They lead nations and teach children, heal the sick and write novels...they’re also our moms, grandmas and aunties. Schoolwide, students are exploring the contributions of women in American and Jewish history, reading books by female authors, “meeting” trail-blazing women each day in March, and learning from our own faculty and staff about the attributes of strong women.
In Upper School English Department Chair Andrew Butler
’s Grade 8 Honors class, students chose a mystery novel by Agatha Christie. A few students shared their reflections on one of Christie’s books, “And Then There Were None:” Sara Haime ‘25 The book is extremely captivating...it has me looking for clues in every paragraph and asking myself questions about what might come next. I can’t stop reading it! Sadie Lemmer ‘25I’m an avid reader and I’m generally very picky about the books I like. Agatha Christie is an amazing writer and it shows in this book; she draws the reader in by giving the reader a chance to be a detective along with the other characters in the book. Hailey Shechter ‘25When first introduced to this book, my class was informed that Agatha Christie is amongst the best-selling authors of all time; a close second to William Shakespeare. Reading such an incredible book of hers is empowering. Knowing that a female author sold an estimated 2 billion copies of her books is astonishing and influential. Her book evokes thought and provides an entertaining process calling the reader to be a detective. It is a classic piece of literature and demonstrates that anyone, no matter gender, race or culture, can accomplish amazing things.
Mr. Butler imagines Agatha sitting at her writer’s desk inventing characters and plotlines to entertain and frighten the world. He added, “Agatha Christie's books are like magic. Over 80 years later, they still capture the imagination and inspire readers of all ages, transporting us to another time and place in the way that only the best literature can. She was a risk-taker, not shying away from confronting stereotypes and exposing prejudice in her work.”
In our Lower School, I Lab Instructor Nancy Penchev
is highlighting women who have made an impact in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math). Each day in March, students “meet” a female influencer...women like Sally Ride, Ana Roque de Duprey, Dr. Sian Proctor, Radia Perlman and Dolly Parton - all through the lens of their STEAM contributions. Students are also challenged to create their own video or poster about a woman in STEAM and to upload it here
During Lion Time, Middle School learned from some of their own female teachers and staff, who shared their personal definitions of an eshet chayil
, a woman of valor. Head of School Vanessa Donaher
was among those who spoke: “I hope as a school, that we are encouraging and supporting all of our students - both boys and girls - to be the best versions of themselves.”