By the time you receive this, many of you will have heard me speak at our October 3 event about the four pillars of an Ellis experience that are at the heart of our new strategic plan. One of the four pillars speaks to our deep belief in the importance of girls developing a strong voice. This isn’t about being extroverted—although many Ellis girls are. It’s about students building confidence in themselves, growing a clear sense of what they value, and using their voices to speak up for themselves and others.
This is a journey for all our students and one they navigate with a wide variety of styles and speeds. But our commitment is to create age-appropriate experiences that challenge and nurture them along that path, providing many small and large successes, and safe moments to take risks as they test their developing voices. Whether it is our youngest students sharing something about their learning in Friday morning assemblies, Middle School students lobbying for changes in the dress code, or seniors articulating their insights in well-researched culminating thesis projects, Ellis girls learn to express their ideas and opinions with conviction, clarity, and gumption.
One of my favorite moments this fall was meeting parents of an alumna who were eager to recount their experience of hearing a confident, accomplished woman out in the world talking about her work, and turning to themselves, smiling broadly, and saying “that sounds like an Ellis girl”. They were so grateful that Ellis was a place that grew that confident voice in their own daughter, and were delighted to know that remains a core element of the magic of this remarkable school.