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Westover School

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Established  1909 (1909)
Chaplain  Tom Hungerford
Founder  Mary Robbins Hillard
Head of school  Julie Faulstich
Phone  +1 203-758-2423
Founded  1909
Type  Private, Day & Boarding College-prep
Motto  Cogitare Agere Esse (To think, to do, to be)
Religious affiliation(s)  Nondenominational Christian
Address  1237 Whitte Rd, Middlebury, CT 06762, USA
Similar  The Gunnery, Cheshire Academy, The Taft School, Canterbury School, Chase Collegiate School

Scenes of westover school

The Westover School, often referred to simply as "Westover," is an independent college-preparatory day and boarding school for girls. Located in Middlebury, Connecticut, United States, the school offers grades 9-12. Founded in 1909, the school buildings were designed by noted female architect Theodate Pope Riddle.


The school’s operating budget for 2013-2014 is $10.4 million; parents, friends, and a base of 3,497 alumnae raised $1,505,401 for the 2012-13 Annual Fund. The school’s endowment market value as of 6/30/13 is $54 million. The largest campaign in the School's history, the Inspiring Women: Campaign for Westover, has raised $40 million as of June 30, 2013 with a total goal of $45 million. The campaign closes January 1, 2015.

The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and approved by the state of Connecticut. Memberships include the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, and the College Board.

Westover school harlem shake

Academic program

A minimum of 18 credits is required for graduation, including 4 in English, 3 in mathematics, 3 in languages, 2? in history, 2? in science, and 2 in the arts. Computer literacy and community service are required. Twenty-four AP courses are offered. Some requirements may be modified for entering juniors.

There are numerous English trimester electives for eleventh- and twelfth-grade students—for example, Contemporary Poetry; Dante’s Vision; Fantastic and Possible Futures (Film and Fiction); Inner and Outer Nature; Genesis, Job, and the Gospels; Poetics and the Iliad; Romantic Poetry; James Joyce's Ulysses; Shakespeare: Comedy, Tragedy, and Romance; Tolstoy; and Truth, Beauty, Justice. Advanced Placement courses are offered in art, art history, biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, English, environmental science, European history, French, Spanish, statistics, Latin, Chinese, music, physics, U.S. history, and U.S. government.

The arts requirement may be fulfilled not only by numerous studio art, art history, and music courses but also by advanced trimester courses in dance and theater arts.

Signature programs help to enhance the curriculum at Westover. For talented musicians, there is a joint program with the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division. For qualified girls who hold a strong interest in science and engineering, Westover offers the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program. Westover Poets Program is For students who have the desire to develop skills in the craft of poetry through English electives, special writing workshops, and individual work with visiting poets who have included Billy Collins, Katha Pollitt, and Eamon Grennan. Global Exchange Programs offer students a unique two or three month academic exchange programs in Australia, South Africa, England, and Jordan, six-week language immersion exchanges in France and Spain, and a two-week volunteer program in Rwanda. As a founding member of a national consortium of all-girls schools, Westover's Online School for Girls offers online courses for students taught by consortium faculty. For those students interested in Art History, the Sonja Osborn Museum Studies Internship with Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT offers students practical experience working with curators and museum educators culminating in a final project. For those girls interested in the world of finance and business, there's a program called Invest in Girls.

Westover School provides an advanced English as a second language program for international students who are otherwise highly qualified but who require assistance in improving their English skills.

Faculty and advisors

There are 52 teaching faculty members. All have bachelor's degrees, 21 have master's degrees, and 1 holds a Ph.D. The majority of the teaching faculty members live in school-owned housing. Dorm parents live in apartments on the eight residential student corridors. All members of the faculty are encouraged to seek professional development, and funds are available to do so.

The current Head of School is Julie Faulstich, who received her B.A. from Smith College and her M.F.A from Emerson College.


The school's athletic program offers a variety of sports ranging in levels of competition from highly competitive varsity teams to noncompetitive individual endeavors such as rock climbing. The Fuller Athletic Center houses a full-length basketball court, four volleyball courts, a multi-level indoor-climbing wall, a fitness center, four international squash courts, and a multipurpose room for yoga, aerobics, and meetings.

Westover is a member of the New England Prep Athletic Council and the Western New England Prep School Athletic Association (WNEPSAA). Some of the schools from WNEPSAA that Westover plays are Gunnery, Kingswood-Oxford, Kent, Miss Hall's, Miss Porter's, Taft, and Westminster.

Westover also participates in the Connecticut Independent School Athletic Conference (CISAC) in basketball, field hockey, swimming, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and tennis. Some of the CISAC schools include Chase Collegiate, Ethel Walker’s, Hamden Hall, and Williams.

Extracurricular opportunities

There are numerous clubs and organizations that support interests in the environment, social services, arts, languages, and writing. Three school publications and the Glee Club involve large numbers of students. Many students and other members of the Westover community take part in all aspects of the production of a musical.

Classes often make trips to New York, Boston, New Haven, and other cultural centers to visit museums or to see theater productions, operas, or ballets.

Clubs include:

  • The Dorcas Society and Fund
  • W.A.L.S.A. (Westover's African-American and Latina Student Association)
  • Amnesty International
  • Coagess Yearbook Club
  • Community Service
  • Gospel Choir
  • Lantern & Art Literary Magazine
  • Twelve musical groups
  • Peer Support
  • Relay for Life
  • Women's Rights Club
  • The Wick School Newspaper
  • Westover Christian Fellowship
  • Handbells
  • Glee Club
  • French Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Asian Culture Club
  • Tea Club
  • Environmental Action Club
  • If a student wants to start a club that is not already established, she may do so by getting a faculty advisor to assist her in running the club.

    Admission information

    Acceptance to Westover is based on school performance, academic potential, motivation, and character. The SSAT is required; the TOEFL is required for students whose native language is not English.

    Westover School admits girls of any race, color, or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs.


  • West and Over Spirit Teams - Back when Westover didn't compete in interscholastic sports, their sports teams were the Wests and the Overs. Now these are the names of spirit teams that students are assigned to as a freshman and stay in until senior year. Seniors make up their own teams. The Wests are green, the Overs are red, and Seniors are blue.
  • Lanterns - Lanterns are the official symbol of Westover, and of Westover's traditions.
  • Senior X - This senior group pulls pranks from time to time.
  • Senior Sleep Pass - This pass, a special senior privilege, allows them to sleep through assembly twice a month.
  • TT - This group of juniors pull pranks once in a while to keep school spirit up.
  • Coagess This is the school's year book, whose name comes from the school's motto, Cogitare, Agere, Esse.
  • Other traditions include the Dorcas Fair, a Junior class community service project, the Lantern Ceremony, and Germans.

    Notable alumnae

  • Princess Zein bint Al Hussein (class of 1986), Jordanian princess, daughter of the late King Hussein and sister to King Abdullah II of Jordan.
  • Eleanor D. Acheson (class of 1965), former Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department in the Clinton Administration, Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Amtrak, former Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
  • Minnie Cushing Astor Fosburgh (class of 1925, deceased), Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney (class of 1928, deceased), and Babe Cushing Mortimer Paley (class of 1934, deceased). The Cushing Sisters were socialites whose marriages connected them to some of the most noted and wealthy families in mid-20th century America (the Astors, Roosevelts, Whitneys, Mortimers, and Paleys).
  • Winifred Rockefeller Emeny (class of 1923, deceased).
  • Sylvia Shaw Judson (Sylvia Shaw Haskins) (class of 1915, deceased), sculptor, creator of "Bird Girl" (used on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) and many other works.
  • Isabel Rockefeller Lincoln (class of 1920, deceased).
  • Edith Cummings Munson (class of 1917, deceased), professional golfer and first American woman on the cover of Time magazine (Aug. 25, 1924).
  • Ginevra King Pirie (class of 1917, deceased), Chicago socialite who was F. Scott Fitzgerald's inspiration for the character of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.
  • E. C. Spykman (Elizabeth Choate Spykman) (class of 1914), journalist and children's book author.
  • Alice Tully (class of 1920, deceased), philanthropist and patron of New York City's music institutions. Lincoln Center's chamber music hall is named after her.
  • ((Helen Homans Gilbert)) (class of 1931, deceased), President of the Board and Acting President of Radcliffe College, first woman overseer of Harvard University.
  • Mothers of Noted Actors

  • Grace Ewing Huffman, (class of 1940), mother of actress Felicity Huffman, star of television's Sports Night, Desperate Housewives and Oscar-nominated star of Transamerica
  • Barbara Lamb Johnson, (class of 1949), mother of actor Christopher Reeve
  • Penny Levy Peet (class of 1959), mother of actress Amanda Peet of Something's Gotta Give and other films
  • References

    Westover School Wikipedia