INSPIRE! Sessions

INSPIRE! Sessions are comprised of 25-minute long discussions conducted in an intimate, roundtable-style format.

Be sure to check back frequently for new additions to this lineup of sessions!

1+1=1

This session will address the meaning and importance of 1+1=1; that is, a collaborative model. Hear how a strong, unified village of leaders, staff, parents, students, government, and community members shared the vision of transforming students in an all-girls PreK-12 Middle Eastern school from being passive, silent followers into thinkers and doers. Participants will learn how this experience demonstrates an operational/ instructional paradigm shift (e.g., stages of change) to better equip school practitioners to re-imagine schools that strengthen girls’ voices. Come ready to share thoughts about 1+1=1 and how it serves to energize the belief that today’s educational leaders will be tomorrow’s change agents.

PRESENTERS: Bridget Justen, Director (Retired July 2019) | Al Mizhar American Academy, and Marilyn Helpenstell, Educational Consultant


Admissions Directors: Can We Talk?

This session will be an open forum of general conversation with Admissions Directors and Officers. Topics to touch upon include: how to adapt the admissions process and/or application so that each girl can express her unique voice; open house formats and how to showcase current students; and how best to keep applicants engaged in school activities/programs throughout the admissions process. Participants will also discuss how schools can help potential students find their voices prior to offically joining our school communities.

PRESENTER: Denise DiFiglia, Director of Admissions | The Academy of the New Church


Advocating for Girls’ Schools: NCGS Research & Resources

How can you bolster your outreach efforts and make the stronger case for “why all girls?” Lean on NCGS—the go-to place for girls’ education. Learn about the latest NCGS research and advocacy resources available to help your school champion the unique benefits of all-girls education. NCGS Director of Strategic Communications & Media Olivia Haas will share creative ways to maximize the use of NCGS produced content and materials. When it comes to making the case for all-girls education, there’s always more we can do, together.

PRESENTER: Olivia Haas, Director of Strategic Communications & Media | National Coalition of Girls’ Schools


Authentic Voice, Authentic Community

Hathaway Brown is committed to helping our girls discover, develop, and use their authentic voices to navigate the world. From special programs to the classroom experience to school culture, we design experiences (expressive and argumentative) for our students that both bring them together as a community while also highlighting their individuality and differences. One project was our grades 3-12 community poem, which ends, “my voice is accompanied by others. Together, our voices are instruments of change.” These efforts are informed by our commitment to student self-efficacy, respect for others, and actionable data from a longitudinal study.

PRESENTERS: Scott Parsons, Director, Institute for 21st Century Education, and Hallie Ritzman, Upper School Directort | Hathaway Brown School


Bridging the Confidence Gap one Student at a Time

Empowering student voices requires creating a culture that empowers students to challenge adults by assessing situations through dialogue, modeling how to speak with empowered voices, and then demonstrating openness and responsiveness when students speak up. Building this culture requires developing close relationships with students to help each individual student take her next challenge. The key is to meet each girl at her starting place and provide the support and coaching to help her take the next step in empowerment. Participants will hear strategies and stories that explain this process in the facilitator’s roles as teacher, administrator, newspaper advisor, and mentor.

PRESENTER: Barbara Whitlock, Humanities Coordinator | Montrose School


Building a More Secure Future: Building an Intentional Pipeline for Girls in National Security

National security will increasingly become central to Americans’ daily lives. It underlies every field, from the more apparent (civics, politics) to the less commonly considered (faith, social justice). Women have long been underrepresented in national security despite their critical contributions to keeping America safe. Empowering girls as citizen-stakeholders in their personal security domain today and as future national security decision-makers tomorrow is critical to the sustainability of the U.S. This session will provide frameworks for discourse on a national security topic; skills-based training methodologies to equip girls with enduring skills for a changing future; and narratives from women who secure America.

PRESENTERS: Lauren Buitta, Founder and Executive Director, and Tracy Walder, Author and Member, Board of Directors | Girl Security


Choosing Courage: Bravery Training for Girls

Bravery Training is an initiative designed to empower girls and cultivate the courage and confidence necessary to help them overcome obstacles in order to realize their own unique leadership potential. The freshman year course is part of a 2-year L2T (leadership, life skills, & technology) program created to foster the competencies for girls that today’s world demands from its leaders and addresses a critical need in the education of girls. This session introduces how Bravery Training uniquely meets the demand of leadership programming for girls and provides key concepts and experiences to help support efforts to prepare girls for the future by teaching them to stand up, speak up, and use their voices to engage, empower and enact.

PRESENTERS: Jennifer Valore, Dean of Academics & Leadership, and Brooke Coyle, Head of School | Our Lady of Mercy Academy


College and Career Readiness Club at Girls High

In our session, we will addresscthe limited outlets for young women when it comes to explosure to college experiences and differing career fields. As a solution, the founders created a club called College Career Readiness Club at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. We will discuss the beneficial opportunities offered through the College Career Readiness Club for young scholars to gain more extracurricular knowledge.

PRESENTERS: Xinyue (Candy) Zhang, Founder; Jaymaba Ndiaye, Co-founder; and Donna Wang, Co-founder | College and Career Readiness Club, Philadelphia High School for Girls


Communication, Play, and Consent

Asking for what you want, setting and enforcing boundaries, and listening to and respecting others are powerful tools for us all to learn and practice. Participants will experience the value of intentional listening, choice, and self-advocacy through a a variety of games and activities which can contribute to a culture of consent in your communities.

PRESENTERS: Hannah McHugh, Adventure + Wellness Instructor | Seattle Girls’ School


Cool Question, Now What? Essential Questions for All Ages

What distinguishes a good read from great literature? What makes a good day? As a community of learners, participants will explore the power of a great question. This workshop will emphasize how essential questions can drive conversations, help girls find their voice, and encourage community dialogue. Essential questions are big questions that can drive dialogue, require pondering, and frequently have no right or wrong answers. Walk away with essential questions that can guide the design of your instruction or professional practices.

PRESENTER: Dr. Korin Visocchi, Chief Learning Officer | Academy of the Sacred Heart


Creating Transformative Spaces to Meet the Needs of Adolescent Girls

There is a clear and specific need in today’s society to support the social and emotional needs of teenage girls. Learn how teachers at the Academy of the New Church Girls School are creating programs that meet the social and emotional needs of their secondary school students. Explore connections between social and emotional learning and academic gains, and learn about the research-based qualities that help to build transformative spaces and programs. Hear how these are being put in place at the secondary level, and explore ways in which you can build a program within your own school.

PRESENTER: Erica Stine, Director of Educational Support | The Academy of the New Church Girls School


Daring Leadership and Discussion-Based Learning

Eighty years ago, Edward Harkness had a revolutionary idea. He realized that quieter students, like himself, would thrive in classes that engaged students in authentic discussions about complex and challenging ideas. This session will share the findings of a three-year research project that transitioned the English Department of a traditional girls’ school to discussion-based learning, while maintaining its commitment to academic rigour. It will also explore the many ways in which a discussion-based approach to girls’ education, with its commitment to creating space for vulnerability and courage, is aligned with Brene Brown’s model of daring leadership.

PRESENTER: Gail Robinson, English Department Head | Crofton House School


Empowered Voices in Service Leadership

How do young women deepen their understanding of the theory and practice of leadership, and model responsible citizenship to enact positive change in the world around them? This session shares a unique service leadership model that strengthens the inner voice and empowers collaborative action for change aimed at real world issues. Participants will engage in activities that encourage them to examine their strengths and values, understand more deeply their community, and innovate and design a plan for change to address a social need in partnership with community organizations.

PRESENTERS: Nancy McKinnis, Master Instructor, Leadership Education, and Angie Strobel, CGA Residential Education Team Leader | Culver Girls Academy, Culver Academies


Empowering Empathy

Through the 8th grade Humanities classes, we hope to inspire empathy and empower our students’ voices through a Refugee Unit. The unit includes a study of the evolution of U.S. citizenship as well as field research based in the Richmond refugee community. Students debunk modern-day stereotypes, define who has access to U.S. citizenship, read triumphant autobiographies, and converse with local refugees. They then reflect upon personal research findings in a podcast/documentary format. The goal is to create better readers, writers, speakers, and citizens through the establishment and evolvement of cross-curricular units.

PRESENTERS: Julie Elmore, 8th Grade English Teacher, and Maggie Nunn, 8th Grade History Teacher | St. Catherine’s School


Empowering Girls: Using Voices to Enact Social Change

Working with Facing History, we brought a low-tech, no coding civic hackathon to our school. This empowering experience called students to collaborate, have meaningful dialogue, and explore civic participation. Through the lens of social justice, students integrated their Humanities knowledge with their STEAM education. The 3-4 hour hackathon culminated with students presenting their solutions to community members for honest and critical feedback. This allowed students to experience “real world” application of problem-solving, feedback, and reiteration. The civic hackathon also developed their capacity as justice advocates, community leaders, and problem solvers. They used their voices and created ideas to address issues they identified in their communities.

PRESENTERS: Eran DeSilva, Director of Professional Development and Social Studies Teacher, and Brooke Ahrens, Director of Educational Innovation | Notre Dame High School


The Enemy of Change Is Passivity: Raising Questions, Finding Voices

The inquiry model – learning based on student-directed exploration and action – empowers girls to pursue deep questions focused on fairness and equity in order to become evaluators of history and society, rather than just observers. However, bridging the gap between abstract empathy and personal action is challenging. Our inquiry-driven Citizenship in Action, Social Justice in Action, and US History courses encourage students to appreciate the expectations and challenges of creating change. Disruption of passivity is a pillar of our curriculum and we equip students with the skills to find their voices and to powerfully communicate with them. This presentation covers various inquiry-based curricular approaches, including unit and lesson designs focused on enslavement, mass incarceration, and primary source bias detection.

PRESENTERS: Jordan McCarter, 8th Grade Citizenship in Action Teacher, and Andrea Becksvoort, 11th Grade US History and World Religions Teacher | Girls Preparatory School


Financial Empowerment for Women

Although women have made great strides in closing the gender gap in education, females still lag behind men in financial capability. This disparity is particularly acute since, on average, women earn less than men, have gaps in their income trajectory, and live longer than men. A recent UBS survey of high net worth married women, widows, and divorcees found that while 85% of the women said they managed day-to-day expenses, only 23% took the lead on long-term financial planning. This session will introduce an innovative curriculum that is designed to empower young women to take control of their financial futures.

PRESENTER: Kathleen Brennan, Mathematics Department Chair | Mount Saint Mary Academy


Find Your Voice! Awarded the Prince’s Teaching Institute Leadership Award, UK

Find Your Voice! is a research-based programme which was awarded the Prince’s Teaching Institute Leadership Award. Hear lessons from “across the pond” on our path to eradicating the “shy/ quiet” tag used too frequently with girls, as a whole school approach to speak out bore amazing results. Discover how we impacted the whole learning journey from age 11-18, student wellbeing, and for some, equipped them for Oxford and Cambridge University interviews. Your UK “sisters” will offer to share the challenges and research that really helped us to unpack our school vision of “Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow”.

PRESENTER: Maria French, Deputy Headteacher | Chelmsford County High School for Girls


Girls, Games, and Esports

In 2018, Hathaway Brown School became the first all-girls’ school in the nation to field a varsity esports team. Why has it taken so long for girls’ schools to enter the esports field? What does it take to build your own esports program and what are the benefits for your students and community? Come hear from J Collins, Hathaway Brown’s Blazers esports coach and former US Department of Education games policy expert, on how games can transform girls’ lives through STEM, community, and sisterhood.

PRESENTER: J Collins, Computer Science Teacher, Esports Coach | Hathaway Brown School


Girls: Thriving Leaders

In this session, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the conditions necessary for girls to become women who support one another. Research behind intra-gender micro-aggression will be introduced and identify contributing factors will be idnetified. In an all-girls learning environment, we have the opportunity to identify and develop all girls as leaders, though not necessarily in the traditional sense. Examples of girls thriving as leaders in schools are provided, with a goal of providing attendees with opportunities to reflect upon their school environments.

PRESENTER: Lisa Ziebart, Highschool Teacher, Ed. Doc. Student | St. Margaret’s School


Giving Voice to Logic: Math Debate Teams

In this session, we will discuss the interdisciplinary application of civil discourse through math debate teams in a 2nd grade classroom. We will share how girls routinely convene to defend, negotiate, and prove reasoning and logic of mathematical concepts. Through debate teams, foundational knowledge of government and civics are explored pragmatically. Rotating debate teams inspire all voices in the classroom to be heard, while encouraging the notion that justice is not always found in the voice of the majority. We will expound upon the teacher’s role as facilitator of conversations and will show how debate teams can bolster any math curriculum.

PRESENTERS: Elizabeth Collins, Second Grade Teacher, and Heidi Echternacht, Second Grade Teacher | Stuart Country Day School


Healthy Competitive Communities: How Title IX, Coaches, and Teachers Can Empower Without Dividing

With the 48th Anniversary of Title IX taking place during this year’s NCGS Annual Conference, it is an opportune moment to celebrate one of Title IX’s key impacts: increased athletic participation of women. As the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s ongoing fight for equal pay demonstrates, work remains to be done, but clearly athletics have empowered and continue to instill confidence and boldness in young women. Why? Many of the best pedagogical classroom practices not only take place in the athletic realm but are also supported by cognitive science. This session will explore these best practices, specifically those that create communities within our schools where girls can be competitive, can celebrate their voices, and can still feel they belong.

PRESENTER: William Forteith, Head Rowing Coach; Middle School English Department | The Hockaday School


Her Voice at the Table: Writing to Become a Citizen Rhetor

This session asks the following questions: How can writing encourage the confidence of girl writers through developing their voices, giving them permission to engage in the public conversation? How does the act of writing draw out the spoken voice? What does a writing curriculum look like when we require students to engage in topics of interest to them and take ownership of their writing process? Building on Teresa Vilardi and Mary Chang’s work “Writing-Based Teaching” (2009), this session shares practical, research-based ways to place students’ development of their writer identity at the center of their learning and civic identity.

PRESENTERS: Kate Schenck, English Department Chair, and Megan Griffin, English Teacher | Ursuline Academy of Dallas


Her Voice Matters: Art + Computer Science

Responding to a crucial need in the education landscape, HER (Her Educational Revolution) Academy is involved in the design, test, and establishment of a game-changing K12 Computer Science (CS) curriculum for girls. Through cross organizational collaboration with the Columbus School for Girls, we have developed classes that excite girls to participate. The girls’ voices have led the development of curriculum where girls become more than users, and instead designers and creators of their world. This will enable girls to achieve their full potential in a technology led world, regardless of their intended field of study.

PRESENTERS: Lena Furci, Founder and Executive Director | HER Academy; and Karen Scranton, Lower School Computer Science Teacher, and Abigail Blosser, Lower School Art Teaher | Columbus School for Girls


I am Unique. You are Unique. Together We Can Change the World Towards a Better Tomorrow

Culture and society has an enormous impact on gender roles. The emergence of technology and the rapid way we receive information today can present a challenge with the way young women perceive themselves. Culture has contributed to misconceptions about a woman’s worth and abilities and this in turn has shaped a female dynamic overshadowed by insecurities and self doubt, which can, in turn, influence and contribute to an unhealthy competition in female relationships and impede opportunities. Teaching collaboration using a set of tangible tools to help young women collectively identify their individual strengths and engage in healthy conversation to meet objectives and shared goals is one way to positively affect these relationships. This collaborative practice will assist faculty with the recognition and application of guided conversation and individual creative process to build a better classroom dynamic and stronger working relationships.

PRESENTERS: Erin Straine, Visual Arts and Design Faculty, and Kali Lambrou, STEM Faculty | Trinity Hall


Inequality, Activism, and Change

In this session we will look at how the 12th grade women at Notre Dame School come to understand the causes and effects of various forms of often invisible inequality around the world (social, gender, economic, judicial, political, etc.), especially as these forms of inequality relate to women. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of “problem posing” (as opposed to problem solving), the challenges of converting awareness into activism, the benefits of targeted partnerships, and the vital importance of young women discovering their strong private and public voices.

PRESENTER: Scott Vasey, Chair, English Department | Notre Dame School of Manhattan


Invest in Girls: Unleash Their Potential as the Next Generation of Change Agents

Women continue to be underrepresented in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs. As we continue to climb the ladder to break through the glass ceiling, we must bring the next girl up along the way. How can do we do this when there is still unequal access to high-value skills training? Girls With Impact bridges that gap, and we’ll share how we teach core skills that help girls turn their passion into impact in their community and career. Learn about this unique generation with our groundbreaking report on GenZ and how you can enhance your learning platforms.

PRESENTER: Jennifer Openshaw, CEO | Girls With Impact


Lead Like A Girl: An All Girls Leadership Conference

92% of girls believe that anyone can acquire leadership skills but only 21% of girls believe that they have the qualities required to be a good leader. This statistic inspired the creation of Lead Like A Girl, hosted by Elmwood for the first time in 2019. Put together and run entirely by students, Lead Like A Girl is in its second year. Come and hear from Elmwood School’s Head Girl 2019/2020, Mackenzie Johnson, about her experience organizing, planning and running this conference, which attracts about 250 middle school girls from across the city. We will share information about why it was created, the goals we want to achieve, and the challenges and successes that we faced along the way.

PRESENTERS: Jen Walsh, Student Life Coordinator, and Mackenzie Johnson, Head Girl | Elmwood School


Make Your School and Classroom Even Better at Empowering Young Women

How can you shift from using “empower” as a buzzword, to making moves in your classroom and school that truly empower students right now? In this workshop, participants will share actionable ideas. They’ll also hear about how building a culture of empowerment at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn led students to initiate a movement for changing our school uniform so that it was more inclusive of all cultures. Participants will leave with inspiration and plans to empower students.

PRESENTER: Catherine Mitchell, Principal | The Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn


Marketing to Today’s Girl

With a 150-year history educating girls in grades 7-12, Stoneleigh-Burnham School empowers girls to find their voices by building on their inherent strengths and encouraging them through their process of discovery. In this session, we will discuss the challenges for marketing to the families of these girls. What are the most effective ways to support girls in their pursuit of individuality, while conveying the universality that binds them together? How do we market empowerment, self-awareness, and resilience? How do we honor the traditions of our schools while embracing the ever-changing political, cultural, financial, social, and environmental landscapes of our communities?

PRESENTER: Maeve Ryan, Marketing & Communications Manager | Stoneleigh-Burnham School


Mock Trial: A Transformative Experience For Girls

Mock Trial is not about the girls competing today—it’s about the women they will be tomorrow. That is the motto of Merion Mercy Academy, one of the top teams in Pennsylvania. While Mock Trial challenges all students to hone their analytical and advocacy skills, it can be specifically empowering for young women from an all-girls school. This session will provide a basic overview of Mock Trial, but its principle focus will be on how Mock Trial has been—and can be—a transformative experience in the lives of young women. Speakers will also include current students and young alumnae.

PRESENTER: Paul Clementi, Mock Trial Coordinator, Social Studies Chair | Merion Mercy Academy


The Mockingbird’s Song for a Global World: Connecting Literature to the News

In this session, we share how literature engages students with current events through our op-ed project design. Girls choose social issues to research, develop thematic connections to a novel, and write op-eds that give voice to their proposed solutions. They explore topics like climate change, political polarization, the gender pay gap, and NFL player protests, and then link their research to examples from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Participants will leave with tools to scaffold the project into existing studies of literature. It could be adapted to any novel that addresses themes of power and its distribution, social stereotypes, injustice, or empathy.

PRESENTERS: Rachel Van Dyke, English Department Chair, and CJ Jones, Middle School English Faculty | The Harpeth Hall School


A Parliament of Owls: A Middle School Advisory Model

The Agnes Irwin School is entering its 3rd year of a Middle School Advisory Model which was designed to intentionally teach the Middle School Values Statement while meeting the Strategic Plan goal to “help each girl develop a positive sense of self.” The model, known as Parliament (for that is how Owls gather), is a model that was designed to meet specific needs at AIS. However, the method of getting there is transferable and would be useful for anyone looking to re-imagine their own school’s advisory system. The implementation plan, system, resources, discoveries, and revisions for improvement will be shared with participants.

PRESENTERS: Cintra Horn, Middle School Director, and Char Pomeroy, Teacher | The Agnes Irwin School


The Power of Language Lies Within: How Teaching Language with a Different Perspective Can Inspire Confidence in Girls

Knowledge is power. How do we inhibit the potential power, particularly the power of language acquisition, in our students by employing methodologies that presuppose a certain level of achievement in areas that don’t adequately reflect aptitude in learning another language? We are all language-users, and the instincts we have as human beings to communicate, our “linguistincts”, drive our eagerness to understand. By incorporating comprehensible input and community-building activities into the classroom, we are planting seeds of confidence and connection.

PRESENTER: Suzanne Walker, Latin Teacher | Merion Mercy Academy


Reimagining your Curriculum through Project-Based Learning to Empower your Students

Implementing project-based learning strategies in your classroom encourages your students’ voices and empowers them to become passionate about their learning. This session goes over the basic tenets of project-based learning and gives examples at the elementary and middle school level to help you visualize how project-based learning instills a sense of voice and ownership in student learning. Be prepared to come with one lesson or unit, and we will brainstorm how to reimagine what you currently teach to implement a more project-based approach to empower your students and encourage their voices.

PRESENTER: Becky Lewis, Lower School Science Teacher | The Baldwin School


Saving Lives, Millions at a Time: Girls Engaging With Public Health

Springboarding from GFS’s Women in Science and Engineering partnership with Johns Hopkins University, we’re engaging girls with Public Health, a diverse, dynamic field that integrates science, policy, practice, advocacy, and education to serve entire populations in local-to-global communities. Learn about WISE student research at JHU’s School of Public Health, which has resulted in writing health blogs for adolescents, crafting alcohol social-host laws, advocating for vaccine safety, and diving into lab work on women and virus susceptibility; about our global women’s health elective that unites humanities and science; and about student contributions to an international initiative to discover new antibiotics through a hands-on research class.

PRESENTERS: Reema Khanchandani, Head of Upper School; Brian Blair, Science Department Faculty, WISE Academic Coordinator; and Andrea Perry, Dean of Special Programs and Director of the James Center | Garrison Forest School


Sitting In to Speak Up: Facilitating Difficult Discussions through Student Voice

For teenagers coming of age at a time when most of their communications will occur through a device, we want to examine a format that teaches girls how to have constructive dialogue face to face. This session will explore “Friday Forums” that provide an opportunity for students to discuss difficult or controversial topics in a space moderated by adults but driven by students’ interest and input. Takeaways include: guidelines for ways to moderate constructive, meaningful discussions surrounding controversial topics as well as ways to provide leadership opportunities for students who don’t lead in a traditional way.

PRESENTER: Sarah Leonard, Dean of Students | The Agnes Irwin School

Strategic Planning on a Page


Most independent schools cyclically embark on strategic planning in five year increments. Often this documentation is lengthy and unread by the staff and broader school community. Informed by data, we have composed a strategic plan that has a point of difference using SOP principles; that is, Strategy On a Page. We will share the our journey as a school to Strategy On a Page and also two strategic initiatives that have come from this planning process: KITE, our Kambala Institute of Teacher Excellence, which looks at teacher coaching and professional learning experiences; and SHINE, which explores experiences throughout a girl’s learning journey which sets her up to SHINE linked to outdoor education, service learning, and Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

PRESENTER: Stuart Coppin, Head of Junior School | Kambala


Students and School Policy: A True Collaboration

Students wanted to advocate for greater understanding of diversity by introducing a transgender policy to the school. This presentation will describe the journey that half a dozen senior students, senior staff, and board members undertook to bring the Social Inclusion Policy to the school. It is now formal school policy, even being used by staff and the board to help shape future directions and decisions, and a new group of student leaders are now creating initiatives born out of this student led and student created school policy.

PRESENTER: Frances Booth, Deputy Principal | MLC School, Sydney


Suspicious Minds: Fostering Student Agency through Assessment Conferences

Has a student ever questioned the meaning of a grade? For many educators, this is a frequent occurrence. Please join us in an interactive session to explore how including students in discourse about their progress on formative and summative assessments plays an instrumental role in the perception of grading practices. We believe that having conversations with students about the standards to which they are held is a highly effective reflection-based practice to encourage voice, choice, and agency. With rigorous and inquiry-based curriculum and instruction taking place in our classrooms, it’s only sensible that our assessment practices support these shifts.

PRESENTERS: Elizabeth Simison, English Instructor, and Nelle Andrews, English Department Chair | Miss Porter’s School


Tech Up, Stand Up

It seems that long gone are the days of protesters standing on sidewalks with bullhorns. This still happens, but more and more, we are seeing technology becoming the greatest avenue by which people are speaking up and speaking out on the things about which they are most passionate. This breakout session will be an instructional and interactive lesson on technology tools to use within your school communities to encourage people to use their voices to reach the largest audience possible. We will cover programs and devices across the spectrum of cost and device type. Tech experience is not required.

PRESENTER: Adri Dobson, Academic Technology and MakerSpace Coordinator | Holton-Arms School


Using the Transformative Power of Voice to Practice Inclusion

Students at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace work to impact change by using cultural competence as an essential organizing tool to increase meaningful inclusion for all members of the school community. Learn about the various strategies used in the Academy’s Leadership class to empower students from different grade levels, backgrounds, and experiences to engage in critical conversations that increase awareness and inspire students to impact change.

PRESENTER: Susan Antolin, Student Activities Director | Academy of Our Lady of Peace


Voice and Choice Middle School Physical Education, Arts, and Elective Program

Over the past five years, St. Catherine’s Middle School has implemented a P.E., Arts, and Elective program allowing 7th- and 8th-grade students to be participants in the creation of their schedules. With constraints of time, a renewed focus on wellness, and student interest being at the forefront, students can time their study halls with the demands of sports, involvement in theatre, and balance of extracurricular activities in mind. St. Catherine’s has created several P.E., Performing Arts, and Elective options that allow girls to express themselves, try new things, and even offer their own course proposals.

PRESENTERS: Jennifer McIntosh, Assistant Director of Middle School, and Laura Horn, Chair of Health and Physical Education Department | St. Catherine’s School


What’s Your Story? Empathy and Empowerment through Oral Storytelling

Bridging tradition and innovative, student-centered pedagogy, oral storytelling is a low-tech, accessible way to engage girls in reflection and self-advocacy. Whether it’s for a student leadership position or a start-up pitch, delivering a compelling narrative can help students enact change. In this breakout session, Moth Educator Lindsay O’Connor and English Department Chair Steve McCarty will share their experiences coaching high school girls in storytelling performances in English classes and school-wide experiential learning projects, and they will then facilitate a story workshop for session participants who will practice telling stories of their own.

PRESENTERS: Lindsay O’Connor, English Teacher, and Steven McCarty, English Department Chair | Foxcroft School


Women in Education: Building Your Tribe and Yourself

Helping girls to more effectively adapt and succeed in the changing educational landscape is critical. To set girls on a pathway for success, we, as women educators, need to understand how our tribes and support networks are built and evolve. This interactive session is designed to allow women to share their educational stories and pathways. Through facilitated discussion, participants will gain a better understanding and insight into how to build and create your tribe, examine obstacles within education and careers, and discover where inspiration can be found.

PRESENTER: Jill Medina, Director of Enrollment Management | St. Timothy’s School