Member News

Women Give Millions to Support The Madeira School

1/20/16 — In the past four years, The Madeira School has received large contributions from alumnae and donors, in particular nine donors, all women, who have given $1,000,000 or more. To date, Madeira has raised a total of $46.2 million dollars. What really got the ball rolling was a $10 million challenge gift from an anonymous alumna donor, which remains the largest single gift ever received by Madeira. The challenge money allowed Madeira to renovate two dormitory buildings. Challenge gifts continued, allowing Madeira to make other renovations.

According to Elizabeth Zeigler, President of Graham-Pelton Consulting and an expert in philanthropy data and strategies, these gifts serve as “a testimony to the dedication of these alumnae and their ability to set an example for their fellow alumnae to give.”

Zeigler, along with Louise Peterson, Madeira’s Director of Development and Anne Faircloth, alumna and Development Committee member at Madeira, will present at the Global Forum on Girls’ Education held by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) in New York on February 8. In their presentation, Inspiring Million Dollar Giving from Women, they will provide insight on what motivates women to give million-dollar plus gifts.

Stoneleigh-Burnham School’s Equestrian Center Welcomes Greenfield Middle School Learners

1/19/16 — Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) and the Greenfield Public Schools have begun a partnership in equestrian studies that gives Greenfield Middle School (GMS) students the opportunity to learn about horses and riding from seasoned SBS equestrian faculty, staff, and students.

The partnership was developed by SBS Equestrian Director George Halkett and GMS Associate Principal Angela Ruggeri with the encouragement of Greenfield School Superintendent Jordana Harper. Under the partnership, 21 6th grade girls and boys from GMS visit the SBS equestrian center on Stoneleigh-Burnham’s campus each school day for an hour and a half to work with SBS student riders and equestrian staff.

“Stoneleigh-Burnham has given to our community in a tremendous way by providing this opportunity to our students at a very low cost, about what it would cost one student to do the program,” Ruggeri said. “We are delighted that students will have such a memorable, unique opportunity, and very grateful to Stoneleigh-Burnham for their willingness to make this happen” added Superintendent Harper.

Saint Gertrude High School Debuts “Girlbot” at Consumer Electronics Show

1/8/16—She has a thick pink ponytail, a 3-D printed mouth, fits in a suitcase, and her name is Ellie — and she is the creation of Saint Gertrude High School’s all-girl Robotics Team. Commissioned by Shelley Zalis, Founder of The Girls’ Lounge, Ellie will make her first public appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Ellie is programmed to speak messages of empowerment while passing out information about The Girls’ Lounge.

Students Molly Powers and Martha Anne Hotinger will represent Saint Gertrude’s Robotics Team in Las Vegas, and will join Zalis and Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States. “We embraced the challenge, and also had a lot of fun designing and building Ellie,” stated Powers. “The fact that our ‘girlbot’ will be inspiring women around the world makes this so much more than a robot project” concluded Hotinger.

Students at Julia Morgan School for Girls Included in’s 2015 Year in Change Video

1/15/16 — The “Girls in Government, Leadership, and Service” club at Julia Morgan School for Girls has been included in’s 2015 Year in Change video, which shows how users shaped the world in 2015. The club, composed of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls, was chosen out of 200,000 petitioners. Their petition concerned the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would guarantee equal rights for women, including equal pay in the workplace.

Seattle Girls’ School Announces Next Head of School

1/11/16 — The Seattle Girls’ School has appointed Brenda Leaks as next Head of School, effective July 1, 2016. Leaks will succeed Rafael del Castillo.

Leaks’ credentials include serving as Middle School Head at Overlake and Trinity Episcopal Schools and teaching Spanish at The Baldwin and Shipley School in Pennsylvania. As a graduate of a women’s college, Leaks is a strong supporter and ambassador for girls’ education. Her leadership skills, commitment to innovative education, passion for a great middle school experience, and demonstrated honesty and integrity made her the unanimous choice for the next Head of Seattle Girls’ School.

Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy 6th Grader to Have Story Published by READ 20

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.

Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy 7th Graders Become Local Playwrights

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.”

Convent of the Visitation School Announces New Head of School

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.”

Baldwin School Announces New Head of School

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.

Garrison Forest and Roland Park Country Schools Awarded 2015 Top Baltimore Workplace Honors

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.

Roland Park Country School Appoints New Head of School

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.

Winsor School Appoints New Head of School

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.