In November 2020, following a rigorous 18-month application process, Hewitt was awarded a $250,000 Educational Leadership Grant from The Edward E. Ford Foundation. The Foundation seeks to improve secondary education by supporting schools that serve diverse populations, and that encourage bold, new ideas that will catalyze change beyond their individual institutions. Each year, the Foundation typically awards between three and five Leadership Grants to schools from the 1,600 member National Association of Independent Schools. The Foundation’s endorsement confirms Hewitt’s position as a thought leader and model of best practice among independent schools in the country.
Hewitt was on the path of innovation well before our world was shaken by a global pandemic. In March 2020, Hewitt launched our strategic vision to better prepare girls and young women for college, career, and lives of meaning and purpose. Our vision calls for teaching and learning focused on real-world, transdisciplinary challenges, yet we could not have expected the number of transdisciplinary challenges we would soon face. Amid the disruption and uncertainty, our commitment to reimagine how, when, and where school happens is more timely than ever. Now is the time for educational leaders and institutions to transform an outmoded model of education so that our students learn how to thrive in a rapidly changing world. The E.E. Ford Foundation Board concurs, and is compelled by Hewitt’s “energy, vision, intelligence, idealism, and conviction” to fulfill our new mission: to inspire girls and young women to become game changers and ethical leaders who forge an equitable, sustainable, and joyous future.
Head of School Dr. Tara Christie Kinsey said of the Foundation grant: “We are honored and humbled that The Edward E. Ford Foundation has determined that our upper school is an exciting place to invest. This grant will allow us to focus on our bold and ambitious vision of reimagining and redesigning the experience of upper school in this city and country.”
This prestigious grant will fund a transformational step in advancing our strategic vision for Hewitt: a new learning and innovation researcher position. Assistant Head for Learning and Innovation Dr. Maureen Burgess, who worked with Dr. Kinsey to develop the grant proposal, explained: “Hewitt’s inaugural learning and innovation researcher is the lynchpin to proving that the future of education innovation will not only transform young lives but also give educators new and meaningful ways to measure what, how, and why innovation works.”
The Foundation requires Hewitt to match this grant dollar-for-dollar with new or additional donations, so the Hewitt community will play an important role in advancing this initiative. Dr. Kinsey remarked that “The Edward E. Ford Foundation’s patronage invites Hewitt to be bold and to demand an abundant future for young learners. We look forward to working with partners in our community to match these funds and join in our belief in the power of education to forge a better world.”
In this, our historic 100th year, our vision commitments to redesign learning, reimagine location, and redefine women’s leadership are more relevant and compelling than ever. The Hewitt School is grateful to partner with The Edward E. Ford Foundation as we seize this watershed moment to transform education.