Highlights from the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools Educating Girls Symposium

Highlights from the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools Educating Girls Symposium

Marlborough hosts the ICGS Education Girls Symposium, bringing together over 300 girls’ school educators for a day of learning.

Highlights from the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools Educating Girls Symposium

On February 15, Marlborough had the distinct honor of hosting the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS) Educating Girls Symposium, an exciting event that brought together girls’ school educators, administrators, and leaders who have dedicated their careers to advancing the education and empowerment of girls worldwide. The symposium featured a lineup of distinguished keynote speakers and a series of engaging breakout sessions, each offering valuable insights and strategies for nurturing the next generation of female leaders. 

As a founding member of ICGS, Marlborough is proud to support an organization elevating women’s leadership worldwide by educating and empowering students to be ethical, globally minded changemakers. With over 340 member schools spanning across six continents, this network of girls’ school professionals is an invaluable resource. 

The symposium kicked off with an inspiring keynote conversation between Abigail Disney and Concepcion Alvar. Ms. Alvar is the Headmistress of Marymount School of New York and a longtime friend of Ms. Disney’s. The two women discussed Ms. Disney’s career as a filmmaker, philanthropist, and activist fighting for systemic change in capitalism and a deep commitment to gender justice. Ms. Disney shared her experiences using storytelling as a way to foster a more equitable and peaceful global society. 

Symposium delegates were then able to choose from a wide variety of breakout sessions focused on addressing challenges and opportunities in girls education. From fostering entrepreneurial skills to using data-driven approaches to enhance teaching and promote better learning outcomes, the sessions provided practical strategies and innovative approaches for empowering girls to thrive in an ever-changing world. 

Marlborough employees brilliantly hosted three of the breakout sessions. In “Power Up: Creating a Transformative First Year at a Girls’ School”, Jonathon Allen—Director of Studies; Dr. Morgan Duggan—Director of Educational and Counseling Services; Andréa Fuentes—Department Head of World Languages; and Dr. Allison Ponzio—Interim Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation presented on Marlborough’s unique 7th-grade programming that celebrates the power of transformative curriculum and student-centered instruction. Dr. Jawaan Wallace—Director of Enrollment Management & Collegiate Partnerships—and Stephanie David—Director of Marketing and Communications—hosted a session highlighting the importance of a strong, successful partnership between schools’ Communications Departments and Admissions Offices. Finally, in “Beyond Crisis Management: The Significance of a School Critical Incident Team”, Dr. Jenn Wells—Director of Equity and Inclusion; Dr. Morgan Duggan, and Stephanie David shared the comprehensive, intentional, effective, and strategic protocol used to drive Marlborough’s Critical Incident Team.

To close the day, delegates joined Dr. Khanichi Charles, Christina Lewellen, and Erin Rehel in Marlborough’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to discuss the future of artificial intelligence and education. Dr. Charles is the co-chair of Marlborough’s generative AI committee (MaGIC) and moderated this insightful discussion between two industry thought leaders. Ms. Lewellen is the Executive Director of the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) and Ms. Rehel is the Chief Operating Officer of One Schoolhouse. Together, the panelists highlighted the importance of leveraging technology and AI as tools, rather than attempting to shut them out altogether. Ms. Lewellen noted that the women graduating from the schools at which symposium delegates teach are the exact type of candidates she would hope to hire at ATLIS. Their knowledge of and acumen using advanced technology would only serve to increase their competitive edge in the ever-evolving job market. 

As the symposium concluded, delegates were able to network during a closing reception, achieving the final goal of ICGS for the day: to bring girls’ school professionals together to connect and deepen their relationships with like-minded colleagues. Girls' schools are uniquely equipped to foster empowered and educated women who can lead and contribute effectively to society. At Marlborough, that has been our driving force since 1889. Our work—and that of our colleagues at girls’ schools across the world—is crucial in providing girls with a nurturing environment where they can excel academically, develop leadership skills, and explore their passions without inhibition. A Marlborough education isn’t just about imparting knowledge; it's about shaping future leaders who will drive progress and advocate for a better tomorrow.
The ICGS Educating Girls Symposium showcased the transformative power of girls’ education and the impact of a collective commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive world for all.

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In the image that accompanies this article, three women sit side-by-side in a classroom, looking at a speaker to their left who is just out of frame.

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