Meet Our Students

Noor '21

Noor Al-Haddad '21
Boarder
Yemen

Why Westover?

“We were debating between two schools – Westover and another school. My older sister was in love with Westover. She kept saying, ‘Go for it, go for it!’ And I have found since that if you have any troubles you have so many people to talk to, people from all over the world. They show you how to get used to challenges in life.”

What activities or interests have you found particularly rewarding at Westover?

“I am looking forward to talking a lot of the art classes. Meaning and Making [the introductory art class] is one of my favorite classes so far. I can’t wait until I can take the knitting class and the photography classes.”

“I also the WISE [Women in Science and Engineering] classes are very important. I want to study architecture when I grow up.”

“I have my eyes on the Drama Program. I have never acted before, but I have a very challenging role in this fall’s musical, The Secret Garden. I play Robin, the bird in the garden. Being in the musical is an opportunity to get to meet people and enjoy yourself.”

Favorite Westover Memory?

“There was a trip to the movies and I ended up meeting another student and making a friend that night. We have spent so much time together that we have become really close friends. Every time I feel lonely or sad, I go to her. Before coming to Westover, I never imagined how great a school this would be and how it’s become an entire new world for me. It’s a great opportunity to be here.”

Favorite Class?

“Meaning and Making [the introductory art class]. Drawing and creating art is my favorite thing to do. I love looking at pictures in class and talking about them, and then trying to draw and learning how to shade in parts of the drawing.”

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

“The first thing I would tell them is that they should not worry because everything is going to be okay. They just need time to get used to life here. If you have a problem, talk about it with other people. Get out of your comfort zone and try everything you can. Let things be and everything will come together.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Together … because literally from the friendships we make with other girls to all of our classes, in the end we all do it together. We are part of the whole community of Westover.”

Tegan '18

Tegan McBride
Day Student
Waterbury, CT

Day Student Head, Third Head of Overs in Junior Year, Captain of the JV Volleyball Team Senior Year.

Why Westover?

“I think I was in the 4th grade and it was my first visit to Westover. I came because the Buddhist monks were here to create a sand mandala. A group of girls carrying their laundry caught my eye and I thought, ‘Wait … they live here! This is so cool! They actually live at their high school. And the people here were so welcoming when I first came in. Years later, when I came back to visit as a prospective student, I had the same exact feeling when I came to see the monks. Everyone was so welcoming.”


What other activities or interests have you found particularly rewarding at Westover?

“WISE has been a big part of my Westover experience. I am ‘big’ on computer science. I am taking a co-curricular class that is combining WISE with the arts and it’s really cool! And when I started my Game Development class, I didn’t think that I could do any of the assignments Kate Seyboth [the teacher] had given. At first I didn’t even know where to start, but then I ended up accomplishing all of them. It just so boosted my self-confidence. It showed me how much I really understood computer science and how much I could do with it. So computer science is definitely on the table as I look at colleges for next year.”

“The opportunities in the music program have also been rewarding. When I first came to Westover I didn’t sing. I had played small roles in musicals during middle school, but then I tried singing. Then one day Michael Brown (the director of the Gospel Choir) got me to sing a solo when another member of the Choir wasn’t there one day. ‘Tegan, just fill in … just do it!’ And since that day I have been singing a lot!"

What’s your favorite Westover memory?

“I have too many! But I really loved my first Candlelight Service and the sense of community that I felt that night. When the lights went dim and we had our lighted candles, all of our own individual religious beliefs were put aside and we were just one big community.”

What’s your favorite class?

“Physical and Structural Engineering, which is the first WISE class. We got to build boats out of cardboard and duct tape and try to paddle them across the Westover Pond. Were we going to sink? Were we going to make it? We made it all the way across and back. It was awesome! That was so much fun. It turned something academic into something fun. We learned how the structure of the boat worked, but at the same time building the boat and then paddling it across the pond put a fun spin on it.”

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

“That’s easy: Try everything! When I came here, I tried WISE, crew, volleyball, singing … just to see if I would like each of them. So just do it.”

One word to describe Westover?

“Empowerment – that’s what we do here. We push girls to feel confident in the world.”

Zoe '20

Zoe Al-Twaiti '20
Boarder
New Windsor, N.Y.

Sophomore Class Social Representative.

Why Westover?

“When I was applying to schools, Westover was always in my top three choices. but when I came to Revisit Day, my experiences that day really made me excited to come here. People were so friendly and the girls I remembered from that day are still my friends today.”

What activities or interests have you found particularly rewarding at Westover?

“WISE [Women in Science and Engineering] can be challenging, but it is so worth it in the end. I took Introduction to Computer Science and Robotics. Kate [Seyboth] is a good teacher and really funny. You always get encouraging words from Kate. I am taking Electrical Engineering now with Kate and Ian [Diedrich]. It’s intense, but fun.”

“I enjoy serving as a Social Rep for the Sophomore class. It gives me another reason to talk with people in my class. I have become even closer to them. I get to hear about what kinds of events they want and help to plant them. It’s a lot of fun. Last year I was involved in helping to plan trips on my own, so I thought, ‘Why not make a role out of it?’ I like working with Tracy Lytle [Assistant Dean of Students and Social Activities Director]. Right now, I am helping to plan the COLORES event with WALSA [Westover African Latina Student Association]. I like that WALSA is able to get together with similar clubs at other schools.”

“I am looking forward to taking part in Invest in Girls. JV lacrosse is my favorite sport. I am also on Thirds volleyball.”

Favorite Westover Memory:

“During Sports Camp at the beginning of my freshman year, I was sleeping over in the dorm the second night and I asked if I could sleep in the same room as Ellie Dunn and Ella Paolucci. I ended up talking to them throughout the night and getting to know them really well. They later became my closest friends at Westover.”

Favorite Class:

“Algebra II with Jenny Green. She’s a new teacher, but I really like her. She’s very helpful. Algebra has always been my favorite subject and I enjoy math.”

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

“There’s definitely going to be moments when you feel like giving up on a certain thing, but it’s the challenge and the outcome that makes it all worth it.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Innovative.”

Elizabeth '19

Elizabeth Cook '19
Boarder
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Third Heads of Wests.

Why Westover?

“Growing up, I always enjoyed hearing stories from my mom, who is a member of the Class of 1980, about her time spent as a student and faculty member at Westover, but it wasn’t until I visited the School for myself that I really fell in love. From the moment I stepped onto campus, everybody I met or passed by was incredibly welcoming and the sense of community was unrivaled by that of my hometown high school.”

When you take part in a Westover activity, how is it rewarding for you?

“I have really enjoyed being the Third Head of Wests, which has helped me to come out of my shell, reach out to new girls, and work with my fellow spirit heads to lead some traditions. I have especially appreciated having the chance to take part in the new students’ transition to life at Westover."

“I also enjoy being a part of Westover’s Dance Program. I have been doing ballet for 12 years now and I love that Westover has given me the opportunity to branch out and explore contemporary dance, a choreography class, zumba, and classical variations while still managing to take ballet four days a week.”

Favorite Westover Memory?

“My favorite memory has to be when the Westover Handbell Ensemble and the Glee Club toured Italy last Spring. I really bonded with a group of upperclassmen whom I wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise and the entire trip was a truly unforgettable experience.”

Favorite Class?

“Ceramics! If you’re ever looking for me, there’s good chance that I’m in the ceramics studio either working on an independent project, serving as a T.A. for a ceramics 1 class, or experimenting with new ideas. Working with clay is a very tranquil experience for me and I’ve grown to become quite passionate about it over the past two years.”

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

“My advice to an incoming student would be to cherish every moment. Whether it be laughing with a friend between classes, having a snowball fight in Quad with some faculty members, an impromptu walk through the woods with your roommate, or snuggling in for a movie in the dorm, there are countless interactions every day that are often taken for granted but are what truly make Westover so special.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

"A gem."

Isabella '18

Isabella Wang '18
Boarder
Shanghai, China

International Proctor 2016-17, 17-18


Why Westover?

“Before I came to Westover, when I was in math and biology classes, the boys sitting in the front row always dominated the discussions, so I didn’t feel engaged. I began looking at all-girls schools and when I visited Westover I sat in on a biology class. They were doing a lab on osmosis and I could really see that the girls were getting a hands-on experience here. That was the biggest draw for me.”

What other activities are you involved in at Westover?

“I have been a member of WISE [Women In Science and Engineering] since freshman year. I really struggled in middle school with some computer concepts, but here I really grew into it. In our AP Computer Science class, our teacher, Kate Seyboth, made sure you understood it perfectly. Everyone in the class was super motivated because they were genuinely interested in the subject and not just because they were taking it for credit or because it would look good on their transcript. The support you get from your classmates is great.”

“I have been on the cross country team since sophomore year. Before I joined the team, the longest distance I had ever run was a quarter mile. But being on the team has not only helped my perseverance but it has helped my ‘mental game’ – that’s how Kate [Seyboth, the team’s coach] phrases it. If you are looking toward getting to the finish line, it may seem like something unachievable; you can’t see the end point. But if you break it down – ‘Let me get to that tree’ and then the next tree – you break it down into possible goals. That’s what being on the Cross Country team has taught me.”

“Because I have been the International Proctor since last year, I have gotten a chance to know so many of the exchange students and our international students from across the world. I have never been to Jordan or Spain or South Africa, but because I have gotten to know our exchange students from those countries I have gotten to know a lot about their culture and the countries. And as International Proctor, I have learned how to be a really good active listener – not just knowing how to listen but to be able to ask questions and give advice as well. I see Westover as a microcosm of globalization. We have people from all over the world and we can learn about how different cultures have different ways of thinking, different values.”

What’s your favorite Westover memory?

“After having been in a low mood and feeling exhausted, I was simply craving a bag of pita chips, so I walked into the Student Center and saw one of my best friends, Jyne. At first, we just exchanged the routine ‘Hey! How are you?’ but then our little conversation quickly deepened into a heartfelt and sincere discussion. As we poured out our feelings and gushed about everything for the next 15 minutes, we shared laughs, complaints, tears (for two seconds) and even (controlled) screams. Those 15 minutes showed me that, at Westover, one can always express one’s emotions freely in front of your good friend without worrying about being judged. It showed me how supportive the Westover community is and how the campus is always full of love and understanding.”

What’s your favorite class?

“My English electives – I am really a ‘sciencey’ person, but I want balance. We get science news updates every day, but the core to our understanding is in the humanities. Science answers ‘the why’ but the humanities answers ‘the how.’”

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

“During my first year, it was really hard for me to transition to a whole new and different environment. I didn’t feel like myself and I felt detached, not only from my friends back in China but from the people here. Then I started going to my dorm parent’s apartment, mostly because of the food! Then we started watching cooking shows together and I started feeling more like myself. It may be hard to take that first step to push out that door, but once you take that step you are out there and you are going to be just fine.”

One Word To Describe Westover:

“Engaged.”