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.
If you ask Charlotte Merchant ’19 why she’s spent the last several years (and two summers) immersing herself in theoretical computer science, she will tell you: “I just really like math. I wanted to find a topic that intersected with my interests in math and computer science, and that’s where theoretical computer science comes in. It’s the math behind everything.”
With an interest in communications and public relations and a curiosity about how those roles interact with local government, Hannah Hussey '19 pursued an internship with the office of Mayor Strickland, mayor of the city of Memphis.
Michelle Lee '19 has been interested in pursuing a career in the medical field since she was young, but wanted real life experience to gain a deeper insight into the profession before applying to colleges and considering a pre-med track.
Earlier this spring, Kiya Brown ’21 won second place in the 2018 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud Competition in Nashville. The win came with a scholarship cash prize for her and a stipend for Hutchison from the National Endowment for the Arts for the purchase of poetry books and supplies. Poetry Out Loud is a national arts education program that encourages the study of poetry through a recitation competition in high schools across the country. It has grown to reach more than three million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 schools in every state across the country. This year, Tennessee had nearly 3,000 students participate.
Hutchison's Latin team earned second place overall in their division at the 2018 Tennessee Junior Latin Convention! Several girls also distinguished themselves on the National Latin Exam including Frances Cates '21 who received a perfect score in Latin II.
If we could boil down all of the overwhelming challenges schools face in promoting literacy to a single disheartening statistic, it might be this: As students age from elementary school to high school, the majority of students who previously read frequently for enjoyment give up the practice (Scholastic, 2015). Simply put, as students grow up, they read less.
Hutchison girls earned an impressive 32 awards at the recent Southeast Regional Scholastic Writing Awards. These girls submitted writing which was judged against that of students in grades 7-12 from 11 states; Hutchison's winners substantially outnumbered those of any other Memphis school.
Samantha Tancredi ’18 spent her summer participating in a Hutchison Leads Fellowship that took her all over the world. From Geneva, Switzerland, to Seville, Spain, and Washington, D.C., Samantha spent her time researching the role of law in the business, political, and cultural worlds.
"I believe Hutchison has prepared me so well for any college experience, academically. Through my participation in the Science Research Fellows program, I have also discovered the areas of STEM that truly interest me beyond the classroom." - Monica Fleck '18
Our middle and upper school girls are involved annually in Model United Nations (Model UN), a program that gives the girls opportunities to participate in debate and open discussion of international issues while helping them to become more knowledgeable global citizens.
“I have to thank my eighth grade advisors for believing in me and showing me that there isn’t just one style of leadership. Anywhere else, a girl like me could have been lost in the background, but because of their help, I learned that a listener can be a leader and that I have a voice. I never would be the student I am today if it weren’t for the faculty.” - Anna Murrey '18
By Fine Arts and Center for Excellence Director Tracey Zerwig Ford
When the lights go up next weekend for Hutchison’s production of the musical Once on This Island, senior Madyson Bolton will take the stage in the lead role of Ti Moune. Once on This Island is a unique show driven by African-Caribbean music and French colonial culture. The show weaves a new myth from plot elements of The Little Mermaid and Romeo and Juliet with a Caribbean flair.
I waited a few seconds as my friend stared pensively into the distance, processing my explanation to his questions about my job. When I came back into his focus, he replied, “Gosh, I wish someone had asked me that question when I was in high school.”
This is a busy time of year in the Hutchison college counseling office. As we prepare and send recommendation letters, transcripts, and work with girls as the application deadlines quickly approach, it is important to reflect on the relationships we build with each girl. Because of our one-on-one college counseling, we are able to vividly describe each girl in our letters of recommendation. Yet, our work does not start a few weeks before an application deadline; it starts years before. In fact, our relationship with each girl begins during her freshman year. This is the Hutchison difference.
To bring learning to life for our girls, we often invite in working professionals to share their experiences. Recently world-renowned photographer Ebet Roberts '63 visited our digital media class to discuss how her career got started in New York in the 1970s.
by Hutchison World Languages Chair Alejandra Lejwa
Many years ago, I sat in my office anxiously waiting for a parent who had signed up to see me during parent-teacher conferences. This particular student was doing great — straight “A”s in my AP Spanish class, so her father’s visit puzzled me.
At Hutchison, we recognize that extraordinary things can happen for a young girl when passion, talent, and opportunity meet. Therefore, it is our aim to present your daughter with numerous opportunities to discover and pursue her unique interests. With hard work and dedication, our girls are learning that their passion and talent can take them anywhere they can imagine. Just ask the young women spotlighted.
Mary Carson Pitts ’13 has made leaps and bounds on and off the field at Tulane. She recently graduated from the university with a degree in Business Finance, all while balancing her academics with an impressive athletic record.
It seemed like a no-brainer. The beehives on Hutchison’s farm regularly yield a good supply of honey, and the upper school girls in the entrepreneur class, part of Hutchison Invests, were learning how to create and run businesses.
These days, it’s easy to look at the Hutchison lacrosse team in awe. Over the past 15 years, the girls who have played lacrosse at Hutchison have combined skill, teamwork, and determination to build the best team in the city and state. The Hutchison Sting has captured seven consecutive Tennessee state lacrosse titles since 2010 and eight total state titles to date.
As the end of the year approaches, we wanted to express our excitement for our seniors as they say goodbye to Hutchison and begin their journeys at colleges and universities across the nation and around the world. We are so proud of the class of 2017!
Hutchison senior Sophie Merchant ’17 has been named a semifinalist in the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Sophie is one of 722 semifinalists selected from nearly 5,100 candidates. She is one of only three Memphis students to be named a semifinalist. Final scholars will be named later this month.
Upper School girls applied their world language abilities to win fourth place in their division at the Tennessee Junior Classical League (TJCL) Latin Convention. Several girls also recently won Awards for their achievements on the National Latin Exam.
We are proud to announce that the Hutchison theatre department’s production of Beauty and the Beast has been nominated for four different awards this year by the Orpheum High School Musical Theater Awards.
“Hutchison Serves is trying to embolden each and every one of you to live out the potential and the abilities that you have,” said John Carroll, the executive director of City Leadership and founder of Choose901 and keynote speaker at the Hutchison Serves Assembly.
Nineteen upper school girls traveled to Nashville last weekend to participate in the Tennessee YMCA Youth in Government Program, an annual conference designed to offer high school and middle school students a hands-on experience with state government.
Twenty-four high school girls from seven different schools are participating in the fourth annual Hutchison Leads Summit at the Kroc Center of Memphis as part of the Center for Excellence at Hutchison.
Through our Hutchison Leads program, senior Gracie Meeks participated in an internship at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women with a goal of gaining a real-life perspective on the daily life of a nurse in a hospital.
As part of our Hutchison Leads program, Gwen Jones '17 participated in a marketing internship with Official Mississippi RiverKings Hockey where she developed a strategy for improving attendance, participated in sales training, and became more familiar with fundraising. She was the only high school student among the cohort of interns.
After a successful varsity fall sports season, six of our Sting athletes were honored by being named to The Commercial Appeal's Best of the Preps team in one of four sports: soccer, volleyball, golf, or cross country.
Francie Sentilles ’17 had the opportunity to work with some of the best doctors in the world during her Hutchison Serves fellowship, which meant internships in Memphis, New Orleans, Cleveland, and even Seville, Spain. Her research allowed her to explore her passions for medicine and community service and gain valuable real-world experience.
Hutchison senior Griffin Gearhardt has signed her NCAA National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse at Vanderbilt University. Griffin's passion for lacrosse began at an early age and has only grown since then.
Hutchison takes a unique approach to preparing our girls for college, starting with each girl in ninth grade to chart their paths through the Upper School and through the end of their senior year and the completion of the college selection process.
“I’m really glad I took the debate class, because now I can argue my points effectively without feeling self-conscious. I initially dreaded public speaking, but halfway through the semester, I was so comfortable.” - Lauren Livesay ’16
Middle and upper school girls competed in the Annual Foreign Language Fair at the University of Memphis, where they won an incredible 69 awards. Upper School Spanish teacher Rosa Carter was named Foreign Language Teacher of the Year.