecuador, where students immersed themselves in cultural education and service.
Woodlands Academy’s Global Scholars program, now in its third year, exposes participants to different cultures, languages, and perspectives through challenging coursework, project-based learning, internships, cultural exchanges, and service.
Considine’s grant will provide need-based financial assistance to students pursuing these opportunities, most notably this year’s Global Odyssey trips to Iceland, Ireland, and Guatemala.
Amy Perlick, Director of the Center for Global Studies, said “The Woodlands Academy Center for Global Studies seeks to engage students with comprehensive curricular, extracurricular, and service opportunities in order to immerse them in a global outlook, equipping them with the skills to act as responsible leaders on issues of global significance.”
Head of School Meg Steele added, “The entire Woodlands community is sincerely and deeply grateful for Mrs. Considine’s generosity, vision, and support…As her own life attests, Mrs. Considine is a strong believer in Sacred Heart education and the values fundamental to Sacred Heart. Her gift will afford more of our students the opportunity to learn meaningful lessons about very different ways of life by witnessing them first-hand.”
Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School Celebrates First Graduating Class and a Newly Established Endowment
10/19/18—Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School, a public charter middle school for girls in Baltimore, MD, recently graduated its inaugural class of eighth grade scholars. Lillie May, opened in 2015, is a unique public-private partnership between Roland Park Country School (RPCS) and the Baltimore City School System. Lillie May is the result of a five-year process of visioning and planning conceived of and designed by faculty and administrators from RPCS and The Bryn Mawr School, sister all-girls schools in Baltimore.
The first class of graduates participated in a Passage Ceremony in June, where each girl reviewed her three years at Lillie May focusing on social and academic growth and how the knowledge they acquired will serve them in high school and beyond. Graduates are bound for their first-choice high schools.
Lillie May also celebrated the creation of an endowment close to $500 thousand thanks to a gift from a Bryn Mawr alumna and her family. The gift demonstrates the impact the public-private partnership has already generated in the independent school community.
In 2019, Lillie May is slated to move to a new location. With help from the Abell Foundation and The Reinvestment Fund, the school has purchased a former Baltimore City Public School building that will be renovated to become the permanent home of Lillie May. In three brief years, the school has become an integral part of the Baltimore education landscape for girls.
10/18/18—Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus in Pasadena, California, was named the recipient of the 2018-2019 Moulton Student Global Citizenship Grant. NCGS co-founder Meg Moulton established this annual prize in honor of the Coalition’s 25th anniversary for a faculty-led team of NCGS member school students. The grant helps engage girls in leadership, fortify their strategic thinking, and enhance their global mindfulness by developing empathy and respect for others. The grant allows the Filipino Affinity of Mayfield Senior School to share language, cultural identity, and personal well-being and growth with underserved girls at their sister school, Maria Droste Training Center in the Philippines.
The project Filipinas in Leadership and Mutuality, led by faculty advisors Teri Gonzales and Kimberly Gomez, will broaden the student’s understanding and connection to their Filipino heritage, make them more mindful of those who are underserved, embrace mutuality and reciprocity by sharing experiences and language, and empower the students to be leaders who make a difference in others’ lives as well as their own.
Through advanced technology in the classroom, the Mayfield Senior School students will connect virtually with students at their sister school on a regular basis. Filipinas in Leadership and Mutuality will broaden the global awareness of the school community by going beyond their borders, building connections, and allowing the students at the two schools to work closely with purpose and meaning.
Student leaders from Mayfield Senior School will present on their project during the 2019 NCGS Conference, Dream, Dare, Do: Girls as Makers, Inventors, Engineers, and Entrepreneurs on the campus of Westridge School in Pasadena, California, June 24-26, 2019.
The festival featured leadership-building and artist events, hands-on STEM activities, sports clinics, dance and theater performances, and more. “This event was designed to introduce girls to things and activities that challenge them and open their eyes to new possibilities,” said Lori Guy, Hutchison’s Strategic Communications Director.
Hutchison’s upper school students volunteered alongside female engineers, firefighters, and other powerful female community members. Attended by about 1,300 girls ages 3-15, the one-day event took advantage of Hutchison’s expansive facilities, including its on-campus farm where attendees learned about beekeeping and agriculture.
Hutchinson teamed up with the Girl Scouts of America to provide four opportunities for active Girl Scouts to earn badges during the Fest. The school also partnered with a number of vendors and community organizations, including My Cup of Tea, a social enterprise founded by a Hutchison alumna that trains and hires women who need employment. In addition, Strong GIRL Fest highlighted the student entrepreneurship that is fostered through Hutchison’s Marketplace program.
Head of School Kristen Ring reflected, “We want Hutchison to be a great resource for the Memphis community…Hutchison is a quiet gem in Memphis, and this event drew the community in to showcase our school in a new light.”
10/12/18—Lower School girls at the Nightingale-Bamford School celebrated International Day of the Girl on October 11 with a special assembly designed to get the girls thinking about their place in the world.
The assembly began with everyone singing “Hold Everybody Up” by vocal activist Melanie DeMore. The girls sang a rendition that incorporated new lyrics written by music teachers Mary Beth Alexander and Sara Turilli in honor of International Day of the Girl. Nightingale’s Head of School and Vice President of the NCGS Board of Trustees Paul A. Burke shared how Nightingale is a part of a broader world of girls’ schools that support each other in educating girls. To illustrate his point, he shared photos of Upper School students participating in exchanges with girls’ schools in South Africa and Australia. Reminding the Lower Schoolers of their important place within a global community of girls, he asked them to consider what is special about being a girl. Among the students’ wide-ranging answers were being excited about the variety of jobs open to women and feeling lucky to be a girl because girls can attend all-girls schools.
Students were then introduced to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up #GirlHero campaign, which encourages girls around the world to identify their personal #GirlHero and share what they find inspiring about that person. Administrators and faculty spoke about their #GirlHeroes before dismissing students for a classroom exercise where they identified and shared their own #GirlHeroes.
10/10/18—Later this month, ten students from Girls Preparatory School (GPS) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta, the largest two-day regatta in the world. In addition to racing crews from across the U.S., this year’s event has teams from Canada, Mexico, Australia, China, South Africa, and across Europe. “Our girls will be racing crews from every corner of the United States—California to New England, Florida to Seattle, and everywhere in between,” said Head Varsity Rowing Coach David Hall. More than 11,000 athletes will compete and hundreds of thousands of spectators gather to watch.
This will be the third time GPS students have competed in this distinguished Cambridge, Massachusetts race. GPS was previously selected to send teams in 2000 and 2015.
Coach Hall reflected, “Our athletes have been working extremely hard this season, with their eyes set on this opportunity since this time last year. The girls know the expectations that naturally come with a regatta like the Head of the Charles. I’m excited to see what they can do with their combined experience in one shell on an international stage like this one.”
One of the team captains, Larkin B. ’19, noted the ways in which the GPS rowing program has shifted in preparation for the Head of the Charles. “We’ve worked a lot on the mental side,” she said. “Coach Hall has been instrumental in that, and we’ve grown a lot closer and have higher expectations of our team.”
Rebecca G. ’19, another team captain, added, “Rowing is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also the most rewarding. You have to trust your boat-mates completely and work together.”
10/5/18—It is a complex time for girls and young women as they work to make sense of the world around them. As a result, it is an important time for our girls’ schools to support students as they learn and grow—particularly as we work to foster their independence, confidence, and compassion.
Needless to say, the theme of our fall Educating Girls Symposium, School Communities: The Power of Many Voices was a timely one, and the keynote speakers and sessions did not disappoint.
Our keynote speakers highlighted the power of voice and language, and how we best support our girls in their use.
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College and author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race, opened with a powerful session, reminding us of the importance of speaking up and ensuring that from our youngest girls to oldest, they are supported and guided as they notice and learn about difference such that we are fostering environments that are equitable and inclusive. She impressed upon us that we must nurture our girls’ voices in a productive and constructive manner.
At the end of the day, psychologist, executive director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, and author of Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood, Dr. Lisa Damour, challenged us to stop being critical of our girls’ use of language so that we can be more curious about it. Rather than suggesting that our girls avoid particular ways of speaking, we should be providing them with a toolbox of language skills that afford them choices depending on the circumstances. As Damour suggests, “Voice is not, and should not be, a unifying thing. [We must] aim to recognize all voices in a community and all of the voices in each girl,” such that they are able to challenge traditional structures in a way that best suits them and the situation.
Bottom line? Voice and language are powerful and important tools for our girls and young women. As a Coalition, and as educators of girls, we must always be thinking, modeling, and guiding our girls to speak up and out in ways that allow them to be heard and that positively effect change.
10/2/18—Mark Cuban, an American businessman and investor, recently announced he would donate $10 million to women’s advocacy nonprofits following an investigation into sexual harassment in the NBA. Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) of Fort Worth, a member of NCGS and Fort Worth’s only single-gender school for young women, is receiving a $100,000 donation as part of Cuban’s pledge.
Principal of YWLA Tamara Albury said, “They see the value in what we’re doing and in my students… It’s fantastic. It’s heartwarming.” The school plans to use the funds for STEM and visual arts education, as well as programs in leadership, service, and health/wellness.