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Architectural Digest selects SG as most beautiful private high school in the state

Campus Life

St. George's School was recently chosen by Architectural Digest as the "Most Beautiful Private High School in Rhode Island."

Architectural Digest released a list of the most beautiful private high schools in all 50 states and had this to say about SG:

"In addition to the Gothic-style chapel and multiple historic buildings, St. George’s School is located on an idyllic bluff overlooking the ocean. The iconic chapel was designed by architect Ralph Adams Cram in 1927."

To view the full list, click here.

The Dragon Dash 5K Fun Run with Color will be held on April 22 at the Hilltop

Events

Students and faculty at SG are inviting the community to join them at the Dragon Dash 5K Fun Run with Color on April 22 to benefit the pediatric unit at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

Senior Associate Director of Admissions Julia Sabourin brought the idea to campus as a way to support her two daughters, Sarah and Emma, who both were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Sarah, a seventh grader at Saint Philomena School in Portsmouth, was diagnosed two years ago while in fifth grade and Emma, a fourth grader also at Saint Philomena School, was diagnosed four years ago in first grade. Julia’s oldest daughter, Katie Sabourin ’21, is also helping out with the event to support her sisters.

“I’ve never been more paralyzed as when my kids got diagnosed with this,” said Julia. “The two groups that got me through the initial diagnosis [were] St. George’s and Joslin.”

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that develops when the pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that controls blood-sugar levels, and requires constant management with insulin — either with injections or an insulin pump.

The Dragon Dash will be held at SG on Sunday, April 22, at 10 a.m. and is open to all ages. Participants will be showered with colored powder along the route and may either run or walk the 5K course.

Sophie Coolidge ‘18 and Director of Student Activities Mary O’Connor previously held a 5K Fun Run with Color last year to raise money for the St. George’s Fund and are helping out with this year’s Dragon Dash as well.

“It was the heart and soul of Sophie and Mary who brought the whole suggestion of doing the Color Run Dash,” Julia said. “This would never have come to fruition if they had not done this last year and had the energy going.”

Coolidge first saw color runs on Instagram and thought they looked fun, so she pitched the idea to the Community Outreach Club as a new way to raise money for causes on campus, she said.

“It's a great and unique opportunity to raise money for such an incredible cause and it really seems like a win-win to me,” said Coolidge. “We get to have fun while supporting others in the process and I think this really encourages people to sign up and get psyched for it.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for our students to carry out our school mission ‘that their lives will be ones of constructive service,’” O’Connor said. “By signing up for the Color Fun Run to run, walk, or volunteer, the St. George's community has the chance to help pediatric diabetes research, be truly grateful for their good health, and to have fun.”

Julia said it’s important to raise awareness and educate the community about autoimmune diseases and allergies, so people are more prepared to act in the event of an emergency.

“They are going to have down days and I need to know that there are people around them who will know how to pick them up, how to support them medically as well as emotionally,” Julia said of her daughters. “Things are changing daily. Every time we go up to Joslin, there’s something new that they’re educating us on and I want to make sure that I’m educating the people that are around my children and any other children who come through with an allergy or an autoimmune disease.”

Julia and Katie will both be participating in the run and Sarah and Emma will help at water stations.

“I’m just excited to have all of our family and friends come to support us,” Sarah said.

“It’s for a good cause,” said Katie, with Emma agreeing. “We’re raising money for Joslin to help.”

The goal of the Dragon Dash event is to raise as much money and awareness for the Joslin Diabetes Center as possible.

“As the parent of two kids with an autoimmune disease, you feel helpless because it’s out of your control. There’s nothing you can do to make it all better,” said Julia. “The only way that I feel like I have some control over what’s going on in their lives right now is by trying to raise funds to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.”

Julia described Joslin as a “second home” for her daughters.

“I can’t say enough about Joslin because when you have one child who has Type 1 diabetes, it’s overwhelming, and then you have another child who gets diagnosed with it,” said Julia. “Going up there, they became my lifeline. I don’t know what I honestly would have done without Joslin.”

“They’ve been such a big help for our family,” Katie said. “They’ve really helped us along with the whole process.”

“They always fill your mind with happy thoughts that one day there will be a cure,” added Emma.

Julia said she wants to give Sarah and Emma a mantra of “I can do this” when it comes to their disease.

“I want them to live as normal a life as possible, but also recognize that they are a little different, they are a little special,” Julia said. “But they’re my warrior queens.”

For more information or to register for the Dragon Dash 5K Fun Run with Color, click here.

Join us at the Hilltop for a weekend of diversity on April 20-21

Events

The St. George’s community will come together for A Weekend for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on April 20 and April 21.

The weekend event, formerly The Alumni of Color Conference, will continue SG’s efforts of honoring diversity with a goal of valuing differences and promoting genuine respect for each individual.

“The purpose of A Weekend for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is to welcome alumni back to campus to learn, grow, and share along with the SG community the goal of valuing differences and promoting respect for each individual,” Director of Diversity Dr. Kim W. Bullock said. “Through lectures, discussions, panels, and shared stories, alumni will engage with students, faculty, and each other as they share their experiences – both accomplishments and challenges – as it relates to inclusion and equity at SG.”

Albert Lucas ’85 is already signed up for the event.

“The world is getting to be a very, very small place and it’s going to be important for people connected to St. George’s to continue being in leadership positions around the world,” Lucas said. “The best way to do that is to have some knowledge, awareness, and empathy for what people are going through, what their life circumstances are, where they’ve come from and events like this are ways to amplify that opportunity.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Head of School Alixe Callen to hear about her equity and inclusion goals for SG. The weekend’s keynote speaker is 50CAN executive vice president Derrell Bradford, who will share his passion for advocating for equitable educational opportunities.

Lucas is looking to gain valuable knowledge that he can use in his own community at his current position as chief of staff for the Board of Alders in New Haven, Connecticut.

“I feel a responsibility to be a part of the continued evolution of the focus at St. George’s on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and I also think I can learn some things myself,” said Lucas. “I want to take advantage of the opportunity to be in a nurturing environment to have those kinds of personal conversations and to learn from other people about all those issues in ways that I can bring back to my community.”

Bullock said the previous Alumni of Color Conferences have left multiple impacts that will carry over to this year’s event.

“The event this year will build on the momentum and lessons of the past events,” Bullock said. “The conferences provided an acknowledgement and affirmation of the value and existence of SG’s history of racial diversity and its sometime difficult events, served to give the alumni and students of color a sense of clarity, validity, ownership, and pride in the history of the school. The conferences over the years have touched, enriched, and broadened every student’s experience in some capacity." 

Bullock said events like this are important because spaces that promote inclusion invite and respect varying perspectives to participate, which is important to establishing a welcoming community.

“After five conferences, we believed the time was right to revisit the objectives of the conference in an effort to broaden the success and apply the lessons of the previous events,” Bullock said. “The importance of an intentional and deliberate effort by the school to give voice to every alumnus whose perspective, experiences, and stories have been historically at the margins, became apparent and a natural next step. The experience, as in the past, is enhanced by the opportunity to engage together in programming and speakers that expand our knowledge, understanding, and growth.”

Lucas said he encourages SG students to attend the weekend event as it will provide them with tools they’ll use for the rest of their lives.

“This is a type of event that they will remember for the rest of their lives. This is going to be instructive and allow them in their next steps in life to actually have another tool in their toolkit to be able to navigate the challenges that are going to be presented to them. I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for the world and I believe it’s going to be an opportunity to give them some additional information that will help them change the world the way that they want to.”

 

Register for A Weekend for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion here. View the full schedule of events for April 20-21 weekend event here.

For more information, please email: diversity@stgeorges.edu

The alumnus will take responsibility for the various aspects of student life on campus

Faculty

Head of School Alixe Callen announced today (March 2, 2018) that alumnus Mervan Osborne, a member of the St. George’s Class of 1986, has been appointed Associate Head of School for Student Life. He will begin his tenure on July 1.

Mr. Osborne is a founding faculty member and Head of School at Boston’s Beacon Academy. The school offers motivated students in and around Boston a challenging yearlong academic program in between eighth and ninth grades in preparation for application to New England independent high schools. For 11 years prior to Beacon, Mr. Osborne taught English and drama courses; led diversity initiatives; and coached football, basketball, and baseball at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has also served as a resident tutor for A Better Chance in Massachusetts and was a member of Teach for America’s Founding Corps in Compton, California. From 2011-2015, he was a member of the Cambridge School Committee.

In addition, Mr. Osborne has a passion for filmmaking and for many years taught film and video production classes to middle school students in the summer. He holds a master of fine arts degree in film production from Boston University, completed graduate coursework in education at Lesley University and holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Trinity College. 

Ms. Callen said Mr. Osborne quickly rose to the top of a strong pool of more than 70 applicants. “Our search committee, comprised of administrators, faculty, staff, and students, immediately recognized Mervan’s myriad strengths,” she wrote in a letter to the community. “From the start, he impressed us with his deep experience as a school leader, his commitment to his students, and his love for St. George's.

Ms. Callen also noted that Mr. Osborne’s references “spoke extensively about his ability to foster a positive school culture and to connect with and mentor students;” his positive interactions with faculty, parents and trustees; and his “warm, authentic, deep-thinking nature.”

Sixth-former Tilly Peck ’18, who served along with two other students on the search committee, said, “Mr. Osborne has a real and unparalleled way of connecting with people, especially students. He’s really on the students’ team.”

“I think Mr. Osborne’s ability to form relationships and empathize with the people of St. George’s will be a huge asset, and he’ll do great things on the Hilltop,” she added.

Mr. Osborne said he’s excited to take on his new role. “I’m thrilled to be returning to the Hilltop — a place that was absolutely transformative for me,” he said.  

Mr. Osborne, his wife, Lucy Darragh, and their sons Moses, 5, and Atticus, 2, will move to campus this summer. 

“Lucy and I are excited to introduce our children to the remarkable St. George’s community,” Mr. Osborne added, “and are eager to call it home for years to come.”

 

Athletes and coaches are elated at news of two turf fields coming to campus

Athletics

 

Much to the delight of coaches and players, the St. George’s Board of Trustees voted on Feb. 24 to approve the construction of two artificial turf athletic fields north of Auchincloss Dormitory and Memorial Schoolhouse.

The fields will provide a dramatically improved playing surface for our field hockey, football and lacrosse teams and remedy current drainage and scheduling issues.

A swift construction schedule beginning in March means the fields will be ready for play this fall when students arrive on campus following summer vacation. In addition to the turf fields, the existing baseball field at Elliott Field will be reconstructed in the northwest corner of campus and will be ready for play in spring 2019.

“This has all been about admission and about attracting the best possible students to St. George’s, and that means all kinds of students — scientists and writers and artists and athletes,” said trustee Lisa Colgate Scully ’81, who is also chair of the Turf Fundraising Committee. “If students aren’t giving us a chance because of our lack of turf fields, then we’re not in the game.”

The new turf fields fulfill recommendations laid out in the 2012 Athletic Fields Master Plan, which also suggested tennis court renovations, additional parking, and a third turf field in the area north of the stone wall.

To date and in just six months, the Turf Fundraising Committee has raised over $3 million for the project.

“The Board was committed to this project and we had parents and alumni who believed in it,” Scully said. “We had the passion, the perseverance, and the people to make the fundraising effort a success.”

Head of School Alixe Callen added, "As a new head of school, I am amazed by the generosity of this community."

Evening the playing turf

The new turf fields will help SG better compete with other prep schools that have turf facilities while simultaneously preparing our athletes who might want to compete at the collegiate level.

“For some athletes who are accepted, our lack of turf fields has been an issue,” Scully said. “If you want to play field hockey in college, you have to play on a turf field in high school.”

And indeed, our current athletes say they’re thrilled.

“I believe that getting turf fields is a major advancement for the St. George’s athletic program,” said field hockey player Bailey Randall ’21. “As a field hockey player, having the opportunity to play on an artificial surface for my next few years at St. George’s will make me a better player. And it will give me another lead if I wish to pursue the sport in college, because most D1 and D3 field hockey programs have artificial surfaces.”

Teammate Effie Blue ’19 said she thinks the fields “will excite current athletes at SG and be incentive for athletes who are visiting SG.”

“Playing on an artificial surface will be a game changer for me as a field hockey player,” she added. “An artificial playing field will help advance the field hockey team’s skill level, it will make us more prepared when competing against other schools because most schools in our league have turf fields, and finally, it is all around just more fun to play on turf.”

The new turf fields will not only help preserve the other fields on campus, but also allow SG teams to play games and practice year-round, despite inclement weather. About 16 games had to be postponed or rescheduled in spring 2017 alone because of poor field conditions, according to SG Athletic Director Rachel Horn.

“We lose a lot of games here because of the rain, particularly in the spring, and playing on turf allows us to play despite the weather, which really does make a difference,” said Horn. “I think that not only helps the athletic program, but also the academic program because we’re not having to make up games on non-game days and holding to the schedule really creates fewer conflicts all around for students.”

Dean of Afternoon Activities John Mackay has been head coach of the football team for 21 years, but his players have never been able to practice on the same field they play on.

“It’s going to be great for football because we can practice and play on the same surface without tearing it up,” Mackay said. “In the past, we’ve had a little tiny practice field. We try to stay off of our game field for that reason.”

Football and lacrosse player Zachary Stern ’19 said the year-round turf facilities will mean a whole new style and level of play.

“Lacrosse and football are totally different sports on turf,” he said. “The adjustment from a grass field to turf is enormous and provides a consistent playing surface for all practices and games.

“With the new turf fields, field hockey, football, and lacrosse will all benefit from a faster pace of play and they’ll provide our athletes with proper preparation for games at other schools and for college athletics as well."

Katie George ‘19 said the new fields would help advance her game and make for more fair competition.

“To me as a field hockey player, getting turf means a lot. Practicing on grass is not ideal and it’s harder to improve my skills,” she said. “Most teams in the Independent School League have turf and have been improving at a much faster rate simply because they had the right kind of surface.

“It was frustrating and unfair to have to play on a grass surface, while everyone else had turf. I’m very excited to have turf and can’t wait for the season to start again.”

Documenting the highlights of our 12th Head of School's first year at St. George's

Campus Life

In this space we will keep a running log of important and interesting moments in the tenure our 12th Head of School, Alixe Callen, as she navigates her first year at St. George’s. To read more of our coverage on Ms. Callen's arrival, view this article from our magazine and this Q&A on the Head of School's page on our website.

***  

 

April 6, 2018
Head of School Alixe Callen gave a chapel talk to prospective students and their families during Revisit Weekend. Watch the video here.

Feb. 15, 2018
Ms. Callen sent a letter to the community to give an update on school culture and community engagement initiatives.

Feb. 6, 2018
Ms. Callen delivered a chapel speech marking the start of Black History Month. The speech can be read here.

Dec. 6, 2017
Ms. Callen sent a letter to the community to give an update on her first year of headship and what she has learned so far.

Nov. 20, 2017
Meet Alixe Callen in this video sent to our community. 

Nov. 1, 2017
Head of School Alixe Callen delivers this chapel talk: "Kindness Matters."

Oct. 24, 2017
Board Chair Leslie Heaney introduces Head of School Alixe Callen at the alumni reception in New York. Ms. Callen addresses those gathered. View the video here.

Oct. 10, 2017
Ms. Callen reflects on her first month of the academic year — and the positive and supportive community she's found here on the Hilltop — in this letter to the community.

Oct. 6-7, 2017
During Family Weekend, Ms. Callen makes this address as part of our community dinner event in the Dorrance Field House. Watch the video of her address on our YouTube channel.

Sept. 14, 2017
The annual Honor Chapel takes place, during which community members pledge to adhere to the school's Honor Code. Alixe makes this address.

In the evening, Alixe greets local parents and alumni at a reception at Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth, R.I. Watch a video of her remarks here. View photos of the event here.

Sept. 7, 2017
The community celebrates the opening of the academic year under the leadership of Head of School Alixe Callen during our Convocation service in the chapel on Thursday, Sept. 7. In her address, Ms. Callen tells students she hopes they will allow themselves to be less than perfect — and to be emboldened by the understanding and encouraging community around them. "I want emotion," she said. "I want you to ask questions, tell us your worries, be open to risks, and trust that this incredible community will support you." Watch the video of Ms. Callen's entire address on our Vimeo channel.

Sept. 5, 2017
Ms. Callen welcomes our 123 new families to the Hilltop and makes this address in the chapel on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Aug. 23, 2017
On Aug. 23, 2017, the Newport Daily News publishes this profile of Alixe, in which she outlines her core values and approach to leadership at a new school.

Aug. 4, 2017
On Aug. 4, 2017, Alixe meets members of the greater St. George’s community on Martha’s Vineyard. Photos are on our Flickr.com page.

July 11, 2017
Ms. Callen’s first letter to the community is sent on July 11, 2017.

July 1, 2017
Ms. Callen arrives on campus and her tenure begins.

Dec. 9, 2016 
Ms. Alixe Callen is announced as the first female head of St. George’s on Dec. 9, 2016. Watch the video on our Vimeo channel.

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