My journey to middle-school leadership took me through the landscapes of both upper school and post-secondary education. Looking back from my current vantage point, I recognize the tremendous impact of the middle school years on girls’ development into young scholars, activists, athletes, and artists. The women I taught in upper school and university came from myriad backgrounds, and those who established a sense of self rooted in confidence, empathy, and hardiness early in their adolescence were best prepared for the rich challenges inherent in leading a life of consequence, with character, compassion, and conviction.
Our philosophy in Middle School is that all doors should remain open to girls as they begin to explore who they are in the world around them. We work to resist the labels and pressures to conform that come during these critical years of ages ten to fourteen, celebrating what is unique about each one of us and learning how such individuality is crucial to a healthy and dynamic community. Our faculty and staff truly enjoy the wonder and delight that surrounds middle school girls, and they are deeply experienced in the ways that girls interact with each other, with adults, and with the community beyond our school walls.
We encourage our students to ask ever more nuanced questions about what they study, and we charge them with the responsibility to take the lead in their education. Through a curriculum and a pedagogy rooted in theories of active, girl-centered learning, the Middle School cultivates an inner curiosity and passion essential to personal growth, academic success, and community leadership. At Hewitt, life in the middle, so to speak, is not simply an awkward stage to be endured between childhood and adulthood; rather, our middle school is s a world uniquely suited to girls who are blossoming through childhood and toward womanhood, providing a stable ground in a time of exciting and profound change.