Hewitt News

Spreading Sustainability at Hewitt 
Tim Clare, Science Teacher and Middle School Coordinator of Sustainability

Hewitt’s commitment to sustainability spans divisions and disciplines. Between clubs, courses, and community service, faculty members are developing a variety of ways for students, teachers, and families to get involved with efforts to spread awareness and education about the environment. 

In the spring of 2017, Hewitt began a partnership with the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF), an organization that works with teachers and schools to implement sustainability programming. That summer, Hewitt’s first faculty sustainability committee attended the CELF Summer Institute, where they participated in a variety of training workshops and made plans to ensure that sustainability continues to be a shared and central goal of the Hewitt community.

Less than a year after forming, Hewitt’s faculty sustainability committee has already made great strides. Our work is guided by the Big Ideas of Sustainability, a framework designed by the Sustainable Schools Project at Shelburne Farms in partnership with CELF to help educators frame sustainability curriculum and projects for their students and colleagues. Whether working with maintenance and facilities and our kitchen to implement a composting program of all food scraps in our cafeteria, providing professional development workshops for faculty, collaborating with colleagues to develop curriculum, or planning student programming, the relatively new committee is already making a big impact on every member of our school.  


In lower school, the committee’s curricular work has included a kindergarten unit on resource use and a second grade focus on sustainability through the lens of urban development. In middle school, sixth graders completed an animation project focused on issues related to water, an elective course looked at sustainability through ethical dilemmas, and the student council expanded to include a middle school sustainability committee. In upper school, Marine Biology students engaged in an ongoing marine biomes project; our AP Environmental Science class focused on a sustainable city design project and a personal waste audit to track how much paper, plastic, and metal trash they produce; and our earth committee brought the One Last Straw Campaign to Hewitt. At various points during the year, students of all ages have had the opportunity to work with the Central Park Conservancy to learn about the park and volunteer to help keep it clean.

With so many exciting initiatives in the works, the Hewitt sustainability committee continues to grow in size and scope. The coming months will see a full day devoted to sustainability programming featuring student-led workshops and activities, and this April students and faculty attended the NYSAIS Sustainability Through Student Voices Conference. This summer, a new group of Hewitt faculty will participate in CELF’s 2018 Summer Institute, ensuring the continued spread of sustainability throughout the school. 

More News

Chris Leaver and James Oates, Physical Education Teachers

Hewitt’s physical education program provides students with the tools they need to live a healthy and active lifestyle while instilling a passion for physical activity and movement that goes beyond school hours and lasts a lifetime. With classes that center around movement and fitness, sports technique and strategy, and yoga and dance instruction, Hewitt girls learn early on that they all have something to offer and gain from their physical education classes. 

Hewitt News

Hewitt’s summer grant program supports faculty experiences that align with the school’s four academic pillars - presence, empathy, research, and purpose. Read on to learn how this year’s summer grant recipients engaged in mindful interactions, expanded their perspectives, fostered their own growth mindset, and affirmed their purpose as educators and as individuals.

Mary Anne Sacco, Lower School Literacy Specialist

This September, second graders did the important work of setting up and organizing their classroom libraries. During the first few days of school the girls explored their libraries with excitement, their curiosity and enthusiasm contagious. Collaboratively, they began to investigate bins of books, having conversations about what types of books were in each and what they noticed about the books they were reading.

Margaret Brown and Meredith Miller, Kindergarten Teachers

Whether student, faculty, or staff, all new members of our community are paired with a buddy who offers guidance, support, and friendship as they navigate their first year at a new school. As the youngest members of our community, kindergarteners are welcomed to Hewitt through a unique partnership with the senior class, allowing for a special relationship to grow between the oldest and youngest students at Hewitt. 

Benjamin Joffe, Middle and Upper School Latin Teacher 

Having spent much of the year applying their knowledge of Latin vocabulary to a systematic and rigorous study of English derivatives, Hewitt’s seventh and eighth grade Latinists devoted the final weeks of school to regaling their classmates with tales from ancient Pompeii. 

Stephanie Dore, Upper School Service Coordinator

Hewitt’s dedication to fostering empathy in our students makes our partnership with Riley’s Way Foundation a natural fit. Throughout the year, Hewitt upper school girls work with peers from the Young Women’s Leadership School - Astoria on the Riley’s Way Youth Council, a public and independent school partnership designed to develop kind and compassionate leaders. 

Joseph Iannacone, Middle School History Teacher

Each spring, a delegation of Hewitt’s middle and upper school students participate in the Packer Model Congress, where they engage in heated but civil debates about taxes, foreign aid, veterans’ affairs, and environmental policy. Delegates view the annual event as yet another opportunity to make their ideas known and their voices heard. 

Samantha S., Class of 2018

In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “We know what we are, but we know not what we may be.” Well, I know something of what we are. We’re venturers and friends, students and sisters. Above all, we are Hewitt girls. As we walk out into the next stages of our lives as women, we do so with the immeasurable potential to become anything we want to be.  

Nancy Gallin

Good morning, families, students, colleagues, members of the Board of Trustees, and first among equals, good morning to the Hewitt Class of 2018. Look around you and memorize this moment, your classmates, your families, your teachers, this beautiful place, and the chance to sit quietly just for a little while so you can remember it. 

Hewitt News

This April, the Hewitt community gathered to celebrate the opening night of our student-curated art exhibition, Diversity and Identity: The Pieces of Your Puzzle. From thoughtful self-portraits to an interactive world map to a school-wide collaborative mural, each work of art spoke to the exhibition’s theme, recognizing the beauty of the Hewitt community’s diverse perspectives and experiences. 

Mia V., Class of 2018

As most people were just waking up and beginning their morning routines, the 14 members of Hewitt’s varsity tennis team were arriving at the courts ready to practice. The hardworking and passionate team grew incredibly close over the course of the season, making it all the way to the quarterfinals of the AAIS tournament, with an impressive 7-3 record the rest of the season. 

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This spring, faculty advisors focused the ninth grade advisory program on empathy skill-building and trained in council, a method of story sharing developed by the Ojai Foundation. Council provides a space where students can voice their opinions and share their stories, knowing they will be heard by their peers without comment or judgment. 

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Believing strongly that an artist must have empathy in order to tell and honor another human being’s story, Ms. Britt asks her seventh grade drama students to step into the shoes of a classmate through a project in which girls learn, reflect on, and ultimately perform another’s story. 

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Earlier this year, first graders noticed the chairlift at the front entrance to McKelvey Hall. When it came time for students to begin their study of Central Park, Ms. Hashim seized the opportunity to change the traditional curriculum, harnessing her students’ interest by learning about Central Park through the eyes of the elderly or disabled. 

Alexa Collingwood and Samia Soodi, Third Grade Teachers

This March, visitors to Hewitt’s third grade classrooms found themselves rubbing elbows with a myriad of famous and vibrant women from every era of history. Guests expecting an ordinary wax museum full of motionless figures were in for a treat as the third graders, dressed as historical figures, came to life to share their stories.

Jeremy Sambuca, Director of Technology

Whether building a robot from scratch or working alongside a teammate to troubleshoot a pesky programming glitch, students in Hewitt’s middle school robotics program are design-thinkers and problem-solvers who learn from their successes and challenges. 

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Estefania Suquilanda, Hewitt’s lower school tech support specialist, has always had a passion for repairing gadgets. “My goal is to pass on the repair bug to Hewitt students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. Whether dealing with a cracked phone screen or an argument with a best friend, knowing how to repair things is an important skill to have.”

Jennifer Errico, Educational Technologist and Lindsey Brown and Maggie Turner, Kindergarten Teachers

Hewitt kindergarteners approach their role as Hewitt's newest community members with fresh eyes, deep curiosity, and lots of enthusiasm. Throughout their first year of school, kindergarteners focus on identity explorations, learning about their larger school community and their own role in that community. 

Tim Clare, Science Teacher and Middle School Coordinator of Sustainability

Hewitt’s commitment to sustainability spans divisions and disciplines. Between clubs, courses, and community service, faculty members are developing a variety of ways for students, teachers, and families to get involved with efforts to spread awareness and education about the environment. 

Elaine Schreger, Fourth Grade Teacher and Grade Level Coordinator 

Hewitt’s Sandwich Friday tradition goes back to 2005, when this service relationship originally began in our first, second, and third grade classrooms. Since then, it has expanded to fourth grade and kindergarten so that every member of the lower school shares in this empathy-building experience. 

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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.

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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. 

Stephanie Dore, Digital Arts and Photography Teacher and Coordinator of Experiential Initiatives 

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. 

Erik Nauman and Young Kim, Technology Integrators

On any given day, visitors to Hewitt’s O’Hara Family Innovation Lab might smell the burnt wood of the laser cutter, see traces of sawdust left over from a woodworking project, or hear the hum of a 3D printer bringing student designs to life. 

Carly S., Student Head of Athletics

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. 

Hewitt News

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. 

Hewitt News

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. 

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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. 

Alicia Ferrill, First Grade Teacher

On the first day of school, the entire first grade participated in a team building activity designed to encourage planning, collaboration, problem-solving, and creative expression.

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

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The Hewitt School embraces the notion of teachers as learners and offers faculty several opportunities for professional development throughout the year.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

Hewitt News

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?