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Member News

Check back regularly to see the latest news on what NCGS is up to, and all the incredible things happening at our member schools.

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Stoneleigh-Burnham Student Rides to Success at Equestrian National Finals

4/28/17—Stoneleigh-Burnham School student Isabela C. ’19 recently placed fourth in beginner flat equitation individually at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Finals at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA. Isabela is a member of the Stoneleigh-Burnham IEA team. She qualified for the National Finals by winning first place at the IEA Zone 1 Finals held at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA. This placed Isabela as number one in New England in her division.

U.S. News & World Report Ranks YWPN Schools Among Top High Schools

4/27/17—Five girls’ schools, which are members of NCGS and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), were recently included in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools Rankings. Of the 589 Texas schools included in the 2017 rankings, the following girls’ schools ranked in the top 125: Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Young Women’s Leadership Academy San Antonio, Talkington School for Young Women Leaders, and the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy Houston.

Cornelia Connelly School Appoints New Head of School

4/26/17—Cornelia Connelly School has named Cheri Wood as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2017.

For the past ten years, Wood has served as the Principal of St. Bernadette School, a Catholic school in Silver Spring, MD. Wood comes to Cornelia Connelly with a deep knowledge of student development, curriculum development, and the business and financial sides of educational leadership. During her career as an educator, Wood focused on providing students with unique learning opportunities that challenged, engaged, and inspired personal and academic growth. She is also a strong advocate for all-girls education, having sent her own children to single-gender high schools.

Wood is tremendously excited about joining Cornelia Connelly’s dynamic, progressive educational environment. “When I stepped onto campus and met with students, faculty, staff, parents, and board members, I could sense the loving community that lives by ideals to lead, serve, and inspire,” shared Wood. “I am continually inspired by each young woman that I met and the members of the community who shared their stories with me.”

Ann Richards School Wins State Film Championship

4/25/17—Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, a member of NCGS and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, recently took home its first statewide win at the University Interscholastic League’s Film Competition. The winning film, The Garden, directed by senior Brooke B., won the Division Two Traditional Animation category.

Brooke hand-drew the characters in the film, scanned each frame, and cleaned and painted the artwork in Photoshop. Backgrounds and animation were added in Adobe After Effects, with the final film compiled with music and sound in Adobe Premier. Two other Ann Richards seniors also assisted with the film: Lina B. wrote and performed the original score and Chloe L. helped with the animation by inking many of the hand-drawn frames.


Stoneleigh-Burnham Student to Compete in World Debating and Public Speaking Championship

4/14/17—Stoneleigh-Burnham School student Sophie H. ’18 is set to compete in Sydney, Australia, as part of the U.S. Team at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship. A member of Stoneleigh-Burnham's Debate and Public Speaking Society, Sophie qualified for the world competition after competing at the International Independent School Public Speaking League tournament in West Vancouver, B.C., Canada in October.

Sophie credits her rhetoric teachers—Dr. Paul Bassett, Head Coach of the Stoneleigh-Burnham Debate and Public Speaking Society, and Cyndee Meese—for recognizing her potential as a debater and public speaker and for motivating her to step out of her comfort zone to achieve success. She also thanks her teammates. “It helps so much to be surrounded by a bunch of awesome strong women,” shared Hathaway.

Hathaway joins an elite group of world competitors from Stoneleigh-Burnham dating back to 1988. Last year was the first time in the school’s 150-year history that two students qualified to compete at the world championship. One of those students competed in the world competitions two years in a row, including in Hong Kong in 2015. Sophie will be the 16th student to compete.

Melania Trump, Jordan's Queen Tour All-Girls Charter School

4/13/17—Melania Trump recently highlighted her interest in empowering women and girls by touring NCGS member Excel Academy Public Charter School with Queen Rania of Jordan and the U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Excel Academy opened in 2008 in an economically depressed area of Washington, D.C. Today, the school has nearly 700 students enrolled in pre-K through 8th grade.

"As an all-girls school, you all represent what we work so hard to build for our girls," said Deborah Lockhart, Chief Executive Officer of Excel Academy, as her visitors settled in for a discussion with the principal, three students, one representative parent, science teacher, and art teacher. After the round-table conversation, the First Lady, the Queen, and DeVos visited an art class followed by a science class.

The First Lady later said in a written statement that education helps "shine a light" on gender equality and empowerment of women. She cited Excel Academy as an "exceptional example" of a school that's preparing young women to "succeed in a global community."

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Academy of Our Lady of Peace Hosts Third Annual Women’s Symposium

4/12/17—Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) recently hosted its third annual Women’s Symposium. The event brought together top women leaders who shared their insights with students and the community and featured an impressive panel of speakers, including a keynote speech from Food Network star and OLP alumna Marcela Valladolid ’96.

More than 250 external community guests joined the student body at OLP to experience this incredible day of women’s empowerment. Funds raised went towards supporting the OLP Alumnae Scholarship Fund for students who embody the charisma of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, show academic potential, and demonstrate financial need.

The keynote was followed by a series of panel topics focusing on Arts and Entertainment, Business and Entrepreneurship, Healthcare, and STEM. Panelists at the event included world-renowned interventional cardiologist Dr. Patricia Aubanel, and writer, director, and first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Brenda Chapman, among others.

“I believe there are few things more powerful or positive than young, smart and inspired women,” shared Cheryl Goodman, Executive Director of Athena and symposium STEM panel facilitator. “Nothing is beyond their reach.”

Washington School for Girls Appoints New President

3/28/17—The Washington School for Girls (WSG) has appointed Beth Reaves to serve as the next President. Reaves comes to WSG from the Friends School Mullica Hill in New Jersey, where she has served as Head of School for five years.

During her tenure, Reaves successfully led the school through the re-accreditation process, expanded philanthropic support of the school, and worked with faculty to thoughtfully implement new programs that met the needs of the student population.
Reaves has shown a deep appreciation for and commitment to the things that define WSG, including its Catholic identity, mission to serve those students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend an independent school, and belief in each student's gifts, talents, and potential. “As soon as I learned about WSG and the school's mission, I immediately felt called to serve and wanted to learn more,” shared Reaves. “This sense of community and sense of purpose, both guided by the strong faith tradition in the school, are what drew me to the Washington School for Girls.”


Cranbrook Announces Educational Collaboration with MIT Edgerton Center

3/15/17—Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls has recently formed an educational partnership with the Edgerton Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This initiative is designed to empower Cranbrook faculty to incorporate innovation and design thinking into their curriculum and teaching. In return, Cranbrook will serve as a testing site for the Edgerton Center with the potential to change the way K-12 curriculum is developed nationally.

Cranbrook students are already benefiting from the collaboration. In 2016, 70 of Cranbrook’s faculty engaged in a workshop devoted to learning and integrating design thinking into lesson plans. Students have also utilized the design thinking process to work on challenges ranging from how they might solve math problems, learn about different parts of the country, design a new kind of backpack, and build roller coasters. Throughout this partnership, Cranbrook is committed to sharing what it discovers with the broader education community in order to offer students everywhere greater educational opportunities in the 21st century.

“Cranbrook Schools is honored to be the first school in the Midwest to be selected as part of this unique educational collaboration with the Edgerton Center at MIT,” said Arlyce M. Seibert, Director of Cranbrook Schools. “For more than a century, Cranbrook has been dedicated to breaking new ground in education. This collaboration is truly a milestone in our approach to experiential learning, with one of the most innovative schools in the country.”

Girls Prep Partnering With BioBus

3/13/17—Public Prep schools Girls Prep Lower East Side and Girls Prep Bronx have announced a three-year partnership with BioBus to develop the next generation of female engineers, scientists, and mathematicians. BioBus is a non-profit organization that engages PhD and Masters-level scientists to share their expertise and knowledge by creating hands-on learning experiences that can inspire young women’s interest and passion for STEM-related careers.

Founded in 2005 and 2009, respectively, Girls Prep Lower East Side and Girls Prep Bronx currently serve nearly 1,500 almost exclusively low-income, African-American and Hispanic female scholars in grades PrePrep through 8th grade. This partnership will give students the ability to participate in a variety of activities, including field trip visits to BioBase community labs, a BioBus Living Environment Regents Prep Course, and hands-on lessons aboard the BioBus in subjects such as comparative anatomy, microbiology, ecology, and cell biology.

“By establishing a strong foundation in math and science, Girls Prep and BioBus will help young girls develop a lasting love of inquiry, critical thinking and problem-solving. This will, in turn, ignite a curiosity of STEM-related pathways by young women, which is ultimately what’s needed to bridge the race and gender gap in STEM fields,” said Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep.

Hamlin Students Thrive at California Theatre Competition

3/10/17—Students from The Hamlin School recently demonstrated their impressive skills at the California Educational Theater Association Middle Stage Fest. For grades 6-8, the festival gives theater students the opportunity to meet peers from other schools, share their passions, showcase their talents, and learn from each other. Students compete for bronze, silver, and gold medals as they perform monologues and scenes for panels of adjudicators. While the judges tabulate their scores, students partake in a variety of theatre games.

Nearly 300 students from 19 different middle schools across California competed this year. Hamlin’s girls earned 22 gold, 10 silver, and 4 bronze medals for their monologues, scenes, original pieces, and musical solos.

Cranbrook Kingswood Teacher Receives Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award

3/9/17—Ashlie Blackstone Smith, an 8th-grade physical science teacher at Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls, has been selected by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Space Foundation as recipient of the 2017 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award.

Smith has taught physical science at Cranbrook since 2003. She has served as a strong advocate of all-girls education—especially in the hard sciences—and presented at the 2015 NCGS Conference, From STEM to STEAM: Girls’ Schools Leading the Way. Among her many achievements, Smith has developed 100+ science content videos that resulted in a year-long flipped classroom experience for students and has created and implemented lessons incorporating technology such as augmented reality, 3D design, computer coding, and programmable robotics into Cranbrook’s curriculum.

The Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award is given annually in recognition of creative and innovative uses of technology by K-12 educators, or district-level education personnel. The award, named for Mercury and Apollo astronaut Alan Shepard, will be presented to Smith during the 33rd Space Symposium opening ceremony on April 3, 2017, in Colorado Springs, CO.