In Upper School we encourage girls to develop their gifts and talents and to broaden their views about the world. Each member of the upper school teaching and learning community is motivated to encourage and support each girl as she develops into a self-reliant, intellectually curious, and ethically minded young woman. Girls embark on a transformational journey defined by a healthy balance of academics, leadership, and co-curricular activities. A challenging core curriculum is enhanced by an array of opportunities for every girl to excel in a way best suited to her talents and interests.
Every girl is given the opportunity to discover her passion wherever it takes her. Each student is treated as an individual. We are equally vested in our girls’ intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being.
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Prepared to Succeed
Upper school girls choose from a diverse course catalog including 50 Honors and Advanced Honors, and 21 Advanced Placement Courses to create an educational journey unique to their skills, talents, and interests. College counseling begins freshman year. Hutchison girls rank among National Merit and Advanced Placement scholars each year. Graduates secure merit scholarships and have their choice of the nation’s top colleges and universities.
Creating Relevant Learning Experiences
All academic departments in the Upper School are intentional about creating opportunities for the learning experience in the classroom to connect to the larger world. Upper school teachers are committed to the tools of innovative, 21st century teachers; hands-on learning opportunities, global connections, and inter-disciplinary points of contact are embedded in every department.
Outside the classroom, a robust internship and fellowship program, service learning opportunities, and global learning initiatives engage girls with the broader community in meaningful ways.
A Sense of Purpose
Dedicated faculty leverage the recognized advantages of an all-girl learning environment, encouraging girls to take risks, lead, succeed. In an environment that celebrates diverse strengths, talents and interests, she will flourish into a resourceful, resilient young woman with a strong sense of purpose.
The goal of Hutchison’s English Department is to enable each girl to become a lifelong learner with intellectual discernment and curiosity—one who thinks critically and creatively, reads with engagement and empathy, writes clearly and fluently, and understands and respects the power of the written and spoken word. Discovering the vital link between literature and life, girls come to view reading, critical analysis, and independent research as personal and cultural engagements that generate ideas about the human condition.
The upper school history and social sciences program offers Hutchison young women a rich opportunity to engage in the craft of historians, psychologists, political scientists, geographers, and economists. Through careful investigation of primary and secondary source materials, experiences with projects and labs meant to foster open-ended inquiry, and student-driven discussions and debates, young women challenge and sharpen their intellectual curiosity and global views.
Because the study of mathematics is a vital component of a young woman’s experience at Hutchison, as well as a critical subject area to master prior to graduation, all upper school girls are required to take four years of math. In each mathematics classroom, Hutchison young women learn a variety of methods to solve problems, and as they are guided through a series of questions that enable them to choose the best method to solve specific problems, the young women ultimately develop the skills necessary to formulate their own questions.
The ultimate goal of the Science Department is to give young women a broad-based education in science and to promote and nurture a culture of science—of observing, asking questions and pushing the boundaries of independent thinking. Our science students are well prepared for the next level in science whether future endeavors include a concentration in scientific arenas or extensive scientific literacy in an ever-increasing science and technology-based world.
Hutchison’s department of world languages encompasses both modern and ancient languages. The study of other languages and cultures enables students to develop a global perspective, become world citizens, and lead lives of meaning and purpose in a constantly changing world. The ability to communicate in a second language promotes the free exchange of ideas and worldviews, which in turn encourages students to accept and value intrinsic differences among cultures and to interact with others in a manner characterized by tolerance, courtesy, and respect.
The fine arts are an integral part of each girl’s experience at Hutchison. The arts actively engage girls in critical thinking and problem solving experiences and they develop and refine their interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. In addition to providing opportunities for young women to voice opinions, explore personal concerns, and produce dynamic solutions to creative problems, the arts encourage diversity, inclusion, and exploration of the human experience and its cultures. Girls with aspirations of careers in dance, music, theatre, visual arts, or film, can advance their training to a pre-professional levels and earn a Certificate of Arts alongside their Hutchison diploma.
The 15-year student and recent recipient of the Ideal Hutchison Girl Award credits Hutchison for providing opportunities for her to delve deeper into her interests and helping her become a strong student and creative innovator.
The National Merit Finalist and 15-year student has distinguished herself by pursuing challenging academic opportunities in math and science and following her various interests along the way. She credits Hutchison for fostering her intellectual curiosity and love of learning.
Fifteen-year student and National Merit Commended Student Brooke Fair ’23 is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has released an album, an EP, and several singles all before graduating high school. This talented artist also is a dedicated student whose music accomplishments have come while achieving academic success.
Fifteen-year student Emmy Walton ’23 has put her heart into becoming a rocket scientist one day. After developing her interests in science and math through various STEM opportunities at Hutchison, she will follow her dreams at one of the nation’s top schools for engineering, Purdue University.
The National Merit Finalist was challenged by Hutchison’s various academic and extracurricular activities. From the tennis court to the courtroom to the classroom, Sarah is a well-rounded, hardworking Hutchison student who lives up to the school’s mission of inspiring girls to go anywhere they can imagine.
Eve-Elyse Hall ’23 has been known for setting up her teammates on the volleyball court throughout an excellent high school career. Now she’s setting herself up for a bright future after choosing to sign to play volleyball at Asbury University in Kentucky.
Hutchison world language students participated in the 2023 U of M Language Fair, sponsored by The University of Memphis Department of World Languages and Literatures. Demonstrating their knowledge of Spanish and Chinese, Hutchison had a total of 21 students win awards at the fair.
Note to the State of Tennessee: If you want to get legislation passed, put Hutchison girls in charge! Seventeen juniors wrote and presented six bills at the YMCA Youth in Government conference in Nashville. All of the bills made it onto the Senate and House dockets, and one was signed into law.
Kendyl Brown ’23 took a leap of faith in auditioning for her first production at Hutchison in middle school. That first step sparked a love of theatre, and now she is pursuing a career in acting thanks to encouragement and experience from Hutchison’s theatre department.
Dabney Roberts Ring ’90 joined Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s staff in January 2016. She is currently a Senior Policy Officer and the Federal Relations Lead on Mayor Strickland’s intergovernmental team. She helped build an immersive internship for Hutchison senior Katie Frazer ’23.
Natalie Alexander ’25 is the first recipient of the award. She was chosen because she exhibits characteristicsthe award’s namesake, Dot Jones Hammons ’76, has demonstrated throughout her life: intellectual curiosity, steadfastness, loyalty, kindness, and compassion.