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TRUE GRIT Editor Haley



Kathy Boehmig

Lawrence Connolly

Greta Daniels

Sharon Hurt Davidson

Jennifer FitzPatrick

Brian Hultman ’86

Annie Magovern ’12

Winthrop Palmer

Mandi Semple

Susan Sour

Vaughn Wallace ‘08 James R. Wardrop ’57

Haley Wilson Design

Third Planet Global Creative

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Sewickley Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, financial aid program, athletic program,

Dear Readers of Sewickley Speaking,

In the September 14, 2011, issue of The New York Times Magazine, there was a fascinating article exploring a range of traits that independent schools like Sewickley Academy seek to instill in students and how those traits contribute to students’ success both in school and beyond. The educators featured in the article, working with researchers in the field, settled on this list: “zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity.” One trait, in particular, was called out for special mention by one of the researchers, who found that “people who accomplished great things often combined a passion for a single mission with an unswerving dedication to achieve that mission, whatever the obstacles and however long it might take. [The researcher] decided she needed to name this quality and chose the word ‘grit.’” In this issue of Sewickley Speaking, we see these traits in action and, in particular, how grit, or that steely determination to persevere especially in the face of significant adversity, has led to some remarkable outcomes. Whether charting new directions and following one’s passions abroad, focusing with conviction on a particular goal, or confronting life-altering personal challenges, the individuals featured in these pages demonstrate an unyielding commitment to using the enormous range of their talents to make a difference. Sewickley Academy has long been a school where the qualities enumerated above have been prized and nurtured. In a world where our public school colleagues are constrained in what they can do to support the full range of their students’ growth, it is a point of pride that we continue to focus great attention on those elements of character that are, ultimately, so important. For our current students and our alumni, the independence we have to nurture zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity makes a significant difference in both the short term (outcomes for our students are very impressive) and the long term (the achievements of our alumni continue to amaze). This issue of Sewickley Speaking highlights both. Enjoy!

or any other policy or program.

Sincerely, C Printed on 100% recycled paper that is processed chlorine-free.

Kolia O’Connor Head of School


Sewickley Speaking Winter 2012  

Sewickley Speaking is the alumni magazine for Sewickley Academy - a premier Pittsburgh private school enrolling students in pre-k through gr...