The Hewitt School mourns with deep sadness the passing of Linda MacMurray Gibbs, who served as Hewitt’s sixth head of school from 2000 to 2010. Linda believed wholeheartedly in the power of education, and her visionary leadership of independent schools made a lasting impact on the many faculty, administrators, and staff she mentored and the countless students she taught.
Beyond the Classroom
Understanding that a rich and challenging program extends beyond the classroom, Hewitt offers abundant opportunities for students to develop their own sense of purpose and passion. Supported by their teachers and classmates, Hewitt girls act with confidence and empathy as they step outside of their comfort zones and embrace new opportunities to learn and grow.
Effective feedback creates space for students to practice and explore different solutions and strategies so that they can transfer what they have learned to new contexts. At Hewitt, we are implementing research-based strategies for delivering frequent, specific, and actionable feedback that teaches our students the habits of mind necessary to respond to feedback with readiness and purpose.
Our experiences at Hewitt have encouraged our passion for mathematics and helped us develop a sense of purpose around sharing that passion with our peers. Through the Math Olympiad club, we hope to give all upper school students a space outside of their classes to develop positive attitudes about mathematics while expanding their analytical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
In December 2020, the Hewitt community came together for a socially-distanced signing day celebration in honor of Anne M., Class of 2021. A Hewitt athlete who played basketball and soccer and rowed crew, Anne will continue her sports career next year as a Division I rowing recruit for UCLA. We spoke with Anne about her journey as an athlete, the importance of teamwork, and how her time as a Hewitt Hawk has prepared her for the future.
At Hewitt, we know that formative learning experiences take place when students are given spaces to address issues that are personally meaningful to them. Through student-led civic engagement, members of the Middle School Sustainability and Social Justice Committee are honing their abilities to think critically, speak confidently, and tackle real-world, transdisciplinary problems.
Instead of relying on dry textbooks to teach confusing concepts, my freshman physics class showed me how effectively student-led, hands-on labs based in real-world scenarios could help break down complex principles. My experiences in ninth grade physics have given me the courage to pursue a subject that I initially thought would be overwhelmingly challenging, which feels heartening and empowering.
I decided to get involved in Hewitt's peer mentorship program because I wanted to support ninth graders in their transition to upper school. As a peer mentor, I get to help build community while sharing guidance and perspective on the challenges and opportunities that high school brings.
Hewitt has been awarded a $250,000 Educational Leadership Grant from The Edward E. Ford Foundation. The Foundation supports schools that serve diverse populations, and that encourage bold, new ideas that will catalyze change beyond their individual institutions. Their endorsement confirms Hewitt’s position as a thought leader and model of best practice among independent schools in the country.
When students teach their peers they take ownership of their knowledge and sharing new skills ceases to be a top-down exercise that must be led by the adult in the room. In these moments, the student sharing her wisdom deepens her own understanding and gains confidence in herself, while the student being taught gets the chance to hear a peer explain a new skill or concept, demystifying it and making it instantly more accessible.
In seventh grade science, students immerse themselves in two valuable systems of inquiry with real-world applications: the scientific method and the engineering design process. Through hands-on and self-directed work — time spent solving, testing, building, and creating — students develop a strong grasp of how scientific inquiry and experimentation can inform and improve engineering.