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.”
10/29/15 — Orchard House School has announced the appointment of Laura Haskins as the next Head of School, effective July 1, 2016. As the current Assistant Head at Williamsburg Montessori School, Haskins provides strategic leadership for the Middle School program. Haskins’ educational philosophy is “the school community must be mission-focused and care deeply about the wellbeing of each and every student. Teachers and administrators must respect each student as a unique individual with her own learning style, preference, and personality and value the contributions she brings to the community.”
10/28/15 — Roland Park Country School’s Middle and Upper School Faissler Library unveiled a new look to promote an emphasis on active learning, supported by many high tech features. Faissler Library Learning Commons now offers moveable desks and tables designed to promote group interaction and comfortable seating and flexible small rooms that can be used for quiet study, group work, tutoring or meetings.
“We’re excited to have new technology and spaces for the students to connect and work collaboratively,” said Janice Moore, Roland Park’s Director of Libraries. “It encourages creativity, imagination, communication and sharing knowledge rather than conducting research in isolation. That’s what today’s learners want and need.”
10/27/15 — Dr. Meera Viswanathan has been appointed as Head of The Ethel Walker School, effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Viswanathan will join Walker’s from Brown University, where she is currently an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. A lifelong educator and scholar, Dr. Viswanathan holds an undergraduate degree, M.A., and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
According to the chairs of the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee, Dr. Viswanathan’s “exceptional character and credentials” make her “the ideal person to lead Walker’s forward, and to continue the extraordinary work and momentum of the distinguished Heads who preceded her.”
10/26/15 — More than 1,000 girls from St. Catherine’s School and Richmond public schools recently joined female innovators from around the world for Girls Innovate. Held in conjunction with the International Day of the Girl and St. Catherine’s 125th celebration, Girls Innovate is a high-energy, girl-centered event that introduces students to dynamic women doing extraordinary work by combining their passions with technology. St. Catherine’s students partnered with girls from underserved Richmond schools to engage in team building exercises, hands-on activities, and innovation time facilitated by female mentors and makers. Opportunities to collaborate and communicate, the proven ways that girls learn best, were present throughout the day.
10/23/15 — Auto racer Danica Patrick recently paid a visit to Foxcroft School to discuss, amongst other things, racing, engineering, and breaking barriers for women. Patrick’s visit began in the library, which was filled to capacity with students, faculty, parents, and press, for a Q&A with the students. Patrick spoke of her career in racing, and of the challenges she has faced being in a profession dominated by men. “At times it has been a challenge getting people to believe in what I can do and getting what I need to run with the big boys,” Patrick noted, “But I have always believed, I was brought up to try to be the best at whatever I am doing — not just the best girl.” Patrick concluded her visit by encouraging the students to follow their passions. According to Patrick, “there’s no dream too big.”
10/22/15 — The Hathaway Brown School Board of Trustees announced Dr. Mary Frances Bisselle as the school’s 14th Head of School beginning July 1, 2016. Bisselle comes to Hathaway Brown armed with an impressive résumé of professional achievements, an outstanding and proven track record of innovative leadership, and an undeniable passion for girls’ education. She has served for the last nine years as Head of Maple Street School, a K-8 independent school in Manchester Center, Vermont. Bisselle’s career includes time as a classroom teacher, dean of students, coach, dorm parent, educational consultant, and teaching fellow. According to Hathaway Brown’s Board, Bisselle embodies the ideals of visionary leadership, commitment to excellence, and joyful engagement that define the Hathaway Brown experience.
10/21/15 – UNICEF has launched a digital initiative, Voices of Youth, where messages from children around the world can be shared and heard. Two students were selected to be the first to share their message as part of the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015. Noor Samee, a junior at St. Catherine’s, was one of the students. Samee spoke about issues children across the world face today and introduced UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham.
“I’m just a kid,” said Samee. She went on to discuss the hardships children face such as poverty, inequality, and violence. She asked the audience, “Can you even hear me?” This haunting question is the central focus of the campaign – hearing and protecting children’s voices.
Click to see a video of the event, including Samee’s speech.