We are delighted to announce that Sarah Odell will be Hewitt’s inaugural learning and innovation researcher, effective July 1, 2021. This new position will play an essential role in the research and design of an ethical leadership program for young women that centers equity, sustainability, and joy, and that is rooted in transdisciplinary, real-world learning. As part of serving on the academic program design team, the researcher will conduct studies that will inform the School’s work at each phase of design and implementation as well as institute systems for the ongoing, sustainable collection of actionable feedback to guide the continued evolution of teaching and learning at Hewitt. Sarah will partner with academic leaders and faculty to translate research findings into meaningful, age-appropriate steps for classroom implementation, and work with teachers to regularly investigate the effectiveness of our program in meeting the needs of our students and families.
This position is funded in part by an 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. In November 2020, following a rigorous 18-month application process, Hewitt was one of just four schools in the country to receive the leadership grant this year.
Sarah Odell is a feminist scholar, researcher, and educator who has extensive experience working with influential women and creating gender-focused programming. A former executive intern to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sarah has also worked as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins Publishers and taught courses on female American writers and feminist theorists at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut. While at Miss Porter’s, Sarah created an internship program in Washington D.C. where seniors at the girls’ school interned for organizations that championed policy for women and families including NARAL: Pro-Choice America; the United Nations Foundation; the Feminist Majority Foundation; the Congressional Black Caucus; and the Malala Fund. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Wellesley College, Sarah earned her masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania where she authored a thesis on women and educational leadership in independent schools. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Departments of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis and Gender and Women’s Studies, studying gender inclusive leadership in K-12 education. Her dissertation is titled Listening for Resistance: Stories Challenging the Binary in K-12 Educational Leadership. She will complete her doctorate in the spring of 2022.
Sarah is eager to move back to New York City, where she lived from 2010-2013. She is an accomplished squash player, having been the four year women’s number one player at Wellesley College, and number one player on the US Women’s Team at the 2008 Maccabiah Games in Israel where she earned a silver medal. Sarah captained the women’s 5.0 league team at the Harvard Club which won the New York City women’s championship in 2012.
We are grateful to all who participated in the search process for their time, questions, and valuable feedback.
Please join us in warmly welcoming Sarah Odell to Hewitt.