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.
Starting down a new path can be hard for anyone, especially for a high school student moving in the middle of junior year. Wylly Willmott '22 said Hutchison's welcoming atmosphere and the supportive staff both in the classroom and out made her feel at home from the start.
Hutchison world language students participated in the 2022 Virtual 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 38 students win awards at the fair, the most out of all independent schools that competed.
Morgan Schrier ’22 is a dedicated student of the Chinese language who chose to continue to learn after completing AP Chinese. This year, she has been assisting Hutchison Chinese teacher Lynn Tian in the classroom with her fifth-grade students. Outside of helping girls learn Chinese, Morgan serves as a member of Peer Council and Morgan mentors 8th- and 9th-grade students adjusting to upper school. She also is heavily involved in her Jewish youth organization.
Note to the State of Tennessee: if you want to get legislation passed, put Hutchison girls in charge! Twelve sophomores wrote and presented five bills at the 69th annual 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.
For her Certificate of Arts senior project, Camille Mattingly ’22 curated a gallery featuring work from 11 artists who are seniors in high school, including herself and seven other Hutchison students. It will be on view at Arrow through February 26.
Hutchison takes a unique approach to preparing girls for college, starting with each girl at the end of eighth grade. College counselors help students chart their paths through the upper school to the end of their senior year and the completion of the college selection process.
Layla Truitt ’22 signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her athletic career at Santa Clara University, where she also plans to study international business. From the court to the classroom, Layla is a well-rounded, hardworking Hutchison student who lives up to our mission of showing girls they can go anywhere they can imagine. See the video at the end for how she worked toward this moment and how she cherishes her time on the court and in the classroom.
Zoe Zerwig Ford is embracing a new opportunity to share her enthusiasm for artificial intelligence and grow as a leader after completing several intensive programs with Inspirit AI, a program run by Stanford and MIT alumni and graduate students.