Meet Our Students

Profiles

Shanshan '18

Shanshan '18
Boarder
Edison, New Jersey
Learn more about our Arts Program

A proctor on freshman cooridor; exchange student to Saint Cyprian’s School in Cape Town, South Africa, for three months during her sophomore year.


Why Westover?

“It’s fairly clichéd to say, but it’s the School’s sense of community. I know that everyone says that, but that’s because it really is true. I remember the first time I visited Westover when I was looking at schools, I passed by several faculty members and students on my tour and they were having these short conversations with one another. I was astonished that everyone knew everyone else and that they knew each other well enough to stop and catch up with one another. That really drew me in, that sense of closeness and intimacy.”

Favorite Westover Memory:

“One of my favorite experiences was going caving as part of my Geology class. The trip was on a weekend with our teacher, Alice Hallaran. Being in Connecticut, you see the landscape around you all the time, but you don’t think much about it, about what’s just below the surface. But then you have someone like Alice who does know and shows you what is there. We used ropes to lower ourselves into a cave, then Alice let us we crawl through spaces on our own. At one point, she had us all sit in a large space within the cave and to have this moment of silence in the darkness. Then Alice passed out wintergreen mints and had us bite them, and they set off sparks. It was so bizarre and so much fun.”

Favorite Class:

“I have two: an art history class, Figuring Women: Gender, Representation, and the Female Body in Art, and a science class, Geology.

“Figuring Women was a seminar that focused on class discussion and writing lots of essays. You found yourself wanting to do to the homework reading and research because you wanted to be able to participate in the discussion about it in the next class. The topics were really interesting and we had nuanced discussions about women’s bodies and how they are represented in art. We couldn’t have had the discussions we did at a coed school.

“As for Geology, I usually don’t like science at all; I like the Humanities because I feel more connected to storytelling and the sharing of ideas. But Alice Hallaran taught the class as if she were telling the story of the earth. She took us outside often and she made learning about geology so tangible. It was hands-on, interactive, and connected to me. That course really did make me start looking more closely at the familiar things in my everyday life.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshman?

“Don’t be afraid to ask: don't be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, for what you need. Keep those questions coming. Keep your curiosity alive.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Paradoxical."

Mikayla '20

Mikayla '20
Day Student
Danbury, Connecticut

Learn more about OUR ACADEMICS

A member of Glee Club, a student in the Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) program.

Why Westover?

“It really was the community. I came from a really small school, and even though this is a larger school, I really wanted to be part of this experience.”

What do you feel like you get from being in the Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) program?

“I am currently taking my first class in WISE, Robotics. It’s really fun – it’s fun to see how robots work and to get a chance to build one of my own. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of my WISE courses.”


Favorite Westover Memory:

“I would have to say Candlelight; it was so amazing to be a part of the service as a member of the Glee Club, then getting a chance to hang out with my friends at the reception afterwards in Red Hall.”

Favorite Class:

“I don’t have just one. I love them all.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshman?

“I would have to say … don’t really worry about coming into a new community because it’s pretty welcoming.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Inspiring.”

Lauren '17

Lauren '17
Boarder
Westbrook, Connecticut

Learn more about wise

Second Head of School, a member of the Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) program; a member of the Lantern Magazine editorial board; a member of the Admission Ambassadors, Spectrum, WALSA (the Westover African Latina Student Association), and Jew Crew; a four-year member of the Varsity Cross Country Team, a member of the Outdoor Program for three years.

Why Westover?

“During my admission process, I was accepted into a number of schools, so it gave me a lot of options. I and many of my friends got into another school, a bigger one. I went to both schools’ revisit days. My decision came down to the fact that I saw myself achieving better things here, because I thought I could find a voice true to myself here. In a bigger school, I might have gotten lost in the crowd. Later on, I saw my worries reflected in the experiences that my friends have had who went to the bigger school. I think I chose better; I have been able to stay true to myself because of Westover.”

What do you feel like you get from being in the WISE program?

“I think it’s a really great opportunity. I love how hands-on it is, and you find yourself learning about all these things outside the classroom. You aren’t just learning about Electrical Engineering from a textbook but are working with circuit boards; in the Projectiles class, we made a new kind of rocket every week. And we get a chance to learn not just from what we are doing right, but from our own mistakes, and from everyone else’s. In our Projectiles class, we built trebuchets (a form of catapult) that thought would go a mile, but they ended up going four feet! In Electrical Engineering class one day, we were trying to make a touch pad, but we were struggling so hard. But by the end of the class period everyone was working on it together. We really ended up learning from each other.”

“I’ve learned that engineering can be fun and not just a tedious design process. I used to think of engineers as these people who spent all their time huddled over tiny microscopic circuitry, but when our teachers have brought in professional engineers from NASA and Sikorsky Aircraft, we learn that they are working on sending a mission to Mars or designing a billion-dollar helicopter.”

What’s your favorite Westover memory?

“I have had the best dorm parent I have ever had in Maggie Nunez-Fernandez. Every Wednesday night, we would sit in Maggie’s apartment watching another episode of American Horror Story with other boarders on our corridor. Half of them would watch it and love it, the other half would be hiding their eyes. But we all would be laughing at the shared experience, and we would go through 10 bags of popcorn every Wednesday night. It really made me feel as if I truly had a family here at School.”

What’s your favorite class?

“Any history class with Laura Swarz-Burt. I love it, but it is not the center of my academic focus, but thanks to Laura we get through so much material and Laura presents it all so well. I really feel as if I am learning so much in her classes.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshman?

“Think about the person you want to be in four years and think about all the insecurities that person will have shed along the way. Make it your goal to work toward that purpose, because Westover is the perfect place to achieve it.”

One word to describe Westover?

“Growing … because the School is continuously getting better. As a community, it is always thinking about what to do next to achieve that.”

Riley '19

Riley '19
Day Student
Roxbury, Connecticut

Learn more about the technical theatre program

Second Head of Technical Theatre program and a member of the Outdoor program, Head of the Self Defense Club, a member of Spectrum.

Why Westover?

“I liked the environment here. It felt comfortable. People were friendly and welcoming.”

What has been your experience in Technical Theater?

“I ran the soundboard for Into the Woods and I was a set crew person for Rent and Hamlet. As Second Head of Tech: I work with Ian [Diedrich, Technical Director] helping to organize tasks for other students.”

Favorite Westover Memory:

“My favorite memories are of being back stage or up in the booth during any of the shows, making jokes about the script, repeating lines from songs, trying to imitate the dancers’ movements. It’s serious, but I don’t take myself too seriously.”

Favorite Class:

"A Photography class called “Dreamscape.” It was a good class. We created surrealistic images. I liked the project and working with other people. I had to come up with a theme for a series of images. My theme was “Identity.” I used frames and mirrors when photographing my subjects. It was the effort to try to identify identity"

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshman?

“Try new things even if you think you might not like them. Westover has a lot of great, unique opportunities, so try taking advantage of them.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Accepting.”

Lindsay '17

Lindsay '17
Boarder
Danbury, Connecticut

Learn more about the music program

Why Westover?

“I believe it is really important to have an all-girls education. Coming from my middle school, I wasn’t challenged at all. I enjoy school. At Westover, everyone is really smart and active in their own education. They want to be here.”

What has been your experience been in Manhattan School of Music?

“I have attended the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division for two years, studying voice. I have been a singer all my life, but before attending the Manhattan school, I hadn’t had an education in music theory. Being there I have gotten a solid foundation. I want to pursue music professionally, and being there has placed me in an atmosphere with other students who have the same caliber of singing. I plan to major in musical theater in college. I have been busy filming auditions and have had a number of live auditions at colleges.”

Favorite Class:

“I have two. BC Calculus with Sarkis Boyadjian. I have always loved math and he tells these wonderful, bad jokes. And “Tolstoy” with Mr. Hungerford. The way he teaches English it almost becomes a philosophy class. We discussed themes and we just talked and talked about ideas. One night we read Tolstoy by the light of the fireplace.”

What one piece of advice would you give to incoming freshman?

“Don’t take everything too seriously. I set very high standards for myself, so when I get a grade that I am disappointed with, I really beat myself up about it too much. So, my advice is work hard, but do what is best for you.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

"Community."

Westover Events

News

Westover's New WISE Center opens

Monday, February 27, was not only the beginning of Westover's spring term, it also marked the opening of the School's new Center for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). Construction on the renovated space began last fall.

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WestoverConnect

“It is our hope that by the time a student graduates she has cultivated a strong, supportive network — a network that can expand even further after graduation.”

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