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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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Career Placements

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

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Students Pre-K–12

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

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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. 

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US Lit Fest: Wall-to-Wall Words
Greenwich Academy

When the Daedalus editorial team learned the Upper School was scheduled to have two author visits in one week, it got them thinking—GA provides its students so many opportunities to pursue their interests in literature and writing, why not find a way to celebrate that as a community?

The girls quickly got to work planning a week of events and activities they titled Windows and Words around the two author visits. On Monday, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Egan spoke to a joint GA/WCK audience in connection with her book Manhattan Beach, and on Thursday, alumna Courtney Maum ’97 would be discussing her third novel, Costalegre, and also running two workshops.

So, Monday morning last week, students entered the Upper School to find blackout poems created by Daedalus editors, writers, and artists taped to the windows at the bottom of the stairs at the main entrance. A blackout poem is created by using a marker to redact words on a page until what remains is a standalone poem. In this case, the students made blackout poems using pages photocopied from Manhattan Beach and Costalegre

A highlight of the week—as well as its namesake—was a collaborative community writing project, Windows and Words. Each of the three senior editors of Daedalus took markers to the windowed walls of the Upper School and wrote a single line or sentence at the top of the pane. At Monday’s morning meeting, students and teachers were invited to add lines at their convenience with the goal of creating three collaborative poems or stories by the end of the week. 

“Writing on the windows seemed like a unique way to encourage participation,” said editor Laura Kapp ’20, “It was so much fun to pause next to the windows and take a look at the evolution of the story on the way to class as well as come up with our own sentences. I had people approaching me excitedly all week long, including peers I don’t know as well, to tell me about the latest development on the windows. It was great to see how the project engaged the whole community.” 

Upper School English teachers also got in on the action. Each day, teachers took turns sharing favorite poems or literary excerpts with the entire Upper School via email. The week concluded with a Friday afternoon “coffee house” open mic event. Set up in front of the library fireplace, Upper School students were invited to share their writing with their peers. 

“My favorite part about the week was hearing more literary snippets than usual in hallways,” said Daedalus editor Megan Meyerson ’20, “students saying how much they loved or were surprised by their English teacher's favorite passage, discussions about the visiting authors, or one girl encouraging another to share a piece of writing at Friday’s coffee house. I also love how spontaneous the week became. Even more fun, maybe, than the formal events was seeing the unplanned stories materialize on windows all over the school and feeling the communal celebration of words in equally silly and profound ways.” 

Author: Books Are Ticketless Travel
Joan Slattery

Greenwich Academy’s Group V/VI Newbery Book Club welcomed a special guest last week: Dr. Padma Venkatraman, author of The Bridge Home, one of the novels on the club’s reading list. The book club reads the best new books of 2019, voting for its own favorite before the actual Newbery committee makes its January announcement of the 2020 Newbery Medal winner: the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. 

Dr. Ventrakaman’s publisher, Penguin’s Nancy Paulsen Books, included Greenwich Academy on a book tour devoted in part to visiting “mock Newbery” clubs like GA’s. The author opened her talk by asking the book club to guess what she studied in college and graduate school. The students called out “creative writing” and “literature” before Dr. Venkatraman revealed her area of expertise: oceanography. After years as the chief scientist on research sea vessels (her work included exploring coral reefs, traveling to rain forests, and tagging crocodiles), she felt the draw of storytelling. “Facts weren’t enough. I realized I wanted to change how people feel,” Dr. Venkatraman says. “Books are like ticketless travel,” she adds, noting that they have the power to transport and transform, to show us compassion and empathy.

The Bridge Home comes from a personal place. Set in Chennai, India, where Dr. Venkatraman was born, the novel recounts the story of four children who find themselves homeless on the teeming city streets. “When I returned to Chennai as an adult, I saw a child standing on a huge pile of garbage, with no shoes, digging through it with her bare hands.” She drew on this image, as well as some of the experiences of her own childhood friends, as she wrote the story of four young people who manage to find shelter and family in each other. The Bridge Home, which The New York Times called “gorgeous storytelling,” has been named a 2019 Global Read Aloud Selection.

Leading the Way Speaker Series: Entrepreneur Parents Share Their Stories
Greenwich Academy

On Tuesday evening, students, alumnae, parents, and past parents gathered for the second panel in the Leading the Way speaker series, titled “Unpacking Entrepreneurship: Mindset, Motivation & Ingenuity.”
 
Head of School Molly King opened the session explaining why GA is directing energy and resources to the topic of entrepreneurship. “Women-owned businesses are woefully underserved by venture capitalists—with the level of investment in 2018 at just 2.2% of total VC funding,” she said, “As a leading girls school, GA has an important role to play in promoting entrepreneurship.” 

The night’s panel featured three successful entrepreneurs who are also dedicated members of the GA community: Edith Cooper P’08, former Goldman Sachs partner and co-founder of Medley Living; Max Cartellieri P’24, ’25, CEO and co-founder of AlphaSights; and Annie Day Thorp ’02 P’31, ’33, founding Chief Marketing Officer, M.M.LaFleur.

The panelists generously shared advice, anecdotes, and observations on what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Key takeaways included:

Whether you’re trying to raise funding or marketing a new product—get comfortable with rejection. Thorpe also emphasized that “you’ll probably get things wrong before you get them right.”

For students who asked for advice about what they should study in college, the panelists all said that studying those topics that are of personal interest should be a priority. Cartellieri observed that what is critical is to take on fields of study, whether that’s history or engineering, that teach you how to think.

GA girls have an edge. When asked what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in a VC landscape that isn’t known for being female-friendly, Cooper was quick to point out that a confidence- and character-building all-girls education gives GA girls a distinct advantage in the face of the challenges they may face as entrepreneurs.

The evening shifted into shmooze-control after the panel with a networking reception that allowed the crowd to practice another critical skill for anyone on an entrepreneurial path.

Middle School Community Service Day
Greenwich Academy

Citizenship, friendship, and school spirit are the hallmarks of the Middle School’s annual Community Service Day. 
 
In the week leading up to today’s Community Service Day, the girls brought in donations of canned food, toiletries, and school supplies to be delivered to local nonprofits including Caritas food pantry in Port Chester, Neighbor to Neighbor in Greenwich, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. Students also made monetary donations in support of HeadKnowles, a foundation that helps manage operations and funds for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.
 
This morning, Middle School students and faculty gathered in Young Assembly Hall for a Community Service Day kick-off and pep rally led by the Group VIII Student Leadership Council members. The girls discussed the relief efforts underway in the Bahamas and their own personal and family experiences with community service. Group XII Community Service President Izzy Kalb talked to the girls about her interest and efforts in community service which began with an eighth grade school assignment that prompted her to research early childhood education in the Town of Greenwich. Since then she has devoted countless hours to assisting with and working to improve these programs in our town. 
 
The Middle School girls (and a few of their teachers) closed out the rally with a spirited group dance, performing the Just Dance-choreographed version of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” Energized and inspired, students in Groups VI-VIII headed out to community service assignments throughout Port Chester and Greenwich.

CALENDAR

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Raether Athletic Center