2018-19 Theme Year: "Owning Our Narrative"
Westover’s theme for the 2018-2019 school year will be titled, “Owning Our Narrative.” This year’s Themed-Year Committee, led by students, received 21 proposals from students and faculty members and was able to draw ideas from many of them culminating in next year’s inclusive theme. The students decided that in order to keep the themed-year engaging and relevant each term would have its own unique focus.
The fall term will be centered on the personal narrative and focus on “Self-awareness and Mental Health.” This will be done by way of self-reflection, sharing personal stories through media such as the written and spoken word and visual art, all through the lens of self-respect and self-worth.
The focus of the winter term, titled “Reboot and Reconnect,” is centered on sharing narratives. This will include exercises exploring the power of social media, how we can unplug, reflect on our online identities, and reaffirm our connections with those around us.
The focus of the spring term, Making a Change, will attempt to shift the narrative. This will include activities designed to support finding one’s voice and truly hearing others in a climate of change, creating or recreating the narrative and speaking up and out together about our passions, both philosophical and physical.
2017-18: Power of Women
With the commencement of the 2017-2018 school year, Westover has given the theme of Power of Women to its curriculum.
As an all-girls school we pride ourselves on developing motivated, inquisitive and intelligent girls into confident and connected young women in their time at the school. This year's theme will allow us to reflect on what Westover women of the past, present and future have accomplished, are capable of, and will do to change to world for the better.
Stay tuned for news of events, activities, workshops, and projects aimed at the Power of Women!
- End of Year Theme Year Discussion
- "Uniform Convergence"
- Diversity Day
- The Respect Institute
- write, share and shift
- Chapel Speaker Kelly Marages '99
- Artist Shaunda Holloway
- Ted Talk
April 5, students, faculty and staff attended a performance called, "Uniform Convergence" - a one-woman play, written and performed by mathematics graduate student Corrine Yap.
The performance juxtaposed two stories, both of women of non-European descent trying to find a place in a white male-dominated academic world. The first was of historical Russian mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya, who was the first woman in many different categories but only succeeded after years of struggle for recognition and respect as such. Her life's journey is told through music and movement, in both Russian and English. The second portrayed a fictional Asian-American woman, known only as "Professor", trying to cope with the prejudice she faced in the present. As she teaches an introductory real analysis class, she used mathematical concepts to draw parallels to the race and gender conflicts she encountered in society today.
"In a world plagued by discord and claims of fake news, hold fast to your truth. I hope you own that truth as a means of reaching your wildest dreams."
That was one of the fundamental messages shared with students, faculty, and staff by Nichole Alcántara Beiner Powell-Newman, the opening speaker for Westover's Diversity Day program on March 19. The day-long event featured a series of guest speakers as well as workshops led by faculty, students, and outside presenters that explored the topic of diversity through a variety of perspectives and experiences. The event, which kicked off Westover's spring term, invited participants to consider both the challenges and the opportunities that diversity offers. Read more here.
January 3, Courtney Macavinta, co-founder of The Respect Institute, led faculty and staff in a workshop and then spent two hours with students for an all-school rally. Students and faculty and staff were broken up into groups and participated in exercises, activities and discussions centered around respect.
The Respect Institute's mission is to "make respect the status quo." They "give youth and their influences the tools to redefine respect and build self-respect so they can break cycles of disrespect and thrive." Macavinta has given inspiring presentations nation-wide at schools and through a multitude of media. You can learn more here: http://therespectinstitute.org
Courtney also spoke with parents on January 2, you can watch it via the Westover Livestream account here: https://livestream.com/accounts/3949198/events/7998630
Click here for a more detailed article on the two-day event and the impact Courtney had on Westover.
On Decemeber 5th, students, faculty and staff broke out into groups and participated in a "Power of Women" theme year activity. The exercise had three parts: write, share, and shift the energy.
Individuals wrote down what makes them feel powerless and were given the chance to share with the group. Then on a lantern cutout, individuals wrote down what makes them feel empowered.
At the end, groups shifted the energy outside where we added our "powerless" slips of paper to the community fire pit and then clipped to a clothesline what makes us empowered.
The focus of the exercise was to reflect inward but also to turn outward and share our own experiences, considering how we can learn from others, and what we can do to help empower one another as well as women outside of Westover.
Thursday, Oct. 19, fall term gallery artist Shaunda Holloway-Sekai was on campus all day working with faculty, staff and students to complete a community mural. The mural is in connection with the theme year, “The Power of Women."
On Tuesday, October 10, students and faculty and staff broke out in groups and watched the Ted Talk by Roxane Gay, “Confessions of a bad feminist.” Groups then discussed questions regarding what is feminism? What is power? What is bravery? And other topics.
Westover's Theatre Program has won three Halos: the Fearless Award, the Best Lighting Award, and a special acting award – the Last Minute Hero Award.
43 members of the Class of 2018 received their diplomas in the School's Quad during a sunny, festive, but hot graduation morning on Saturday, June 2.
Madeleine Steele '18 and Emma Juvan '19 have shared first prize in the photography category in News-Decoder's fourth Reporting and Writing Contest.
Westover's Model UN team is back in action – thanks to the efforts of a group of students and faculty – and the team has won awards at a conference.