Baldwin and Beyond FR OM TH INK ING GIR LS ME N TO AC CO MP LIS HE D WO
The Baldwin School, an independent college preparatory school, develops talented girls into confident young women with vision, global understanding and the competency to make significant and enduring contributions to the world. The school nurtures our studentsâ€™ passions for intellectual rigor in academics, creativity in the arts and competition in athletics, forming women capable of leading their generation while living balanced lives.
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Sally M. Powell Head of School Dear Friends, I have one of the best jobs in the world. Each day, I am surrounded by students who are excited to learn, faculty who are passionate to teach and a community of parents who see the importance of an all-girls, independent school. Parents tell me stories of how their daughter shares that the peas on her dinner plate remind her of one of Seurat’s paintings; they love the dialogue that ensues when she relates a story in the news to something that occurred in the Shang Dynasty in 1040BC; and they are delighted when they see her light up on the stage or beam with pride as she high fives her teammates after scoring a goal. They watch her confidence grow as she learns to express herself, whether she is presenting at an all-school assembly or writing an essay for English class. She’s learning that it’s cool to be smart, it’s OK to ask questions and that it’s fun to learn. It’s particularly rewarding for me to see these same traits echoed in our alumnae.The Baldwin alumna is intellectually confident, comfortable with the woman she has become and accomplished in a variety of fields. She is connected to her friends, secure in her family and in touch with her community. But what sets her apart from others is her passion for her school and a deep appreciation of the way her teachers prepared her for the future. Throughout the year, Sallly hosts monthly teas for 5th and 8th graders, as well as lunches for seniors in her office.
Alumnae regale me with stories about an “off-the-wall” experiment their science teacher performed to illustrate a specific law of physics – a law they will remember forever.They share that their history teacher was not only an expert in his field, but also a kind and caring mentor, always willing to listen and advise.They are grateful that their French teacher set such high standards and demanded the best from them, not because they got an “A” in her class, but because they developed a love of French literature, culture and the spoken word. In the following pages, you will meet some extraordinary women. Since graduating, they have each followed their own path and live vibrant, accomplished and dynamic lives.What I find most gratifying when I meet an alumna and hear her stories is that I recognize a familiar spark in her eyes; it is the same one I see each day in the eyes of our students.The creation of this “spark” is an essential and formative piece of a girl’s development; it cultivates a love of learning, a zest for life and a sense of individuality that lasts a lifetime.That, I believe, is quite possibly the best gift a girl could ever receive. My warmest regards,
Sally M. Powell
Kinney Zalesne ’83 BA, Yale University ’87 JD, Harvard Law School ’91 CEO, Zalesne LLC
“Baldwin taught me to think, to communicate and to compete. It turns out, if you have those things, you can have a great time in your career in myriad ways. I’ve been a White House Fellow, Counsel to the U.S. Attorney General, president of a national nonprofit, a New York Times -bestselling author and now an entrepreneur /consultant - plus a mom of three great kids. Baldwin gave me the skills and the confidence not only to do these things, but also to have the courage to try them.”
Each class at Baldwin is designed so that every student’s voice is heard. In this trusting atmosphere, active communication and collaboration enhance a shared sense of excitement about learning for faculty and students alike.
Ellen Hanson ’75 BA, Cornell University ’79 Founder and Principal Designer, Ellen Hanson Designs (Residential and Commercial Interior Design)
“From writing to design work, the diverse and demanding program at Baldwin prepared and encouraged me to forge a career reflective of my passions and talents. My design projects range from Park Avenue penthouses, to a LEED gold certified boutique hotel, to reporting for the eco-conscious column, “Green Scene,” on the popular online designer resource 1StDibs.com and many things in between.”
Courtney M. Leonard ’98 AFA, Institute of American Indian Arts ’00 BA, Alfred University ’02 MFA, Rhode Island School of Design ’08 Independent Artist/Lecturer
Baldwin's Lower School arts curriculum encourages students to examine areas outside of the classroom. Their projects are based on self-exploration, often creating work that supports social studies and science themes, as well as looking at and responding to the arts of different cultures.
“As a student at Baldwin, I remember almost receiving a violation for being ‘out of uniform,’ only to be rescued by the discovery that it was merely clay that covered my clothing. There was so much that Baldwin offered – an outstanding art department was merely one of its many strengths. Baldwin allowed me to find my own path by pursuing something that I loved dearly and still cherish today…the arts. I am still often covered in clay…just with a better understanding of responsibility and individuality.”
Dr. Stacey Englander Turner ’88 BA, University of Pennsylvania ’92 MD, Washington University ’96 Dermatologist and Owner, Haverford Dermatology; current Baldwin parent
“Baldwin has given me strength and courage to believe that I can do anything. I credit my confidence in the outside world to having attended an all-girls institution, which is why I have also chosen Baldwin for my daughter. Baldwin taught me that you CAN do it all!”
Amanda Michelle Turner ’19 “I am proud to be a thinking girl! My teachers are warm and loving... and Baldwin feels like a home away from home.”
Girls sometimes learn that the effect they predicted on paper isn’t always what happens in the test tube, and that rethinking a reaction – learning about the world and coming up with a smart, new prediction – is the real solution.
Sara Greenberg ’05 BA, Yale ’09 MBA, Harvard Business School ’14 (deferred entrance) Lacrosse player; first female sports broadcaster at Yale; Corporate Strategy Analyst at Thomson Reuters; Filmmaker; Activist
“Baldwin taught me that it was cool to be smart and OK to do things that are unconventional and different. From an academic perspective, I felt extremely prepared for college and was surprised when other girls held back. After graduating college, I started working in the Strategy Group at Thomson Reuters in New York City. After a year and a half at the company, I was offered the opportunity to work in Hong Kong (and am there now!) helping grow the business in China and Japan. Outside of my day job, I spend time promoting Holocaust education initiatives. My involvement in this field started in 2005 when my family took a trip to Eastern Europe to visit the hometowns of my mother’s parents who had both survived the Holocaust. I was so moved by this experience that I decided to produce a film, “B-2247: A Granddaughter’s Understanding,” exploring the question of what it means to be a third-generation descendant of Holocaust survivors and highlighting the importance of sharing my grandparents’ stories with the world and future generations. Since 2009, the film has screened at the United Nations as part of the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies, several film festivals and is used by the Anti-Defamation League’s Bearing Witness program. Baldwin taught me to have a perspective beyond myself and showed me the importance of giving back to my community. Thanks to Baldwin, I approach the world with wide eyes and strive to make an impact that is meaningful to others.”
Laura Small ’04 BA, Bowdoin College ’08 Production Assistant, The Dr. Oz Show
“I am thankful every day for my Baldwin education and the work ethic which was instilled in me during my thirteen years there.”
Community service is an integral part of Baldwin's culture, not just an activity that pads a college application. Middle and Upper Schoolers can choose from 50+ studentrun clubs, many of which focus on efforts that give back directly to our local and regional communities.
Jordan Valutas ’03 BA, University of Colorado ’07 Olympic Client Services Manager, CoSport
“Baldwin instilled in me the curiosity to explore and learn while respecting the diversity of different cultures. With my job, I have been fortunate enough to travel to the host cities of the Olympic Games. Living abroad and working with clients from around the world, I am challenged to discover, adapt and appreciate unfamiliar surroundings. My writing skills have also benefitted greatly from my Baldwin experience; I learned the importance of clearly organizing my thoughts while also paying attention to detail in all of my work.”
Emma Hamm ’07 Duke University ’12 Student (red-shirt junior); lacrosse player: three-time, first team All-American; member, World Championship Under-19 National team; member, All-World team.
Baldwin’s athletics program seeks to support the mission of the School and to provide an enhanced environment in which each girl can develop. Each student-athlete is challenged to learn new skills, embrace the value of working together to achieve common goals and become empowered to stretch her boundaries and self-expectations.
“Baldwin has and always will remain close to my heart. I’ve been astounded at listening to other peoples’ perceptions or experiences regarding their high school years in comparison to mine. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of a school, which felt like a home, where I learned the foundation for what has lead me to much of my success in college. The relationships, intellectual stimulation and teamwork skills developed through athletics, were all interconnected and turned me into a courageous and compassionate student and athlete at the next level. I am proud to tell anyone and everyone where I went to school from kindergarten through my senior year because of the awesome opportunities it gave me and the person it helped make me today.”
Marjorie A. Hargrave ’82 BA, Boston University ‘86 MA, New York University ‘94 Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning for CTAP, LLC.
“At Baldwin, I felt like I made the upper half of the class possible (i.e. I was in the bottom half)! But then, as I made my way in the world, I realized that surrounding myself with smart people, albeit intimidating and scary at times, is a great way to learn. I have been privileged to work with well educated and highly intelligent individuals who have shared their views and life experiences with me. Reflecting on the challenges I have faced in my career, I credit Baldwin with teaching me to confront my fears head-on. Although this may not be the easiest way to approach them, once you conquer those fears, your self-esteem grows and the sense of accomplishment will be invaluable. Baldwin should have a slogan: ‘Women without Borders!’ I was fortunate to receive a Baldwin education as it instilled a confidence and a belief in myself that I could do anything I wanted to do in life. Fortunately, I have.”
Pamela Plummer Harrington ’93 BSBA, Georgetown ’97 EdM, Harvard ’02 Recruiter and Winery Owner
“Although it admittedly took me a few years to get here (via investment banking and leading a nonprofit), I did finally find my calling in executive search and now recruit private equity investors across the country. And with my husband, I also founded and run an award-winning winery. [Editor’s note: Pam’s winery, Gramercy Cellars, was honored by Food and Wine magazine as the Best New Winery for 2010] Without the diversity of what I learned at Baldwin – both in and outside of class – I don’t know that I could have successfully forged the path that I’ve taken. Not only did Baldwin’s passionate teachers instill valuable knowledge in me, but I learned from a group of diverse friends, classes and sports that there is virtually no limit to what I can accomplish if I am dedicated and focused. I cannot imagine having lived and learned that anywhere but through my 13 years at Baldwin.”
Hands-on explorations in the science labs and outdoors help our students apply principles and construct an understanding of both physical and life science concepts. Using our own Baldwin “backyard” and the resources of the community, local arboretums, state parks and nature centers, the girls come to understand the highly complex interrelationships of nature.
Amanda Birnbaum-Steinberg ’95 BA, Columbia University ’99 Founder and CEO, DailyWorth.com Founder and CEO, Soapbxx
“No one is going to fix financial inequity for women. We have to recognize our own self-worth, ask for higher salaries, invest more aggressively and build our own wealth. I unflinchingly credit Baldwin for the confident, ambitious woman that I am today.”
Rachel Gerstenhaber Stern ’83 BA, Yale University ’87 MA, University of London ’89 Fulbright Scholar ’89-’90 JD, University of Pennsylvania ’93 Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, FactSet Research Systems Inc.
“Baldwin has given me the confidence to be comfortable as the only woman in a room full of businessmen.”
Baldwin’s all-girls environment places a strong emphasis on independence and confidence, and in an atmosphere of trust, our girls learn to question, speak truthfully and take risks - both as individuals and together as a community.
Aliza Moldofsky Simeone ’93 BA, University of Pennsylvania ’97 VMD, University of Pennsylvania: School of Veterinary Medicine ’01 Veterinary Medical Field Officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health
“Baldwin gave me the confidence to believe that I could do whatever I set my mind to. So while I was surprised when others along the way told me that if I was going to be a veterinarian, I should train to work with cats and dogs because I am petite and female, I was not deterred from doing what I really wanted to do: work with livestock and farmers. After four years of veterinary school focusing on food animals and three years in private practice as a mobile farm vet, I am now very happy as a confident regulatory veterinarian helping to keep our food, animals and citizens safe from disease. I have never regretted taking the less expected path (there’s another Baldwin lesson)!”
Dr. Rochelle Rudolph Weiss ’85 BA, University of Pennsylvania ’89 MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine ’94 Dermatologist, Head of the Dermatology Department at Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Association; Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; current Baldwin parent.
“Baldwin taught me to think independently, challenge ideas and that if I am willing to work hard, there is no dream that I should not aspire to achieve.”
Haley Samantha Weiss ’14 “As crazy as it sounds coming from a teenage girl, I love being in an All-girls atmosphere. Rather than worrying about making an impression in class, I can express my ideas and speak freely without chance of embarrassment.”
Our Upper School science program is designed to give students a solid foundation in this discipline and to provide a link between scientific concepts and their application to real-world situations. We endeavor to cultivate in our students a sense of wonder, curiosity and awe about how much the field of science has given us, as well as the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.
Laura Bennett ’05 Yale University ’09 Fulbright Scholar ’09-’10 Assistant Literary Editor, The New Republic magazine
“I think Baldwin taught me the importance of really committing myself to the things I was passionate about. I was lucky to spend twelve years with a group of girls who had so many different talents and interests and were encouraged to pursue them actively, both inside and outside the classroom. And, I learned to appreciate good mentors whenever I found them, since a few Baldwin teachers are still some of the best mentors I've had.”
Martha Craven Nussbaum ’64 BA, New York University ’69 MA ’72, PhD ’75, Harvard University Acclaimed American Philosopher; Professor of Philosophy and Law, University of Chicago
“Baldwin is with me everyday, in so many ways. The habits of rigorous thought and intellectual independence that I learned there have helped me enormously throughout my career.The sheer love of ideas in the classroom coupled with the experience of acting on the stage, under Lois Goutman’s inspiring direction, has always accompanied me into the classroom and in public lectures.” The Middle School years are a time of growth and discovery, when girls begin to define their talents and interests, develop confidence as individuals and take on increased responsibility as members of the school community. (Pictured: the Baldwin and Haverford Middle Schools’ co-production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)
Emily Scott ’00 BA, Princeton ’04 Director, Digital Marketing, KAYAK.com
“I am grateful to have grown up in an academic environment that encouraged me to ask questions and voice my opinions. The skills I learned at Baldwin – from time management, to research, to public speaking – have been invaluable to me in my career. My experience has given me the confidence to present to senior management, lead a team and challenge myself to work in an industry where the rules have not all yet been defined.”
Franne McNeal ’78 BA, Princeton University ’82 MBA, Eastern University ’07 Coach, Significant Business Results
“Baldwin gave me confidence and competence. I learned, listened and laughed with my classmates and teachers. Leadership and business are about relationships, and Baldwin fosters positive ones that last a lifetime.”
Belonging to a small, friendly and diverse community of girls is an incredible experience, one that fosters a strong sense of connectedness and creates close relationships that will last a lifetime.
Sandie Stringfellow ’94 BA, Harvard ’98 MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science ’01 Director of High School Placement, KIPP Bayview Academy
“I was a member of the ‘13-year club’ having attended Baldwin from K-12. After spending the last several years working in low-income public schools, I realize what an excellent education Baldwin gives its students; I can clearly see the lifetime advantage that a quality K-12 education gives a young woman. Baldwin offers a small learning community with rigorous academics, building critical thinking and leadership skills that will equip young women to do whatever they want with their lives.”
Elena Stephenson ’10 Stanford University ’14 Student
“My teachers at Baldwin encouraged me to ask questions, including those for which they did not know the answers themselves. This fostered a love of learning in me that has been crucial in my education and life so far.”
Throughout the year, the entire Baldwin community convenes for all-school assemblies. These events provide an opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to gather to perform, share experiences and celebrate achievements.
Ariel Feldman ’09 George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs ’13 Student
“Baldwin has affected me in every aspect of my college career. Being a ‘Baldwin Girl’ taught me at a young age that nothing is impossible. It prepared me to always work hard and to try to achieve the best possible outcome that I can from any situation. Baldwin showed me the meaning of true friendships; it taught me how to nurture other people, and in return, nurture myself. Most importantly, Baldwin gave me the skills necessary for success in college and beyond. Had it not been for the confidence that I gained as a student at Baldwin, I may have not applied for the amazing internship experience that I had at Teen Vogue magazine last summer, and I would not have had the skills to thrive there and be asked to return this upcoming summer. I thank Baldwin for shaping me into the person I am today.”
Shubha Lakshmi Bhat ’05 BA, Harvard ’09 Stanford School of Medicine ’13 Second year medical student; health activist
“It was not until recently that I fully appreciated my Baldwin education. Looking back, I now realize that my passion for preventative health and social entrepreneurship really began there. I loved initiating new projects– from knitting for community service to skin cancer prevention– and I very clearly remember how supportive Baldwin students, teachers and administration were throughout the process. This type of encouragement so early on gave me the confidence and experience to found and lead two student groups in college and medical school that have meant a lot to me. My classmates and teachers at Baldwin truly challenged me to think critically and question the status quo, which has proved invaluable. I am grateful to have made such wonderful, talented friends at Baldwin and it’s always so exciting to catch up and see where life is taking them!”
The Main Hall of our historic Residence building is a popular gathering spot for both students and teachers.
Rachael Goldfarb ’95 BA, University of Pennsylvania ’99 JD, Pennsylvania State University: Dickinson School of Law ’03 Deputy to the Chief Technology Officer for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Implementation Team, U.S. Department of Treasury
“I could not reasonably say that the most important influence throughout my childhood was something or someone other than my parents, but I do consider their decision to send me to Baldwin to be one of the most formative and important of my life. Every success I have had in my professional life I know I owe in large part to Baldwin because I learned how to think clearly, write cogently and argue persuasively within its hallowed halls. I often say that I’m incredibly lucky to have had the varied career I have been afforded, but truthfully, luck has very little to do with it; the foundational education I received at Baldwin has positioned me to pursue and seize upon opportunities that cut across a variety of fields in both the public and private sectors. I remain committed to the school because I believe every little girl should be as ‘lucky’ as I was – and continue to be – and a critical element of that formula was undoubtedly a Baldwin education.”
Lt. Marisa Porges ’96 BA, Harvard ’00 MSc, London School of Economics ’02 PhD, King’s College London ’13 Former military officer and government advisor on counterterrorism; current PhD student
“Baldwin taught me to be fearless, and my teachers gave me the self-assurance to never say ‘it can’t be done.’ They made certain we were confident enough to believe in ourselves and inspired enough to keep pursuing our dreams long after we graduated. The lower school years are a time when children are open to exploring, learning and stretching their intellectual boundaries. In our all-girls environment, we see this natural learning process flourish even more as inhibitions are cast aside, the thirst for knowledge is quenched and the foundations for life-long learning are established.
I’ve flown jets off aircraft carriers, negotiated national security policy with foreign princes and world leaders and discussed politics with former insurgents over a cup of tea. I’ve traveled the world and met a wide variety of accomplished women, but my Baldwin classmates remain the most talented, intelligent and interesting women I know. Baldwin made us believe anything was within our reach, and also inspired us to continue working toward our goals long after we graduated. Not many can say they fulfilled their childhood dreams, but thanks to Baldwin, I’ve not only lived mine, but continue to invent new ones everyday.”
Cecilia Byrne ’02 BA, Northwestern University ’06 JD, University of Pennsylvania School of Law ’10 Clerk, United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, Southern District of New York
“My experiences at Baldwin helped me to become the confident, outspoken person I am today. The teachers I had pushed me to achieve on a daily basis and inspired me to think creatively and analytically. The friends I made at Baldwin are still the closest relationships I have today, and I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such a wonderful school.”
Danielle M. Weiss ’98 BA, University of Pennsylvania ’02 James Beasley School of Law, Temple University ’05 Attorney, Haines & Associates
“Baldwin has given me the skills, drive and confidence to succeed well beyond the school’s gates. I think of my Baldwin years with fondness and still count a number of my classmates among my dearest friends. My Baldwin education is a cherished gift.” A delight in ideas, a sense of curiosity and humor and a commitment to honoring the dignity of others are among Baldwin’s highest values. We strive to foster an awareness of self and recognition of other perspectives, as well as the knowledge and technical skills each girl will need to meet the challenges of our widening and fast-changing world.
Baldwin girls, whether nine or ninety-nine, continue to expand their horizons each and every day. They are creative thinkers and active problem solvers who learn by doing, not by sitting and watching. They listen intently, ask questions and speak their minds as they grow into strong women actively contributing to their larger communities. Early on, Baldwin girls make a lifelong commitment to learning and because of this, there is nothing a Baldwin girl cannot achieve.
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Published on Feb 23, 2011