“If you look back historically, women’s voices aren’t the ones that are heard the most,” says Clay Francis, History Department Chair at Hutchison School. “It’s different here. At Hutchison, our girls see that the smartest, hardest working, and most confident person in the room is a girl. That’s how girls are encouraged to lead.”
At Hutchison School, teachers serve as both guides and mentors helping girls develop essential skills in critical thinking, communications, and collaboration that prepare them to lead lives of purpose. Founded in 1902, Hutchison is an all-girls school serving more than 850 students in PK2-12. The school is located on one 52-acre campus in East Memphis.
“Starting from a young age we engineer opportunities for girls to develop skills in leadership, self-advocacy, and public speaking that will serve them well not only in college but in their careers and lives,” says Dr. Kristen Ring, Hutchison Head of School. “We want girls to know that their voices matter, and that the world needs their unique perspectives, talents, and skills.”
Watch this video to discover the strength of a Hutchison education:
Megan Grinder, a Hutchison alumna, says her experience at the school was critical in her success. The Princeton graduate now works as a visual artist and serves as Chair of Hutchison’s Board of Trustees. “When I left Hutchison, I never felt that I shouldn’t speak up because of my gender. I never doubted that I had a strong voice that could contribute, so it was natural for me to step up,” she says of her board participation.
Dr. Ring admits that it’s not by happenstance that Hutchison alumnae are distinguished by their confidence and resilience. “We know that leadership doesn’t happen by chance, so we are very intentional about providing the programming and scaffolding that will grow with our girls,” she adds.
Hear how Hutchison prepared these alumnae for success:
More than three-quarters of the Hutchison faculty hold advanced degrees, and an intimate classroom setting allows for a more personalized and engaging learning experience. Clay says these settings foster a supportive, collaborative environment. “I love teaching at Hutchison because of the joy I find in each class. Every day students will ask those hard questions about themselves and the world around them,” he says.
Clay adds that these conversations allow for more critical thinking surrounding academics and the world. In his class he ensures that instructional lectures are brief before students get the opportunity to engage in critical discussions with their peers. “We are always striving to find women’s voices in the topics that we cover and embed them into the curriculum,” he explains. “We try to utilize student voices across the lesson as well.”
Megan acknowledges the role her former instructors played in her professional journey. “I think it was the confidence my teachers had in me and the fact that my voice mattered the entire time that I was in school that gave me the belief that I should step forward and lead.”
She believes in the Hutchison mission and experience so much, she was excited to enroll her daughter in the school as soon as she could. “Watching my daughter actually want to go to school each day and be truly inspired was priceless,” Megan says. “I know that because of her experience at Hutchison she will be a lifelong learner, and that’s similar to what I experienced. Hutchison inspired me to go out and do more — and connect more.”
Connections at Hutchison are important — between students and faculty, and even students and the community. From early childhood to high school, students work on a variety of service-learning projects. Older girls participate in hands-on community service opportunities both on and off campus. With a commitment to community connection, Hutchison has longstanding partnerships with dozens of local nonprofits, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Streets Ministries, Company d, and the Girl Scouts Heart of the South.
The combination of challenging academics, leadership development, and programs that enable girls to find their unique voices makes Hutchison a nationally recognized all-girls private school. For those who have experienced the school first-hand, it’s so much more. It’s a place where girls are at the forefront and, as a result, they thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.
To learn more about Hutchison School or to schedule a tour, visit hutchisonschool.org.
This article is sponsored by Hutchison School. All photography and video provided by Hutchison School