1/23/18 — Public Prep and Cornell University recently extended their multi-year, multi-faceted partnership to incorporate computer science instruction and more opportunities for immersive, on-campus STEM engagement.
Through this College Completion Initiative, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School scholars, as well as Girls Prep alumnae in high school, will have the opportunity to pursue week-long, campus-based experiences where they take collegiate classes, live in dorms, and get exposure to college life on Cornell’s campus.
“These types of pre-college activities will help our [students] and alumnae in high school — accumulate the types of collegiate experiences that better equip them to handle the academic rigor and social transitions necessary to successfully complete college on time,” shared Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep and an alumnus of Cornell Engineering.
In addition to these immersive, summer college experiences, Girls Prep will also participate in the Cornell Leadership Study being conducted in partnership with the National Coalition of Girls Schools by the Development of Social Cognition Laboratory led by Katherine Kinzler, Cornell Associate Professor of psychology and of human development. The study, funded in part by the Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality, will explore the benefits of an all-girls education on leadership ideals in elementary students.
1/22/18 — To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students and faculty from Girls Preparatory School (GPS) partnered with more than 30 nonprofit agencies and organizations across Chattanooga to take part in a day of service.
The day kicked off at the University of Tennessee with a reading of Dr. King’s last speech by GPS student Amal A., ’19. Students and faculty then worked with various service organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, YMCA, and Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga, among others.
Upon returning to campus, students and faculty heard from Donivan Brown, Outreach Coordinator with Empower Chattanooga, who presented on “The Dream Cycle of Dr. King.”
Trish King, Middle School history teacher at GPS, who coordinated the event, said, “We want students to consider: What are some small ways we can keep the spirit of service alive each and every day?”
1/4/18 — The Baldwin School’s computer science and engineering department recently hosted a two-day professional development session for faculty and staff with iMade3d building, developers of JellyBox 3D printers.
The idea behind the training began in 2017 when the computer science department decided to replace the 3D printers in Baldwin’s DREAM Labs®. The goal was to acquire user-friendly and functional printers for both students and teachers. Stephanie Greer, Computer Science Department Chair and Lower School DREAM Lab® Coordinator, discovered the JellyBox printer and was immediately interested. “I was excited by the idea of introducing students to the hardware component of 3D printing,” shared Greer. “Hardware structure and design is often overlooked in schools despite it being critical for understanding the tools we use.”
On the first day of the training, faculty worked in teams of two to complete a JellyBox Maker Build, each building their own 3D printer. On day two, they spent time learning advanced 3D print techniques and concepts, reviewing printer maintenance skills and exploring filament potential.
“I told my students that our two-day professional development was like school for teachers,” shared Middle School DREAM Lab® Coordinator Addison Lilholt. “The best part about it is that we will be able to take all of the skills we just learned and reteach them to our students.”
12/21/17 — Ashlie Blackstone Smith, a physical science teacher at Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls, was recently recognized by the Science Channel as a Science Super Hero. Selected monthly, Science Super Heroes are individuals “who have used science to make a difference in their community.”
Blackstone Smith was an early adopter of educational technology and facilitative learning and considers “flipping her classroom” to be one of her top achievements. She uses space science to encourage her students to dream big and to pursue STEM careers, and in 2016, presented a TEDx talk titled “Inspiring the Astronauts of Tomorrow.”
Blackstone Smith received earlier this year a 2017 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award presented by NASA, the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, and the Space Foundation. She also chairs an innovation committee at Cranbrook that is charged with furthering a relationship between the school and the MIT Edgerton Center.
12/19/17 — Politics can be daunting to any newcomer. But don’t tell that to Caitlin B., a sophomore at The Winsor School, who last May addressed a town meeting in Wakefield, MA, urging citizens to vote for a bylaw that would ban the use of plastic bags.
She drafted the bylaw after researching the language from roughly 42 cities, which at that time had already instated plastic bag bans. “With every town in Massachusetts that restricts bags,” Caitlin told voters at the meeting, “the more likely it is that Massachusetts will ban it as a whole.”
Rather than approve or reject the bylaw, town meeting voters chose by a narrow margin of 64-61 to refer the matter to the Board of Selectmen for further study. The bylaw had already been unanimously approved by the committee and the Board of Selectmen when Caitlin made her presentation, “Plastic Bag Reduction in Business Establishments” at a town meeting in November. Proponents and opponents engaged in spirited debate for almost an hour before the Town Moderator called for a vote. By a show of hands, it overwhelmingly passed.
“Honestly, I didn’t think it would go very far. We were supportive, but she did a lot of work. The research she put in was significant,” shared Caitlin’s mother. “I always want my kids to do better than me. I just never expected it to be so quickly,” added her father.
12/13/17 — Foxcroft School recently announced the introduction of an Academic Concentrations program, a new opportunity for students who want to focus on an area of special interest in and out of the classroom.
Set to launch during the 2018-2019 school year, the Academic Concentrations program will offer students specialized studies in Animal Science, Global Studies, Fine Arts, and STEM. While specific requirements will vary, each Concentration will include course requirements, service learning projects or participation, on-campus and/or off-campus internships, and a final capstone or independent study project. Students who successfully complete the requirements will earn a special designation on their diploma.
Animal Science students, for example, may choose to engage in therapeutic riding or Goose Creek stream monitoring to satisfy their service learning requirements, while Global Studies students may choose to work as International Ambassadors or for the World Languages Department in order to meet the internship requirements.
Foxcroft’s Academic Dean Courtney Ulmer stated, “the Academic Concentrations program will allow our students to delve into subjects which they are passionate about and to explore them in a multifaceted way.”
12/12/17 — Twenty-two teams from the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN) recently gathered together to participate in the inaugural Girls Innovate: YWPN STEM Challenge at NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas. YWPN is a Strategic Partner for NCGS’s 2018 Global Forum on Girls’ Education® II.
Twenty-two teams comprised of middle and high school students from YWPN’s North Texas schools enjoyed a fun-filled and educational afternoon of innovative STEM ideas, friendly competition, and community awareness.
The girls spent many hours before, during, and after school preparing for the STEM Challenge. Kinetic energy tiles to create electricity, a complete filtering system to recycle water, a security drone, recycling robot, and apps to assist busy shoppers were just a few of the innovative projects showcased.
Click here to view a list of all of the projects.
12/1/17 — Oldfields School recently named David G. Perfield as the next Head of School, effective July 1, 2018.
Perfield was chosen unanimously by the Search Committee and the Oldfields Board of Trustees and currently serves as Assistant Head of School at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH. Prior to Cardigan, Perfield served as Associate Director of Admissions and later as Associate Director of Development at the New Hampton School. During his educational career, Perfield has also served as a biology teacher, coach, and dorm parent.
“Those of you who had the pleasure of meeting David know that he is a caring, bright, and energetic leader,” shared R. A. Edwards, III, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Oldfields. “Our search has always been motivated by the Oldfields motto, ‘Courage, Humility, and Largeness of Heart.’ David understands that and has great respect for Oldfields’ past and its traditions. With that said, he is also looking forward to leading our beloved school into the future.”
11/30/17 — Sophia Academy recently named Maura L. Farrell as the next Head of School, effective July 1, 2018.
Farrell currently serves as the Associate Head of School at Winchester Thurston school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to her current position, Farrell has served as Assistant Head for Planning, Director of Institutional Advancement, Director of the Capital Campaign, and Director of Communications at Winchester Thurston.
“We are delighted to welcome Maura to Sophia Academy,” said Alison Eichler, President of the Board of Trustees. “We are confident that she will fully embrace the mission and culture of Sophia – valuing our unique strengths – and build upon them.”
“I am honored to accept the Head of School position at Sophia Academy, and I’m deeply impressed and inspired by the school. Sophia’s guiding principles, mission, and values resonate with my own convictions about education, about girls and women, and about equity,” shared Farrell. “There is a palpable confidence in our collective ability to continue building a vital future for Sophia Academy and its students, and I am absolutely delighted that I will be able to be a part of it.”
11/28/17 — Stoneleigh-Burnham School recently appointed Stephanie Smith Luebbers as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2018.
Luebbers currently serves as Head of the Upper School at Cincinnati Country Day School. She has held positions as Associate Head of School, Academic Dean, teacher, and coach at boarding and day schools in New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Her leadership at Cincinnati Country Day produced 20% growth in Upper School enrollment and the construction of a grant-funded, 350-seat amphitheatre, among many other achievements.
Luebbers bring a depth of experience in enrollment management, marketing strategy, operations, development, student life, academics, and financial stewardship to Stoneleigh-Burnham’s community.
“Throughout the interview process, Stephanie’s experience was relevant to the strategic priorities of our school, and her enthusiasm for the SBS mission was clear,” shared Allison Porter ’89, Stoneleigh-Burnham Board of Trustees Chair.
11/20/17 — Garrison Forest School recently named Christopher “Chris” A. Hughes as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2018.
Hughes developed a genuine understanding of the importance of empowering young women to lead during his time at Chatham Hall, where he served for seven years as an Academic Dean, teacher, advisor, and coach. Hughes currently serves as Upper School Principal at St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he oversees 420 students and more than 50 faculty members. As chair of multiple K-12 task forces, Hughes has been instrumental in the school’s success in increasing enrollment, evaluating and improving its science program, and campaigning to upgrade STEM facilities and redesign the Upper School. He also continues his work in the classroom teaching courses in global issues and ethics.
“A gifted educator and administrator with significant experience in girls’ education, Hughes rose as an exceptional leader in a pool of outstanding candidates,” wrote Kit Jackson, Garrison Forest Board of Trustees President. “With his passion for education, breadth of leadership experience, and eagerness to empower young women, Hughes possesses the qualities needed to move Garrison Forest forward into its next phase.”
11/14/17 — Foxcroft School recently announced a new internship program for its students in partnership with Virginia Tech’s Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension (MARE) Center.
One of Virginia Tech’s 11 agricultural research and extension centers, the MARE Center is dedicated to advancing the health and well-being of horses through innovative research efforts and exceptional educational programming in equine science. This new partnership allows MARE faculty and graduate students to engage Foxcroft students in ongoing research projects involving equine nutrition and health, pasture management, conservation and land stewardship, and equine reproduction. By acquiring a greater understanding of the scientific method, including experiment design and implementation, Foxcroft students will be able to develop their skills in the areas of critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and leadership.
“Providing our students with experiential learning and advanced research opportunities related to horse care is an important part of our strategic initiatives to provide unique learning experiences in and out of the classroom,” shared Foxcroft Head of School Cathy McGehee. “Foxcroft interns will gain confidence and have a real-world perspective that will serve them well in college and in future STEM careers.”