A few weeks ago, following memorable award ceremonies, a poignant lantern walk, and a commencement that provided a fitting tribute to our 41 newest alumnae, our country's oldest independent girls' school closed its 270th session. And, so began for our girls and their teachers a much deserved summer respite – a break from the daily life that is Linden Hall. We ask a great deal of our students and, at every turn, they impress us with their talents, tenacity, thoughtfulness, and unwillingness to be taciturn in their beliefs.
As I participated in these special end-of-year events, I was often reminded of the adoration our girls have for Linden Hall, particularly their sisters and teachers, and the many ways they believe their school has positively impacted their lives. In her address at graduation, Salutatorian Khrystyna Babenko stated:
"The people here are fantastic. They are wonderful and precious. They will love you and support you in your darkest times; your friends will keep you sane as much as they drive you insane. Teachers who care about their subjects, friends who hug you when you cry and do Calculus with you through lunch — these are beautiful things."
As we look forward to the upcoming school year, we can take solace in and be proud of all that we accomplished during the recently completed school year. Attrition is at an all-time low, we have diversified our student body and next year our students will hail from 25 countries – an impressive figure that few schools can tout, we set a record level of unrestricted giving, we reconnected and strengthened our ties with many of our alumnae, and I, personally, met with the Presidents of five regional colleges/universities. Most importantly, our girls continue to achieve in the upper echelon with their SAT and AP scores, are matriculating at many of our nation's top colleges/universities and, along with their academic accomplishments, they are talented musicians, artists, thespians, and athletes.
I met recently with the family of a prospective student whose grandfather asked why Linden Hall? Resisting the temptation to share our impressive statistics – SAT and AP scores, college placement record, and the place we occupy as one of our country's top independent schools – I chose to focus on the special relationships that exist between our students and their teachers and the benefits of a Linden Hall education.
While a long-standing hallmark of independent schools is the special bond between students and their teachers, Linden Hall sets the standard by which, I believe, others are judged. Whether enjoying a dinner at the Head of School's home, meeting twice a week with their advisors, attending daily academic help sessions, or participating in student-led community forums, Linden Hall students are part of a school where, as stated in our Promise Statement, every girl is valued and known.
Michael E. Waylett
Head of School