1/5/19—A student at Girls Preparatory School (GPS) will travel to the 2019 #HouseofCode reception in Washington, D.C., as the winner of Tennessee’s Third District’s Congressional App Challenge. Seventh-grader Emerson C. won the competition with her game app, Litter Awareness, which features a polar bear that has to traverse a maze to reach her cub without getting caught in litter. If the polar bear entangles itself in litter, a message pops up regarding the dangers of environmental degradation.
Emerson designed the educational app through her Design & Discovery class taught by Karen Richards, GPS computer science teacher. “Emerson 100 percent deserves this win,” said Richards. “She had a vision of what she wanted to do from the very start. She started with a simple maze and gradually grew its difficulty over time. Emerson cares deeply for the environment. She worked diligently during class time, came to help classes, and even came to my room during a couple of her study halls to fix bugs along the way.”
Emerson’s success reflects GPS’s commitment to encouraging girls in STEM-related fields. Dr. Autumn Graves, Head of GPS, said, “We are so proud of Emerson—for her creativity and her passion for programming and the environment. Beginning in middle school, our students are given many opportunities to shine across the STEM fields, and Emerson approached the app challenge with much enthusiasm and support from her teacher.”
12/19/18—Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women unveiled plans for its new Cheryl Speranza Leadership Institute, a program launching in fall 2019, to recruit and mentor racially and socioeconomically diverse young women. The initiative is being funded thanks to a generous gift of more than $1.2 million from the Speranza family and the Cheryl and Paul Speranza Foundation. The late Cheryl Speranza was a 1965 Mercy graduate with a passion for serving others. Her husband Paul shared the couple’s commitment to Mercy, “One thing we saw over and over (in traveling across the country) was a lack of women of color in any high leadership positions in any segment of society…I’m stating the obvious, but it’s true. …We felt so strongly about Mercy and what Mercy can do for young women, and it all came together.”
The Institute will fund more than eleven “emerging leaders from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, such as young women with limited financial and emotional support.” Scholars will gain access to mentors and tutors, will partake in a leadership development curriculum, and receive life and career assistance throughout college, graduate school, and beyond.
Christian Jensen, Mercy’s vice president of institutional advancement, said “[The Speranza’s giving] is a lot bigger than 11 scholarships. They’re going to touch lives and inspire generations of future leaders.”
12/11/18—Lincoln School recently announced the formation of its Strategic Advisory Board, a committee made up of nine national and international leaders, experts, and innovators. The board members range from former White House Chief of Staff, Kenneth Duberstein to the founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani. Together, they will offer advice and counsel to Lincoln’s Head of School, Suzanne Fogarty, on matters related to mission, curriculum, and strategic plan; identify and engage potential partnerships and opportunities for the school; and assist in cementing Lincoln School’s reputation as a top all-girls independent school founded on Quaker values.
Fogarty noted, “Lincoln School has long been an academic powerhouse where girls thrive, and the intellectual strength and professional accomplishments of the new Lincoln School Strategic Advisory Board takes our mission to the next level. This carefully assembled group of global thought leaders were appointed because of their expertise in their chosen fields, and their dedication to preparing Lincoln students for the world, and the world for Lincoln students.”
11/28/18—Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) Debate and Public Speaking Society member Jacqueline “Jax” M. ’19 recently qualified for the 2019 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Toronto, Canada, where she will represent the U.S.
SBS’s Debate and Public Speaking Society is one of the school’s signature programs, and Jax joins an elite group of former competitors. She is the 18th debater in the school’s history to qualify for the world competition.
Jax qualified for the championship during the International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition held in Toronto earlier this fall, where she and SBS teammates Beatrice B. ’20and Joy L. ’20 competed with about 150 students from 47 schools from around the world.
Jax placed as a finalist in two categories, Impromptu Speaking, in which she finished 5th overall and 1st among U.S. schools, and Interpretive Reading, in which she finished 11th overall and 1st among U.S. schools. Her Interpretive Reading was so powerful that one of the judges reached out to SBS co-coach Karen Suchenski to say, “Congratulations on a spellbinding presentation…What an amazing performer you have on your hands … Her reading simply blew me away. I have never seen/heard anything like it.”
11/16/18—Girls Preparatory School (GPS) will host an entrepreneurial event for girls, MBD: Girl Edition. Mighty, Brilliant, and Determined girls, ages 7-17, are invited to sell their products and services at the Holiday Marketplace in early December.
Presented by GPS, Public Education Foundation, and The Company Lab, the girls’ Holiday Marketplace will provide mentors to help the girls prepare their booths for the event. The Chattanooga Public Library will also offer three free workshops prior to the marketplace for participants to learn about “Branding Basics & Targeting Your Audience,” “Booth Display & Seller Psychology,” and “Finishing Details.”Thanks to the support of sponsors and donors, girls can focus on creating and selling their merchandise without having to worry about booth fees.
The Holiday Marketplace is only one component of MBD: Girl Edition, a program designed to empower girls to learn what it takes to start, manage, and grow a business while developing critical-thinking and relationship-building skills. Through the multi-faceted curriculum, which includes the Holiday Marketplace, a 24-hour business hack-a-thon, and an interdisciplinary summer course, girls can develop their resilience, creativity, and teamwork.
“We believe in fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in every girl and offer MBD: Girl Edition events to encourage girls across our community to get creative and learn what it takes to run their own business,” said Lauren Hayes, event coordinator.
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.