Dec. 6, 2017

Dear Members of the SG Community,


As promised, I am writing to keep you updated on my progress as I make my way through this first year of my headship. These letters are not intended to be full reports of the work we are doing on campus, but instead a glimpse into my mind at this moment in time. To that end, I want to share some recent revelations with you:


  1. Now that I have seen virtually every teacher on campus teach, I can tell you with absolute certainty that our faculty is first-rate, and that the projects, activities, and discussions happening in our classrooms reflect current best practices in teaching. What has perhaps impressed me most is the absolute commitment on the part of our faculty to ensure that our students have deep conceptual understanding of the topics we cover. Students know that simple memorization is not enough. They cannot simply spit back what they hear from their teachers. Our curriculum requires them to fully grasp the why and wherefore of each concept they cover.

  2. I have also been impressed with our students' understanding and use of technology. I have seen this happening across the curriculum. In math and science courses, students regularly engaging with data, learning to manipulate and model it using various software programs. In other courses students are making videos to explain concepts, using online discussion forums to prepare for in-class debates, and collaborating on projects using Google tools. While some schools have allowed technology to take over their classrooms, our students use it in ways that enhance their learning, but that also leave tons of space for interpersonal interactions.

  3. Another recent highlight for me was my attendance at the National Association of Independent Schools' annual conference on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I was lucky to attend this event with four SG students, five faculty colleagues, a member of our board of trustees, and a parent. The opportunity to spend three days hearing from experts in this area and engaging in dialogue with people from across the independent school world was wonderful. I remain committed to creating an environment here on campus that is inclusive, caring, and dynamic, where students from all sorts of backgrounds have opportunities to learn from one another and build lifelong friendships.

  4. I want to share some of the ongoing work we are doing to make sure that our students are healthy and safe. At our recent in-service day, we took the time to discuss our students as individuals, paying particular attention to the connections they have with adults. We want to make sure that every student has multiple adults here on campus they would feel comfortable approaching if they were experiencing a problem or issue. I walked out of our meeting feeling very confident that students here at St. George's are extremely well connected to our faculty.

Before signing off, I want to thank all of the alumni who have taken the time to speak with me about the school. Your insights and advice have been invaluable. I appreciate your willingness to ask questions and to share your thoughts. Thank you to everybody who has reached out. And to those I have not yet met (either in person or by phone or email), I hope that we will have the opportunity in the coming months.


As I continue my "year of anthropology," I remain impressed with the quality of this institution. I look forward to continuing to share my findings with you. In the meantime, best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.


Alixe Callen

Head of School


© St. George's School, 2017