Westover School

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Westover School
Westover School Logo.png
Cogitare Agere Esse
To think, to do, to be
Address
1237 Whittemore Road
Middlebury, Connecticut, 06762
USA
Coordinates 41°31′36″N 73°07′24″W / 41.5267°N 73.1233°W / 41.5267; -73.1233Coordinates: 41°31′36″N 73°07′24″W / 41.5267°N 73.1233°W / 41.5267; -73.1233
Information
Type Private, Day & Boarding
College-prep
Religious affiliation(s) Nondenominational Christian
Established 1909 (1909)
Founder Mary Robbins Hillard
Head of school Ann S. Pollina
Chaplain Tom Hungerford
Grades 912
Gender Girls
Enrollment 200~
(70% boarding, 30% day)
Average class size 11
Student to teacher ratio 7:1
Campus size 133.5 acres (0.540 km2)
Campus type Rural
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Athletics conference New England Preparatory School Athletic Council
Sports 10 varsity teams
Nickname Wildcats
Accreditation New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Average SAT scores CR (450-630)
MA (430-630)
WR (450-620) (2009)
Average ACT scores (2009) 23-30
Affiliations Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
Director of Admissions Laura Volovski '83
Athletic Director Tiz Mulligan
Director of Residential Life Elise House
Veronica McMahon
Website

The Westover School, often referred to simply as "Westover," is an independent college-preparatory day and boarding school for girls. Located in Middlebury, Connecticut, USA, the school offers grades 9-12. Founded in 1909, the school buildings were designed by noted female architect Theodate Pope Riddle.

The school’s operating expenses are $10.6 million; parents, friends, and a base of 3,497 alumnae raised $1,507,771 for the 2011-12 Annual Fund. The school’s endowment is $42 million.

The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and approved by the state of Connecticut. Memberships include the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, and the College Board.

Academic program[edit]

A minimum of 18 credits is required for graduation, including 4 in English, 3 in mathematics, 3 in languages, 2? in history, 2? in science, and 2 in the arts. Computer literacy and community service are required. Twenty-one AP courses are offered. Some requirements may be modified for entering juniors.

There are numerous English trimester electives for eleventh- and twelfth-grade students—for example, Contemporary Poetry; Dante’s Vision; Fantastic and Possible Futures (Film and Fiction); Inner and Outer Nature; Genesis, Job, and the Gospels; Poetics and the Iliad; Romantic Poetry; James Joyce's Ulysses; Shakespeare: Comedy, Tragedy, and Romance; Tolstoy; and Truth, Beauty, Justice. Advanced Placement courses are offered in art, art history, biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, English, environmental science, European history, French, Spanish, statistics, Latin, Chinese, music, physics, U.S. history, and U.S. government.

The arts requirement may be fulfilled not only by numerous studio art, art history, and music courses but also by advanced trimester courses in dance and theater arts.

Four special programs enhance the curriculum at Westover. For talented musicians, there is a joint program with the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division. For qualified girls who hold a strong interest in science and engineering, Westover offers the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, which is a joint program with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For the preprofessional dancer, there is a joint program with Brass City Ballet of Middlebury. For those girls interested in the world of finance and business, there's a program called Investing in Girls.

Westover School provides an advanced English as a second language program for international students who are otherwise highly qualified but who require assistance in improving their English skills.

Faculty and advisors[edit]

There are 30 full-time and 18 part-time teaching faculty members. All have bachelor’s degrees, 21 have master’s degrees, and 1 holds a Ph.D. The majority of the teaching faculty members live in school-owned housing. Dorm parents live in apartments on the eight residential student corridors. All members of the faculty are encouraged to seek professional development, and funds are available to do so.

The current Head of School is Ann Pollina, who holds a B.A. (Fordham University) and an M.A. (New York University).

Athletics[edit]

The school's athletic program offers a variety of sports ranging in levels of competition from highly competitive varsity teams to noncompetitive individual endeavors such as rock climbing. The Fuller Athletic Center houses a full-length basketball court, four volleyball courts, a multi-level indoor-climbing wall, a fitness center, four international squash courts, and a multipurpose room for yoga, aerobics, and meetings.

Westover is a member of the New England Prep School League and the Western New England Prep School Athletic Association (WNEPSAA). Some of the schools from WNEPSAA that Westover plays are Gunnery, Kingswood-Oxford, Kent, Miss Hall's, Miss Porter's, Taft, and Westminster.

Westover also participates in the Connecticut Independent School Athletic Conference (CISAC) in basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and tennis. Some of the CISAC schools include Chase Collegiate, Ethel Walker’s, Hamden Hall, and Williams.

Extracurricular opportunities[edit]

There are numerous clubs and organizations that support interests in the environment, social services, arts, languages, and writing. Three school publications and the Glee Club involve large numbers of students. Many students and other members of the Westover community take part in all aspects of the production of a musical.

Classes often make trips to New York, Boston, New Haven, and other cultural centers to visit museums or to see theater productions, operas, or ballets.

Clubs include:

  • The Dorcas Society and Fund
  • W.A.L.S.A. (Westover's African-American and Latina Student Association
  • Westover Christian Fellowship
  • Handbells
  • Glee Club
  • French Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Asian Culture Club
  • Tea Club
  • Environmental Action Club

If a student wants to start a club that is not already established, she may do so by getting a faculty advisor to assist her in running the club.

Admission information[edit]

Acceptance to Westover is based on school performance, academic potential, motivation, and character. The SSAT is required; the TOEFL is required for students whose native language is not English.

Westover School admits girls of any race, color, or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs.

Traditions[edit]

  • West and Over Spirit Teams - Back when Westover didn't compete in interscholastic sports, their sports teams were the Wests and the Overs. Now they are spirit teams that atudents are assigned to as a freshman and stay in until senior year. Seniors make up their own teams. Wests are green, Overs are red, and Seniors are blue.
  • Lanterns - These are the official symbol of Westover and Westover's traditions.
  • Senior X - This senior group pulls pranks from time to time.
  • Senior Sleep Pass - This pass, a special senior privilege, allows them to sleep through assembly twice a month.
  • TT - This group of juniors pull pranks once in a while to keep school spirit up.
  • Coagess This is the school's year book, whose name comes from the school's motto, Cogitare, Agere, Esse.

Other traditions include the Dorcas Fair, a Junior class community service project, the Lantern Ceremony, and Germans.

Notable alumnae[edit]

  • Princess Zein bint Al Hussein (class of 1986), Jordanian princess, daughter of the late King Hussein and sister to King Abdullah II of Jordan.
  • Eleanor D. Acheson (class of 1965), former Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department in the Clinton Administration, Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Amtrak, former Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
  • Minnie Cushing Astor Fosburgh (class of 1925, deceased), Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney (class of 1928, deceased), and Babe Cushing Mortimer Paley (class of 1934, deceased). The Cushing Sisters were socialites whose marriages connected them to some of the most noted and wealthy families in mid-20th century America (the Astors, Roosevelts, Whitneys, Mortimers, and Paleys).
  • Winifred Rockefeller Emeny (class of 1923, deceased).
  • Sylvia Shaw Judson (Sylvia Shaw Haskins) (class of 1915, deceased), sculptor, creator of "Bird Girl" (used on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) and many other works.
  • Isabel Rockefeller Lincoln (class of 1920, deceased).
  • Edith Cummings Munson (class of 1917, deceased), professional golfer and first American woman on the cover of Time magazine (Aug. 25, 1924).
  • Ginevra King Pirie (class of 1917, deceased), Chicago socialite who was F. Scott Fitzgerald's inspiration for the character of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.
  • E. C. Spykman (Elizabeth Choate Spykman) (class of 1914), journalist and children's book author.
  • Alice Tully (class of 1920, deceased), philanthropist and patron of New York City's music institutions. Lincoln Center's chamber music hall is named after her.
  • ((Helen Homans Gilbert)) (class of 1931, deceased), President of the Board and Acting President of Radcliffe College, first woman overseer of Harvard University.

Mothers of Noted Actors

References[edit]

External links[edit]