westover school essentials
Westover School It just feels right. We hear that a lot at Westover, from the moment our students first walk through our big green door to the moment they graduate. Our size is one reason for this sentiment: everything we do — on campus, in the dorm, and in the classroom — is designed to encourage spending time with one another. Ann Pollina, Westover’s head of school, is actively involved in the lives of our students; in fact, student/adult interaction is paramount to what we do here. Because our community values the ideas and abilities of every student, our girls have endless opportunities to distinguish and challenge themselves.
“Westover’s small, all-girls environment forces students out of boxes and into a bigger picture of themselves. Our girls are artists and athletes, musicians and mathematicians, poets and physicists— sometimes all at the same time.” Ann Pollina, Head of School
“ You can’t put a number on Westover’s many offerings and opportunities. Because I was able to try out lots of different things, like dance, I was better able to refine my interests and figure out what really inspires and excites me.” Nyambeka, senior boarding student from Jersey City, New Jersey
To hear more student voices, visit www.westoverschool.org/askastudent
Students shine on stage in our contemporary performing arts center; express their Westover pride during Spirit Week; play tennis on one of our 11 courts; and explore clay forms in our ceramics studio.
Everyone at Westover has something to say and the opportunity to say it. All kinds of personality types can and do flourish here, and our size and collaborative approach to learning guarantee that everyone is heard. Here, girls develop self-confidence and independence. They advocate for themselves in one-on-one conferences with teachers (most of whom they call by their first names), and they benefit from the individualized attention and support of their advisors. Our students learn to
express themselves in many different ways and in many different settings. Westover girls also gain a better sense of themselves by experiencing, well, the world. From our diverse student body to our three-month international exchange programs, students can and do broaden their worldviews. Armed with a new perspective and new insights, they are better able to determine who they are and who they want to be.
“Conferences encourage students to be independent thinkers, assertive in their desire to ask questions and fully understand. They also give us the opportunity to learn who our students are and what is important to them (and vice versa).” Alice Hallaran, instructor in science and outdoor program director
events and happenings
recent field trips
·· Art exhibits
·· International Film Festival
·· Boston sightseeing
·· Athletic events at our brother schools: Avon Old Farms, Salisbury, South Kent, Trinity-Pawling
·· International Weekend
·· Guggenheim Museum
·· Movies in Red Hall
·· L ake Compounce Amusement Park
·· Candlelight Services ·· Career Day ·· College fairs ·· COLORES Festival ·· Corridor dinners ·· Dance performances ·· Dorcas Charity Fair ·· Dorm events ·· E arth Day Rainforest Concert
·· Music recitals ·· New Girl Camp ·· Parents’ Weekend ·· Photography shows ·· Plays ·· Poetry readings ·· Prom ·· Seder ·· Senior Carnival ·· Senior Tea
·· M etropolitan Museum of Art ·· M odel United Nations Conference at Yale ·· Museum of Modern Art ·· Mystic Seaport ·· New York City sightseeing ·· Operas at Lincoln Center ·· Peabody-Essex Museum
·· Shopping at nearby malls
·· W estport Country Playhouse
·· Forest Camp
·· Six Flags
·· Yale Art Galleries
·· Spirit Week
·· Grandparents’ Day
·· Sunday brunch
·· H alloween pumpkin carving
·· Visiting with teachers
·· Ice cream sundae parties
·· Weekend dances
international exchange opportunities Australia · England France · Jordan South Africa · Spain
“Once I got to know the people living with me it felt like family. At night, you can hang out in and watch TV. It’s nice to take a break from school and relax
We believe that if you’re going to do something meaningful in the world, you’ll do it with other people. Community is what makes Westover, Westover. Our size is intentional, allowing us to foster a close-knit student body. Even our main campus building was designed in 1909 with community in mind, creating one space in which we all work, play, and live.
Our integrated day and boarding experience speaks to this closeness: every day begins the same way for all students, with a meeting in Red Hall. Day students are adopted into boarding students’ rooms and have a place to stay should they want to spend the night on campus; day students also have their own lounges and lockers in the dorm. During the weekend, boarding students can shop for
Community: it’s intentional someone’s room, or stop by your dorm parent’s apartment and have fun with everyone.” Emily, freshman boarding student from Virginia Beach, Virginia
groceries or spend an afternoon off campus with day students. Of course, our community extends beyond our school. Westover is committed to community service through our clubs, like Dorcas, which organizes fundraising events to benefit charities, and other service programs, like Frugal Lunch (one day a month we eat soup and bread and donate the food we
would have eaten to a local soup kitchen). Westover is committed to the environment, spearheading green initiatives on campus and with other schools. All of our science courses include environmentrelated themes, and we’ve installed solar panels on many of our buildings. Students here learn that they have a responsibility not only to themselves, but also to one another, and the world at large.
Everyone chats after morning assembly
Beginning with our daily morning assemblies in Red Hall and ending with evening snacks in our dorm, Westover students, faculty, and staff constantly collaborate with one another. This is our schoolâ€™s greatest strength: our willingness to learn, understand, and work within a richly diverse community. Together we really do make things happen.
things happen because we
Laughing in the dining room
and can later be found catching up with friends Hanging out in the dorm
or in the Quad between classes
see each other
Supporting from the sidelines
Find out whatâ€™s happening at Westover ď‚† right now: www.westoverschool.org/news
Coming together once a week at Chapel
“I care passionately about literature, food, and music and hope to instill some of that passion in as many students as I possibly can.” Shamus Weber, instructor in English and head of the English department
Westover students are serious about learning. They are challenged both inside and outside of the classroom. Our rigorous academic program and campus activities allow our students to explore their passions—and discover new ones. Westover’s faculty members are passionate about their subjects and engage students in open dialogue. Students are active participants in their own education and not afraid to speak up or offer their valuable opinions or insights. Westover teachers are just that: teachers. They focus solely on academics and are given the time to provide each student with individualized attention in one-on-one conferences.
As for our classes, our varied curriculum continually evolves to meet the needs of today’s students. Our use of technology— Smart Boards, wireless Internet, computer labs—enhances our interactive learning environment. Unique programs push students out of their comfort zones and introduce them to new interests. For example, all students must submit three pieces a year to our art and literary magazine, The Lantern. Westover’s academic program challenges you to build the skills and courage necessary to find your purpose—and act on it.
challenge yourself sample courses and electives ·· American Foreign Policy ·· Astronomy ·· C omposite/Panoramic Digital Printmaking ·· AP Computer Science ·· Contemporary Poetry ·· Forensic Science ·· Mandarin Chinese III ·· Mechanical & Civil Engineering ·· AP Music Theory ·· Opera & Literature ·· Sculptural Ceramics ·· AP Statistics ·· Video Production
“At Westover, academics are very hands-on: In math class we’re up at the chalkboard every day to practice problems, look over one another’s work, and get teacher feedback. In English, we’re always involved in discussions; the teacher never just lectures. And in science, there’s a lab every week.” Ashley, senior day student from Sandy Hook, Connecticut
special programs at westover In addition to our standard curriculum, Westover offers three specialized programs for those students with more concentrated interests. Brass City Ballet
Manhattan School of Music
As participants in this program, a joint venture between Westover and the Brass City Ballet, select students have the opportunity to study dance at one of the region’s leading dance schools. Students audition in the fall of their entry year and take six dance classes a week in ballet, modern, and jazz.
This joint program between the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division and Westover offers talented musicians and vocalists the opportunity to study music and play in an orchestra or ensemble at one of the country’s leading music schools. Students must complete a separate application and audition.
WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) This advanced extracurricular program in conjunction with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) offers a variety of electives aimed at preparing students for a future career in science or engineering. WISE graduates also receive special consideration for RPI’s engineering program.
For more information, visit www.westoverschool.org/ specialprograms
“I had never played organized soccer or softball, but after going to practice day after day, I grew and my game in all three sports has improved so much that now I’m thinking of
Westover provides students with a well-balanced athletic program in which to participate and excel. Both novices and experienced athletes can achieve their personal best—by competing in interscholastic sports, such as lacrosse, soccer, and squash, or partaking in personal fitness classes, like yoga. Westover athletes are formidable opponents, squaring off against teams at Taft, Hopkins, Gunnery, KingswoodOxford, Kent, Miss Porter’s, and Westminster,
among others. Students hone their skills in our state-of-the-art athletic facilities: The Fuller Athletic Center houses volleyball and basketball courts, a climbing wall, squash pavilion, and fitness room. Every girl at Westover will play a team sport before she graduates. On the field our girls take risks; they build strength, both physically and mentally. They take this strength with them into the classroom and out into the world.
infinite choices very fond of my teammates and the many rules of both sports. I also play squash, playing soccer and squash at the college level.” Myriam, sophomore boarding student from Bronx, New York
·· Field Hockey
·· D ance Ensemble: ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and modern ·· T he Outdoor Program: camping, canoeing, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, spelunking, and trail works
other athletics ·· Dance ·· Fitness & Weight Training ·· Rock Climbing ·· Snowboarding & Skiing ·· Tennis ·· Yoga
Explore our full athletic program at www.westoverschool.org/athletics
“When I first got here, I tried to be someone I wasn’t in order to make friends, but that really didn’t work. At Westover, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be yourself. If you feel more confident in who you are, you won’t have to chase after friends. They’ll come to you.” Amanda, freshman boarding student from New York City
Westover activities create and encourage strong friendships: celebrating Westover’s Centennial during Founders Weekend; harmonizing as members of the Glee Club; or meeting Yale’s a cappella group, Baker’s Dozen, after a performance at Westover.
make friends for life There’s more to life, and to Westover, than just work. In fact, sometimes the activities our students take part in outside of the classroom are the most rewarding. Clubs and events give students the chance to focus on their interests and to share those interests with friends. It’s easy to bond with people when, together, you’re delivering food to a local soup kitchen, designing the school yearbook, or writing letters to government officials on behalf of Amnesty International.
We encourage initiative and leadership in all of our activities. Have a special interest? Start a new club. You’ll also have time to enjoy other social activities, like weekly co-ed events (we knew you were wondering about boys), weekend trips to New York, and game nights in the dorm. Though your choice of activities may change, the strong friendships you make here will stay with you through college, and beyond.
“During my first year at Westover, my new friends helped me cope with being away from home and missing my family. My experience at Westover has greatly improved my English and also given me a wonderful way to discover what life in the United States is like.” Ginelle, freshman boarding student from The Netherlands
activities Westover offers an activity for everyone. No matter your interest—social activism, global awareness, or fine-tuning your vocal chords—you’ll broaden your perspective, learn a thing or two, and just plain have fun. A sampling of Westover activities is below.
clubs ·· Amnesty International ·· Astronomy ·· T he Dorcas Society & Fund ·· Environmental Action ·· Food Committee ·· Global Voices ·· Italian Club ·· The Jane Austen Club ·· J ewish Student Association ·· Model United Nations ·· O vertones & Chantarelles
recent co-ed events ·· W ALSA (Westover’s African-American and Latina Student Association)
·· A ll-Schools Prom at Salisbury ·· Avon Old Farms dance ·· Corn maze ·· H ypnotist at TrinityPawling
·· C oagess (Westover’s yearbook committee)
·· K araoke at Avon Old Farms
·· Community Service ·· Handbell Ensembles
·· P rep School Day at Six Flags
·· Heads of School
·· Rock ’n’ Bowl
·· T he Lantern (Westover’s art & literary magazine)
·· S alisbury School Carnival
·· T he Wick (Westover’s school newspaper)
·· S outh Kent basketball game & dance
·· Photography Club
For full descriptions, visit www.westoverschool.org/ activities
·· South Kent movie night
distinctly westover ·· The Bells
·· Old Girl, New Girl
·· Blue Willow China
·· Red Hall Lamps
·· Chapel Line ·· Dorcas
·· S even Heads of School
·· Glee Club
··“Have a Good Day”
·· Victory Bell
·· W ests, Overs, & Senior Trees
Wests, Overs, & Seniors
Red Hall lamps
While there are many things that make Westover unique, our traditions truly set us apart. Since founder Mary Hillard first opened our front door in 1909, students have established and participated in distinctly Westover activities, from our Lantern Ceremony to our morning assemblies. Which tradition will be your favorite? isit www.westoverschool.org/traditions V to learn more
Old Girl, New Girl Westover’s art & literary magazine
Dorm corridor decorations
Ringing the Victory Bell Blue Willow China
·· Day lounges
·· Community Service Day
·· D orm parent apartments
·· Porticos ·· The Quad
·· G raduation March and Circle
·· Red Hall
·· Morning assemblies
·· Senior Garden
·· S even Sisters Lantern Ceremony
“Snowboarding is my winter sport, and I love that we can go out twice a week, stay for a couple Middlebury has so much to offer, and on Westover’s campus,
our campus to B (130 oston mile s)
Squash Courts Snack Bar
Walk through our big green door and take in the sights and sounds of our main hallway. Step out into the sunny courtyard, and keep on moving—you’ll see that there’s more to Westover than meets the eye: 134 acres more, to be exact. Our campus houses an impressive performing arts center, state-of-the-art athletics center, multiple academic buildings, a library, a greenhouse, 11 tennis courts, a field hockey
and lacrosse field, a soccer field, two softball fields, spectator seating, and many miles of hiking, cross-country skiing, and walking trails, including a 3.1-mile cross-country course. In your down time, there are plenty of quiet areas for you to enjoy. Unwind after a long day in the Senior Garden; discuss the day’s events
hours, and ride around the mountain. everything feels possible.” Callee, sophomore day student from Cheshire, Connecticut
to Pond country & CrossCourse
to Tennis Complex
Visual Arts my Astronower To
to Ne (90 mw York C ity iles)
in the Quad; or finish your English paper alongside the Seven Sisters Fireplace. The layout and design of our school ensures that no matter where you are on campus—conferencing with a teacher in Red Hall, perfecting a charcoal drawing in the art studio, or throwing the winning pitch on the softball field— you’ll always be connected to our unique community.
Out and about on campus, our girls can feel safe and secure. Says Esam Trabulsi, a parent from New York City, “In all the years that I have been associated with Westover, I have never worried about my daughters’ safety on campus. Westover has made a substantial contribution to their growth and development, both academically and in personal maturity.”
“I had not considered myself a leader my sophomore year, but a few wise words from a teacher coaxed me into running for head of school — and I was ecstatic to be elected. Westover has played an integral role for me as a leader, really allowing me to blossom.” Missán, junior boarding student from New York City
At Westover, we prepare our students to lead. So much so that they help run the school. Our seven elected heads of school, all seniors, work with faculty, administrators, and Ann Pollina to maintain our positive community morale and quality of life. Each head has a specific set of responsibilities within our community and coordinates a different area of Westover. Every morning they lead our all-school assembly in Red Hall.
Westover graduates use the leadership skills they develop here to guide them as they go on to some of the best colleges in the world—and when we say “best,” we mean the best schools for them. Westover believes in the right fit, and we assist our students throughout the admission process, helping them gain admittance to the college or university that’s individually suited to them.
Whether they oversee a group project or initiate a discussion or debate in the classroom, all of our students experience leadership; we require it. Our clubs and activities are student-led as well.
Our distinguished alumnae have achieved professional success in all fields, from starting their own companies to writing books to directing citywide planning initiatives.
Read more about our graduates at www.westoverschool.org/alumnae
prepare to lead college placement Curious about where Westover graduates enroll? Below is only a sampling of some of our recent college acceptances. For the full list of colleges, visit www.westoverschool.org/college ·· Barnard College
·· Emory University
·· Boston College ·· Brown University
·· Franklin & Marshall College
·· Bucknell University
·· Georgetown University
·· Carnegie Mellon University ·· Claremont McKenna College ·· Columbia University ·· Connecticut College
·· Mount Holyoke College
·· St. Lawrence University
·· New York University
·· Swarthmore College ·· Trinity University
·· Harvard University
·· Northwestern University
·· Haverford College
·· Oberlin College
·· University of Chicago
·· Howard University
·· Princeton University
·· Johns Hopkins University
·· Reed College
·· University of Pennsylvania
·· Rhode Island School of Design
·· Williams College
·· Cornell University
·· Massachusetts Institute of Technology
·· Dartmouth College
·· Middlebury College
·· Southern Methodist University
·· Tufts University
·· Vanderbilt University ·· Yale University
“Westover taught me that you can do anything you set your mind to if you’re motivated and assertive enough. You will fail at times when going after something you really want, but these failures are hidden opportunities. Westover graduates successful women who are not only good at what they do, but are also wellrounded and poised.” Alyssa Siefert ’05, WISE program graduate, Carnegie Mellon University ’09, Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering at Yale University
distinguished alumnae ·· T iffany Bradley ’99, above left, received Westover’s Distinguished Young Alumna Award in 2009 for her studies in Arab culture. She coordinates the National Arts Marketing Project for Americans for the Arts. ·· M ia Ferrara Pelosi ’95, above center, was Westover’s Distinguished Young Alumna in 2008. She founded Global Village Shelters LLC, which provides shelters for displaced families. ·· S onya Kim ’94, above right, is a Juilliard School alumna through Westover’s Manhattan School of Music program and the CEO and president of Theodore Presser Company, a music publisher and distributor.
There’s one easy way to determine whether or not Westover is the place for you: visit.
Many of our girls will tell you that it was their visit here that prompted them to apply. I knew right away, they tell us. It just felt right. Come visit. Attend a class, and eat lunch in our dining room. You’ll get to know our campus a bit before sitting down with a member of our admission team for your interview.
Explore our website at www.westoverschool.org, and fill out our online inquiry form, or give us a call. We’ll answer your questions or put you in touch with a current student for more information. Sample the Westover experience and find out if it just feels right for you. We have a feeling you’ll like it here. To arrange a visit, contact Westover’s Office of Admission at 203-577-4521 or e-mail admission @ westoverschool.org.
Westover is committed to the environment. We reduced the size of our viewbook and printed it with soy inks on 10 percent post-consumer recycled paper, using renewable energy. vermont new hampshire
Westover is located in the classic New England town of Middlebury, Connecticut. We are:
·· 9 0 miles from New York City
Westover School middlebury, ct
·· 1 30 miles from Boston, Massachusetts ·· 3 0 miles from Hartford and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
new york city
1237 Whittemore Road · P.O. Box 847 · Middlebury, CT 06762-0847 203-758-2423 · www.westoverschool.org
cogitare, agere, esse—to think, to do, to be
Design and copywriting: studio-e Photography: Margaret Lampert; additional photography by Robert Falcetti, Janis Gilley and Maripat Goodwin; aerial photography by Peter Finger