From The Head of School

I’ve been thinking a lot this year about our school mission—to educate girls and young women to become bold, authentic, intellectually vibrant changemakers—and the many ways in which it is so seamlessly woven into the fabric of the school. New families come to Ellis excited about the ways in which their daughters will be stretched and supported during their time here, and alumnae return to share stories of the many different ways in which their Ellis experiences launched them on paths of remarkable adventure, accomplishment, and impact. As I close out my sixth year at Ellis, and look towards my final year here before my retirement in June 2024, I am ever more convinced of the unique value of an Ellis education.
My conviction grows stronger every year as I watch our seniors prepare to head to their next adventures. This year’s class of 38 remarkable students will be heading to 30 different institutions in 12 states, including a top vocal music conservatory, a leading film school, a combined undergrad-med school program, a historically Black university, flagship state universities, and a wide variety of elite private universities and small liberal arts colleges—and the class includes six students who have committed to college sports teams!

With COVID restrictions behind us, we enjoyed the return of beloved traditions and activities this year, including a robust fall Reunion, busy competition seasons in 11 sports, six theatrical productions and a plethora of music concerts, field trips everywhere from local farms to Stratford, Ontario, a boisterous Heritage Day, and a dynamic Culture Jam. We also introduced a number of very successful new/newer events, including our third parent-led spring fundraiser called Spring Her Forward (this year’s theme was a battle of the bands from the 70s, 80s, and 90s), an evening add-on to Heritage Day planned by our Ellis Parent Association (EPA) during which families shared traditions and dance from their home cultures, and what we hope will be our first annual evening event for parents celebrating Black History Month (co-sponsored by the EPA and Black Parent Affinity Group).

I am most proud of our students, and our school community, when we grow in our ability to connect with each other in authentic and respectful ways, and when we are able to think outside of ourselves and work to make the world a better place for others. I see this as our students dig into messy, real-world problems in the many interdisciplinary learning experiences throughout the curriculum, in the kinds of individual projects tackled by seniors for their capstone Senior Projects, in the ways our parent community comes together to do service to the school, and in the remarkable ways in which our alumnae are having an impact in their communities.  

None of this work would be possible without the village that is Ellis—amazing faculty and staff, diverse and compelling students, engaged families, and wonderfully supportive alumnae and friends. It is an exciting time to be at Ellis. If you haven’t been on campus in a while, I hope you’ll consider visiting us in the coming year. We’d love to share more about what’s happening here!
    • Head of School, Macon Finley