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Toward the Building of Character

“At GA, we develop confident young women for a life of purpose.”—Molly King, Head of School

Lower School

When your daughter joins our Lower School, she gets the benefit of hundreds of big sisters to look up to and aspire to be.

Middle School

In Middle School, GA girls cultivate meaningful friendships, see their futures as boundless, and are inspired to make a positive impact in the world.

Upper School

In the Upper School, students discover that there’s almost nothing they cannot do. Teachers believe in them, classmates cheer them on, learning and ambition know no bounds.

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16

Varsity Athletic Teams

Character and sportsmanship are foundational to GA’s powerhouse athletics program.

30%

Students of Color

GA strives to engage girls from a broad range of backgrounds and one third of students identify as people of color.

5:1

Student-Teacher Ratio

A small-school setting allows our outstanding faculty to give students the commitment and attention they need. A GA education begins and ends with relationships.

256

Upper School Courses

GA’s unique Coordination program with Brunswick makes for big-school opportunities within our small-school setting.

23%

Financial Aid

Families across the economic spectrum benefit from GA’s expansive tuition assistance program.

232

Career Placements

Our innovative Career Resource Center connects students and alumnae to jobs and internships—more than 200 in the last year.

815

Students Pre-K–12

We are a community, with girls from all divisions leading, learning, and growing with each other.

88%

Top-Choice College

GA’s attributes dovetail into a single compelling statistic: Almost every member of the class of 2019 is attending one of her top three college preferences.

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 “From a young age, we want GA girls to understand that they can look at any question many different ways. We want them to feel comfortable testing their own ideas and hypotheses as a way of learning.”

SpotlightSTEAM at GA

GA was an early member of Maker Nation, opening the Engineering & Design lab in 2013. Naturally, we were full-STEAM ahead and today “making” is an integral part of our curriculum in all divisions. 

Learn more

Bobby Walker, Jr. To Join Greenwich Academy
Greenwich Academy


Effective summer 2020, Bobby Walker, Jr. will be joining Greenwich Academy as its first Assistant Head of School for Student and Community Life.

In this capacity, Mr. Walker will leverage his strengths as a teacher, administrator, and community leader to elevate the student experience. To that end, he will collaborate with student life personnel including GA’s division heads and grade-level deans, the director of the Center for Public Purpose, the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the director of athletics. With deep ties in Greenwich and surrounding areas, he will also work to develop and enhance partnerships with local organizations aligned with GA’s mission to educate girls and young women of exemplary character. 

“Bobby Walker, Jr. is a natural community-builder and understands that strong student-faculty relationships are essential for optimized learning and growth,” said Head of School Molly King, “In every interaction and mirrored by his words, Bobby leads with care and humanity.” 

Throughout his career, Mr. Walker has distinguished himself as an educator and his accomplishments are matched by his warmth and ability to connect with children of all ages. He is well known in Greenwich through his current role as CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich. Prior to joining the BGCG, Mr. Walker served for nine years as head of the middle school at King School and before that was a teacher and dean of middle school students at McDonogh School, a boarding and day school in the Baltimore area. Mr. Walker began his teaching career at his alma mater, St. Mark’s School in Dallas, TX where he taught U.S. history, language arts, and life skills, and became the assistant head of the middle school. 

“I am excited to join the outstanding Greenwich Academy faculty,” said Mr. Walker, “GA’s mission is one that resonates deeply for me. I’m eager to help advance that mission by working with students and continuing to build relationships within the broader community.”

Mr. Walker’s community involvement already extends to numerous Town of Greenwich organizations through his roles as: First Selectman’s Diversity Group vice chair; Greenwich Together member; Greenwich Hospital Board of Directors member; Junior League of Greenwich Community Advisory Board member; Greenwich United Way Community Planning Council member; and Greenwich Achievement Gap Roundtable member. Going forward he will also maintain his involvement with the BGCG as a member of their advisory board. 

Mr. Walker is already a familiar face at Greenwich Academy; his wife Becky Walker has been head of GA’s middle school since 2005, and he is the father of two daughters at GA and a son at Brunswick School. He is a graduate of Williams College, where he received a B.A. in history while playing football and earning numerous honors as a member of their track and field team, and he has an M.A. in liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University. 
 

Winter Warmer: GA’s Team College Answers Questions
Greenwich Academy

Greenwich Academy’s college counseling office offered parents a behind-the-scenes look at the college admission process at this year’s Winter Warmer, “Trends and Misconceptions About the Admission Landscape.” Team College, as they are affectionately known, is run by Melissa Anderson, Patrick Dwyer, Reed Minor, and Rachel Powers, who together boast almost 60 years of experience at GA. 

Associate Head of School Mark Feiner moderated the panel and opened the discussion by asking each of the counselors how and why they pursued positions in the college office. While their paths varied, all described deriving immense satisfaction from getting to know GA girls in a more holistic level and leading them through the process of self-discovery that launches them into the next phase of their lives. 

From there, the team dove into the nitty-gritty of the college process. Each year 100 to 120 college reps visit GA and Brunswick, giving students an opportunity to connect with college reps on campus and allowing our counselors to update them on the latest developments at GA. According to Mr. Dwyer, the admission process has evolved into a mix of art and science. Colleges and universities use sophisticated customer relationship management systems to track everything from email open rates to interview notes. There’s also a human side to their interactions and admission reps, especially those from the most elite schools, are highly trained. As an example, Mr. Dwyer shared the story of receiving a call from a school rep who noticed that students in a particular AP French class had received grades that seemed out of sync with the rest of their transcripts; the rep was seeking additional background as he moved through applicant evaluations.

Asked to identify the markers of a positive and productive admission process, Mrs. Anderson recommends that students and families approach the process with an open mind, do their  research, and use data to help guide their decision-making. She said students should ask themselves “Where will I thrive?” versus “Where will I get in?” 

The evening included a little myth-busting as Mrs. Minor explained that admission results are far more predictable than you might expect. The college office maintains vast stores of data correlating student profiles and admission outcomes. So while many regard the admission process as a “crap shoot,” Team College is seldom surprised by admission outcomes.

Ms. Powers shed light on those issues that are top-of-mind for college administrators including: how to address the needs and expectations of a Gen X parent population (versus the Baby Boomers that preceded them); how students make the transition to college and its mental health implications; academic stressors, namely the pressure to excel at all times; and the financial burden of a college education. 

The night’s key takeaway? GA girls are fortunate to have the experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated members of Team College guiding them through the college admission process. 

MLK Assembly: Stories, Voices & a Collaborative Poetics of Identity
Greenwich Academy

Identity, and what it means to the GA community, was the theme of the annual all-school assembly celebrating the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

In the days leading up to the assembly, students in Groups PC-XII took time in homerooms and advisories to dive into the concept of identity. Using the poem “Where I’m From,” by George Ella Lyon to spark discussion and prompt introspection on this topic, the girls each wrote their own “Where I’m from” verse on a piece of brightly colored paper. These sheets were taped to the walls of Raether Gymnasium for the assembly; students arriving at the assembly could be seen pausing along the perimeter of the gym to read their classmates’ reflections. 

Amira Francois ’21 opened the assembly by explaining the significance of the identity theme. “I would describe identity as what makes up who I am: what I look like, how I speak, what I am passionate about, how I think, what I value, and so much more,” she said. “Once you know how you identify as a person, you are able to understand the identity of others and create an atmosphere where everyone’s similarities and differences can be in harmony.”

Music always has a place in GA’s assemblies; this year, Lower School girls sang “We Are the World,” a meaningful addition to the traditional Upper School performances of “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” and “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

The highlight of the assembly was the “Where We Are From” poem (see below) comprising a selection of the students’ “Where I’m From” lines. Each division was represented by two stanzas of the poem and each stanza was read by a student from that division. The poem was a powerful reminder that the diversity and many identities of the members of our community are the reasons that GA as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Where We Are From
(modeled after “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyons)

[Lower School Stanzas]
I am from the muddy paw prints and the friends I make.
I am from a mom that loves me and teaches me right and wrong.
I am from spaghetti and meatballs and that makes me happy.
I am from I love you to the moon and back.
I am from switching houses now and then.
I am from lighting a candle on Day of the Dead.

I am from adventure.
I am from flaming the fish and apple pie.
I am from don’t forget you are always loved.
I am from lighting the Hanukkah candles to opening presents the next day.
I am from backyard barbeques and fries.
I am from a sketchbook full of cartoons.

[Middle School Stanzas]
I am from soggy gingerbread houses that never stay standing,
Sweet, steaming udon noodles that always fill me up.
I am from waxy, salty surfboards, 
I am from the cold waters of the Chelsea Piers pool.
I am from pizza every Sunday, just because, 
from the happy smiles of photos, memories forever saved.
I am from trying and succeeding. 

I am from bongo drums.
I am from the smell of dark coffee and crisp cantaloupe,
I am from my great-grandmother who never gave up,
From dog hair in every corner, 
From racing to get shotgun,
I am from the maple tree of Greenwich Academy. 

[Upper School Stanzas]
I am from hand-me downs, 
From essential oils and shea butter
I am from magnolia trees and Mumbai 
From the glistening lakes of Belgrade
From cucumbers and peonies,
from weathered baseball gloves and plastic tiaras

I am from arroz con habichuelas 
From my dad’s chipped coffee cup
I am from slow voices and fast walking
From confidence and curly hair
I am from dumplings and fried rice 
I am from a strong willed woman and all the women who came before her

Paralympian Lives Life Without Limits
Greenwich Academy

“It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.” That was the recurring theme in Wednesday’s assembly with Chris Waddell. And this seven-time Paralympian does indeed practice what he preaches. 
 
In assemblies with the Middle School, and the Group III and IV girls, Waddell shared the story of “what happened to him”—going from an able-bodied college student and avid ski racer to breaking his back in a ski accident and becoming a paraplegic. “What he did with it” is extraordinary by any measure.
 
After spending close to a year in the hospital, Waddell went back to college. And not long after that, he went back to the ski mountain. Learning to ski without the use of your legs, sit-skiing, is no easy feat, but with plenty of help and a deep reservoir of determination, he learned how to monoski. But that wasn’t enough for him. Waddell went on to compete in four different winter Paralympics as a monoskier, amassing 12 medals. His accomplishments don’t end there—he’s climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in an all-terrain vehicle powered only by his arms, authored several books, and competed in three summer Paralympics.
 
Waddell breaks down his ability to persevere and thrive in the face of adversity into what he calls the Four Ss of Resilience: self, situation, support, and strategy. 
 

  • Self: Think of yourself as a survivor rather than a victim.
  • Situation: Look at the path ahead as a challenge rather than letting it overwhelm you.
  • Support: Be comfortable asking for help and working with others to achieve a goal.
  • Strategy: Be flexible. When one approach to a challenge or problem doesn’t work, try another, and then another, until you figure it out. 

 
The girls’ ultimate takeaway from this inspiring speaker? See opportunities instead of limitations. It’s a message that goes hand in hand with GA’s motto, Toward the Building of Character.

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