Hewitt News

NAIS People of Color Conference
Hewitt News

In December 2016, six upper school students and nine faculty and staff members attended the annual People of Color/Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Atlanta. Hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), this inspiring event attracted 1,627 students and 3,631 adults from 42 states and five countries, the largest gathering in the conference’s history. 

Attendees heard from a range of excellent speakers, including an opening keynote by Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, who spoke about the inequalities in the US justice system, and how “we must have hope if we want to change things.” Richard Blanco, a poet who spoke at President Obama’s 2012 inauguration, entertained the audience while encouraging them to ponder the meaning of “home” and what it means to belong. 


The conference’s closing remarks were delivered by Brittany Packnett, a national leader on educational equity and youth leadership development. As a graduate of independent schools and the current VP of National Community Alliances at Teach for America, Packnett's message was a powerful call to action in the face of racism, injustice, and systemic oppression. Through the telling of her own very personal journey, Ms. Packnett reminded the audience that this work rests not solely on the shoulders of people of color, but of all people. Speaking directly to students, Packnett emphasized the importance of resistance, persistence, and leadership. 

Students and faculty who attended the conference returned to Hewitt full of renewed energy and enthusiasm for the ongoing diversity work taking place in our community.

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Hewitt fifth graders tapped into their skills as mathematicians, problem solvers, coders, researchers, and writers to plan road trips across the United States. With only a few specific guidelines about budget and mileage, students were encouraged to make independent decisions about routes, finances, food, and lodging as they planned elaborate trip itineraries.

Each year, Hewitt’s world languages department offers opportunities for middle and upper school students to travel abroad to Spanish- and French-speaking countries. These trips, filled with new experiences and discoveries, provide students with the chance to immerse themselves in the language, culture, history, and culinary traditions of different cities. 

This October, three upper school Graphic Design students attended the 12th annual Teen Design Fair, where they caught the attention of graphic designers from Sesame Workshop. Impressed with Hewitt students’ design knowledge and excited about their work on cartoon characters, the Sesame Workshop designers invited the girls to tour their art department.    

This fall, Hewitt’s athletes hit the ground running in volleyball, soccer, and cross country. Our varsity and JV teams were complemented by a record number of middle school student athletes, and the season was characterized by talent, skill, determination, and teamwork. 

In its second year, Hewitt’s summer grant program supported faculty experiences that align with the school’s four academic pillars - presence, empathy, research, and purpose. 

This summer, several Hewitt faculty members participated in mindfulness training designed specifically for educators. Read their personal reflections to learn how they are incorporating mindfulness practices into their classrooms. 

Spurred by questions based on both hypothetical and actual situations, fifth and sixth students utilize classical philosophies and political theories like those of Aristotle, Kant, and Rawls to guide their critical reasoning as they consider dilemmas in law and justice. 

Faculty member Erik Sommer discusses his summer art installation at Fastnet, an alternative exhibition space in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 

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From the first day of rehearsals the cast of "The Cripple of Inishmaan" jumped at the chance to take on the challenges posed by this complex text.

At Hewitt, we believe in empowering girls to establish a sense of self rooted in confidence, empathy, and hardiness through active, girl-centered academics and authentic connections to the world beyond our campus. 

In December 2016, six upper school students and nine faculty and staff members attended the annual People of Color/Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Atlanta.

At The Hewitt School, all middle school students are given the opportunity to learn robotics, and interested girls are encouraged to build on this foundation by participating in our Hawks Robotics elective. 

This March, over 700 members of the Hewitt community, including students, current and incoming families, alumnae, faculty, staff, and Met Museum educators, gathered at The Vinegar Factory to celebrate the opening of Feminist Stance: What Do You Stand For? 

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