Everywhere I look, I see examples of the expansive creativity, distributed leadership, and collective commitment of Hewitt’s teachers to advance girls’ learning, to guide students to discover their strengths so they can create fulfilling paths forward, and to interrogate, resist, and ultimately redress practices that unintentionally train students for a world that no longer exists. To my mind, there is nothing more central to our mission than this.
Head of School
Welcome to The Hewitt School
Hewitt’s motto--“By Faith and Courage”--is evident in everything we do. Where most high-achieving girls are socialized to be perfect and play it safe, Hewitt girls learn to have faith in themselves and have the courage to take risks and bounce back from failures. Where most high-achieving girls are asked to focus exclusively on curating the perfect resume, the Hewitt girl is hard at work on her inner resume as she achieves academically. I invite you to see what makes Hewitt such a distinctive place for girls and young women to learn and grow into a world of expanding opportunity, and how Hewitt is empowering the next generation of women leaders, one at a time--from the inside out.
Dr. Tara Christie Kinsey, Head of School and Parent, Class of 2027
This year’s Commencement speaker exemplifies Hewitt as an institution that calls forth the best version of people. For over two decades, Nancy Gallin has made an indelible mark on countless Hewitt students, alumnae, and families. To watch Nancy in the classroom is to watch a historian who disturbs the untroubled waters of history and moves her students to think differently.
If we dig down into Hewitt’s foundational soil, empathy is there at the root. Empathy matters because we believe that school should liberate students to do something in this world that is meaningful not only for themselves but also for others—and that the empathy built through the “other-orientation” of students’ pursuits is vitally important for cultivating a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
Every day, as I watch Hewitt girls rise to the challenge on the field, the court, and the stage, I think about how we can help them transfer that bravery and healthy aggressiveness to moments of academic assessment, including standardized tests.
When I joined the Hewitt community three years ago, I never anticipated that conference day would become one of my favorite days of the school year. Yet it is. Why? It is because all day long, I bear witness in our two lobbies to a steady stream of parents and students, coming and going, full of anticipation, pride, determination, and hope for the future.
I joined 154 other New York heads of independent schools to sign an open letter that appeared in The New York Times on Sunday, February 25, 2018. I am proud to stand with my colleagues as we insist on the safety of our schools and our children.
At Hewitt, everywhere I turn, I see teachers, students, staff, parents, trustees, and alumnae unified by the same vision of a world where girls grow up knowing that their voice is their power; where women have agency over their lives, their careers, and their bodies; where women have the confidence to stand up for themselves and for those who cannot do so on their own.
To flourish means that you are engaged in your world, that you have good relationships, that you feel accomplished, and--above all--that your life is connected to a purpose that is bigger than you. I like to think that if there is a sacred inner core of Hewitt, it is this wholehearted commitment to nurturing the kind of soil in which students, faculty, staff, parents, and indeed the school itself can flourish.
I still hadn’t moved from my chair—yet in my stillness, I realized that my choice not to react to my daughter’s mishap created the condition for her to learn and grow from it. In order to allow her to square off against her fear, I had to square off against my instinct and desire to protect her. I had to sit with my own anxiety and not act on it. Just because she was scared did not mean she needed my protection. If I stepped in, it would be about my needs, not hers.
When I first joined the Hewitt community, someone asked me this question: “If a Hewitt girl could be any character from a movie, who would she be?” I wasted no time in answering, “Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.” So why Katniss Everdeen? When I stop to reflect on the answer to this question, there are three main reasons, and I’d like to share each with you in turn.
- The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey
- How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
- The Path to Purpose: How Young People Find Their Calling by William Damon
- Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids by Denise Pope, Maureen Brown, and Sarah Miles
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel
- Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
- Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls through the Seven Transitions to Adulthood by Lisa Damour
- The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence by Rachel Simmons
- Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons
- Girls & Sex: Navigating the New and Complicated Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
- Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching, and Life by Marilee Adams
- The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World by Haemin Sunim
- In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honoré
- Rising Strong by Brené Brown
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't by Jim Collins
- Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision by Andy Stanley
- Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek
- Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone