May 25, 2018
Welcome to this edition of The Westminster Weekly, where you will learn about what's been happening recently at Westminster School! We welcome story suggestions from parents, students, teachers, and alumni. Please email your news to Mrs. Nancy Schuler .
Mark Your Calendars
Upcoming Events

May 28
Memorial Day--School Closed
May 30-June 1
7th/8th Grade Exams
May 31
Greek Day--4th Grade
June 1
End of the 4th Quarter
Sock-Hop for 7th/8th Grades
VAIS Grants Westminster School Re-Accreditation
The Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) Visiting Team conducted the 10-year accreditation visit to Westminster on February 11-13, 2018. The five representatives of VAIS, as well as the Director of Accreditation, were welcomed to the campus for three days of observation and interviews with faculty, administration, parents, board members, and students. The School's self-study served a the foundation, which also included visiting classes and assessing the degree to which Westminster School meets the VAIS Standards for Membership while adhering to its mission.

We recently received the report from VAIS, which grants accreditation once again to Westminster School. Westminster received commendations and recommendations from the committee. What follows is an excerpt from the Executive Summary:

"Westminster School stands a bastion of the classical educational approach for elementary students in the Washington, D. C. area. The shadow of its founder, Jane Goll, stretches across five decades, and its present Head of School, Ellis Glover, emerged from that shadow twenty-six years ago to illuminate what a brilliant classical educational culture looks to be in 2018.
Outsiders considering the classical approach as an anachronism in the haze of a digitally-charged world will find that very haze dispelled. For Lazarus-like, this classical approach of Jane Goll and Ellis Glover rises and walks the earth of the independent school world in Annandale, VA. Over five decades students have moved through the school as scholars, poets, thespians, artists, and musicians. The very walls of the School expose and celebrate not just the possibilities in a child's imagination, but transmitting an essential message that Westminster School is child-centered, richly folding in tenets of the Western experience. It is first and foremost in the daily habits; it is clear and purposeful in its results.

This clarity of purpose is understood seamlessly by the faculty, administration, and parents. This "Golden Triangle" finds at its center, the student, the child, the human being. It is as holistic as it is humane. The eye-to-eye contact in every greeting and the quiet work of picking up a piece of paper when no one is looking speak to the authenticity of Westminster's mission. It is a formidable educational environment shaped and informed on proven practices over its five decades."
Poetry is Alive and Well at Westminster School
Hundreds of original poems were submitted by Westminster students to be considered for the Headmaster's Poetry Contest. Many excellent poems were written and some received the honor of "Poem of Special Merit."

The highest award winners in each grade are listed below:

3rd Grade:
Sophie--"Love is Like a Train I Will Never Ride"
4th Grade: Justice--"Punxsutawney Phil"
5th Grade: Jennifer--"Moonlight"
6th Grade: Sebastian--"The Storm"
7th Grade: Mealy--"In One Ear and Out the Other"
8th Grade: Conor--"Overwhelmed"

Mealy was named the Poet Laureate for the coming year.
International Day & Family Open House
What an incredible day we had last Thursday! The Westminster community came together to celebrate our amazing school and our beautifully diverse community. The day began with the administrative team serving croissants, breakfast burritos and Ethiopian coffee to our carpoolers.
During the afternoon assembly, we showed the students two videos. The first features Maya Angelou's poem, Human Family. Click on the video above to view this special version which really spoke to the children. "We are more alike my friends, than we are unalike."
The second video features our own students sharing about their heritage. One young lady exclaiming, "I like being different because being normal is boring." Please click on the video above to enjoy.

Following the showing of the two videos, a sampling of our 8th graders delivered a powerful message about their own backgrounds and why they value being part of a diverse community.
The evening brought more festivities, including the 8th graders production of a wonderful international artwork created during the event! They painted flags of the world in the shape of an American flag.
Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Muntain for working with the students on this project.
After a fabulous feast, we were treated to a show featuring many students, some parents and even one staff member. Fourth-grader, Arleigh opened the show with a beautiful rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." Then followed traditional dances from Poland, Bolivia, and Ethiopia, and "Je ne Regrette Rien" sung by Mme Peev. The closing number was "Colors of the Wind," performed by seventh-grader, Mealy, who sang it with enormous feeling and tenderness. Please check out the video below for some highlights of both the afternoon and evening events.
Camp Griffin is Almost Here!
Let Camp Griffin fill your summer with fun and exploration! Camp is being held for 10 weeks, June 11, 2018 - August 16, 2018.

We provide flexible scheduling for our campers by offering early and extended care options. Camp Griffin offers three different programs catered for campers from ages 3-14 and they will be cared for by our experienced and certified staff of teachers and Westminster alumni.

The camp includes a variety of specialty options including cooking, water exploration, adventure, history, golf, french, art, and more!! 

Click on the camp logo to register your child today! Remember Camp Griffin is open to the public, so please bring a friend!

Email Mrs. Mock with any questions!
Alumni News
A Westminster Grad Wastes No Team Pursuing Her Dreams
We recently caught up with Caroline Ackerman , graduate of the Class of 2010 . After graduating from Westminster, Caroline attended the Madeira School and then chose William & Mary as her college. Having just graduated Cum Laude a short two weeks ago, Caroline is already about to embark on her next adventure. She will be heading to Hawaii in a couple of weeks to accept a two-year position with Teach for America .

Caroline has always known that she wanted to be a teacher. She was one of those little girls who lined up her stuffed animals and taught them their ABCs. At Madeira, Caroline was given the opportunity to explore teaching through volunteering at a local daycare center. While she does plan to pursue a career in teaching at least initially, Caroline has another ultimate goal--affecting educational policy for Native American children.

Though she is Navaho, Caroline was born on the White River Apache reservation. Her mother, who was raised on the same reservation made sure that Caroline stayed in touch with her roots. Therefore, it's not surprising that Caroline wants to give back to the Native-American community. During her junior year in high school, Caroline interned at the Navaho Nation Washington office, which allowed her to learn more about the specific needs of the Navaho.

While at William and Mary, she volunteered through the "College Partnership for Kids" at a local public school and worked with first-grade-students, an experience that she loved. Over three years of volunteering at least once a week, she gained a lot of experience.

When asked about how her Westminster experience has impacted her life, Caroline responded, "well, first I met my very best friends there!" She also explained that she was a shy, quiet child and Westminster encouraged her to come out of her shell. "I got a lot of confidence from going to Westminster. I got so much attention there; and the Westminster teachers pushed me and knew what I was capable of. I wouldn't have gotten that at a bigger school. Also, just getting your work done on time, staying organized, time management, being responsible, all of that. Westminster gave us a planner and taught us how to use it, and to this day, I use planners religiously! I saw a lot of people learning skills in college that I learned in 6th grade. Also, I did a musical at Madeira and participated in dance; I probably would not have done either one of those things if I hadn't gone to Westminster."

Caroline explained that when she went to Madeira and even at William and Mary, she found that she was very well-prepared, especially in writing. "When I got to Madeira, a lot of the first freshman-year writing classes, I felt were a lot easier for me because I had already had that experience at Westminster. I felt like I was on a very different level than many of my peers because we had done so much writing at Westminster. Many of my peers had not had that background. I knew how to write papers and format them. That even happened at William and Mary, where many people had still not had to write on that level. I took the English/Language Arts Praxis exam and a lot of the questions were really specific about different authors, or analyzing poetry, or different literary genres, and there were some questions, that I remembered so clearly learning at Westminster. I could picture exactly where I was when I learned it. I knew which room I was sitting in. It brought back so many memories."

Caroline will be working with Native American students in Hawaii as Teach for America has a program which connects teachers with Native communities in several states. She's very excited that she will be in Hawaii, because as she says, "it's Hawaii." She also loves to surf, so she is looking forward to the waves! Most of all, Caroline is looking forward to making a difference in the lives of Native-American children and serving as role model for them. Wow! What a wonderful role model she will be. We wish her all the best in her pursuits and we are so very proud that she is a Westminster graduate.
Food for Thought
"It's time to land that helicopter. Hovering isn't helping your kids."
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