Issue 1 2023-24

News

  • Staats House Ribbon Cutting

    Staats House Ribbon Cutting

    On Friday, November 3, 2023, members of the community—including classmates and friends of Barbara and Allan Staats ’56—gathered for the dedication and ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Barbara and…

    On Friday, November 3, 2023, members of the community—including classmates and friends of Barbara and Allan Staats ’56—gathered for the dedication and ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Barbara and Allan Staats House. After a welcome from Anne Roche, Clerk of the Board of Trustees, Head of School Chris Benbow and Dean of Advancement Ellen Urbanski addressed the gathering. Once Benbow cut the ribbon, the Advancement team hosted a reception and open house. 

    Formerly known as the Lane House, the building was completed in 1920 to be used as a faculty residence. It has remained primarily a space for faculty and staff housing, and most recently served as a second health center during the pandemic. “And now, friends,” shared Head of School Chris Benbow at the ceremony, “it is the Allan and Barbara Staats House! As many of you know, Allan attended Westtown from 1953 to 1956, and he and Barbara were active in the life of the school for decades, visiting campus regularly for class reunions and other events, including Commencent in the Greenwood…Allan described his deep appreciation for what Westtown taught him both as a student in the classroom and as a whole person. He noted that his years at Westtown were among his most memorable, and that he developed values and dispositions that grounded him throughout his life, including the critical importance of maintaining hope and positivity.”

    The Staats have been tremendously generous to Westtown School over the years supporting the Westtown Fund, financial aid, capital projects, and several endowed funds. “Although we lost Allan in 2020 and Barbara in 2022, their legacy lives on,” shared Ellen Urbanski, Dean of Advancement. “Through their estate, the Staats’ generosity is now providing additional support to financial aid, the endowment, the Center for the Living Arts and the Staats House renovation. The Staats’ estate gift also provided resources for us to endow their annual Westtown Fund gift, which will support the Westtown community in perpetuity. Allan and Barbara understood the importance of community and took great pleasure in being with friends and family. In 2021, as we were preparing to honor his life during Alums Weekend, Barbara told me, ‘Allan loved Westtown and is smiling down on all of us knowing that his gifts bring joy to Westtown students, faculty and staff.’ While I do wish they were with us today, I imagine they are both smiling on us this afternoon and cheering on our work together on behalf of Westtown School.”  

    “Living and learning together—and from one another—is an essential ingredient of the Westtown experience,” continued Benbow. “The community we build here each and every year—each and every day, really—the life long connections we make, and the ways these experiences and relationships shape who we are and how we move through the world simply would not happen without the generosity and intention of people like Allan and Barbara. Financial support for our students and families remains one of our highest priorities, and as someone who has known some of the young people who have benefited directly from Allan and Barbara’s generosity, I also know how much Westtown has benefited from the gifts those young people bring, grow, and share with us daily. We are thrilled to have another welcoming community space on campus where we can connect alums, parents, guardians, grandparents, students, faculty, staff—all members of our community. When I look at this building, I will continue to think with gratitude of Allan and Barbara, of their generosity, and of the connections and community they continue to help make possible.” The Staats House will now serve as offices for the Advancement Department and as a welcoming entertainment and meeting space for the entire Westtown community. The next time you are on campus, we invite you to stop by the Staats House to see this wonderful space. Until then, enjoy the gallery of photos from the ribbon cutting!

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  • Center for the Living Arts Groundbreaking

    Center for the Living Arts Groundbreaking

    On Friday, October 3, 2023, members of the Board of Trustees, donors, students, Visual and Performing Arts Department faculty, and community members gathered for the groundbreaking for the Center for…

    On Friday, October 3, 2023, members of the Board of Trustees, donors, students, Visual and Performing Arts Department faculty, and community members gathered for the groundbreaking for the Center for the Living Arts (CLA).  Anne Roche, Clerk of the Board of Trustees, opened the ceremony and read the land acknowledgement, and Head of School Chris Benbow, Director of Pre-K- 12 Visual and Performing Art Alex Ates, and ninth grader Jamila Burgos shared in the ceremony before ground was broken. 

    The groundbreaking marks the beginning of the third phase of the CLA renovation and expansion. During Phase I, renovations included creating a dedicated sculpture studio, a natural-light ceramics studio, and a reconfigured digital arts lab. The rehearsal spaces for choral and instrumental music were revitalized, state-of-the-art soundproof music practice rooms were created, and the green room and dressing rooms for theater productions were updated. 

    Phase II of this project focused on the Barton-Test Theater which received wall finishings to sharpen acoustics, a new theatrical sound systems and lighting, HVAC installation, new catwalks, expanded storage and safety upgrades, and aesthetic renovations to the scene shop and costume storage areas. 

    Head of School Chris Benbow shared with the gathering, “The vision for this final phase of the renewal speaks to our collective belief in the importance of the arts at Westtown. It will tie the entire Center together by means of an exciting addition, replacing unused space with a stunning gallery, creating a formal visual arts wing, adding flex performance space, and common gathering areas. Alongside critical modifications for accessibility and an aesthetic upgrade of the building’s façade, we will take advantage of one of the most beautiful vistas on the Westtown campus with additional outdoor education space, tying the community together around the arts.” 

    Alex Ates, Director of Pre-K-12 Visual and Performing Arts, said, “To mark this occasion, I’d like to make three brief points as to why I love the name ‘The Center for the Living Arts.’ First, the word ‘center.’ Not only is this facility the center of operations for our artistic activity, it is also in the center of Westtown’s campus. When I first visited Westtown, it moved me that the CLA was located right next to the Meeting House, as both facilities feel like soul siblings, both are containers designed to induce divine expression and the equally divine reception of expression. Another way to think about the word ‘center’ is that the process of centering before Meeting for Worship is a similar process to centering before creating art, or receiving art. When we center ourselves, we ground ourselves in place. We also connect with others, we meet each other where we stand. Second, I love the term ‘living arts.’ We all agree that this building will be state of the art and will be a testament to Westtown’s commitment to creative expression. However, it’s a building. What I’m most excited about are the experiences of living that this building will contain, elucidate, and catapult. The arts are a way of expressing our aliveness. At a school like Westtown, where we see folks grow through childhood, we see a lot of living. This building will center the art and the heart of all that living. Finally, I’ll note that our department has been intentional in preparing for this moment to ensure that everyday we center living arts…As a department, we have cleared and aligned our thinking to ensure that we’ll engage these new facilities with mission-driven zest.” 

    Jamila Burgos ’27, winner of the North Penn High School Black History Month Oratorical Contest and winner of  the Winner of the Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Patriots Challenge, read a poem she wrote to celebrate the event entitled, The beauty of the world fit into one moment. You can read her poem here

    The special (and wonderful!) shovels used for the groundbreaking were created under the leadership and guidance of Middle School Art Teacher Cindy Hodgson, now in her twenty-first year at Westtown. Her Eighth Grade Visual Arts classes decorated the shovels to represent the various artistic disciplines taught at Westtown. The designs and artwork used on the shovels were inspired by visiting artist Todd Drake who worked with Middle School students during his residency last year to create linocut prints based on the Quaker SPICES: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. 

    At the conclusion of the groundbreaking—and just as the rain clouds opened—the gathering enjoyed a lovely reception in the Science Center.  You can see more photos from the event here.

    On a final note, we share our thanks to this community!  Every phase of this exciting project was made possible through a tremendous outpouring of generosity from alums, parents, parents of alums, and friends of Westtown.

    Stay tuned to eCollections and other publications for updates on the progress of the CLA! 

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  • Kicking off the New School Year

    Kicking off the New School Year

    We were fortunate, and it seemed fitting, to have a beautiful day when we gathered as a whole school to celebrate the start of the year! Students, faculty, and staff…

    We were fortunate, and it seemed fitting, to have a beautiful day when we gathered as a whole school to celebrate the start of the year! Students, faculty, and staff assembled in the Greenwood for our Opening-of-School Assembly. Head of School Chris Benbow kicked off the festivities, then our Student Body Presidents—seniors Zaria Johnson, Kien Dang, and Olivia Bley—led the crowd in cheers. Finally, Benbow led the traditional roll call of the classes to great fanfare. There was even a special appearance by the moose! Check out the photos here.

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Features

  • Lenape Elder John Thomas Visits Westtown

    Lenape Elder John Thomas Visits Westtown

    On Wednesday, October 11, Lenape Elder John Thomas of the Delaware Tribe of Indians visited Westtown School. This visit was a milestone in Westtown School’s work of healing and reconciliation…

    On Wednesday, October 11, Lenape Elder John Thomas of the Delaware Tribe of Indians visited Westtown School. This visit was a milestone in Westtown School’s work of healing and reconciliation with the Lenape. For thousands upon thousands of years, the Lenape people lived in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, as well as parts of New York and Delaware. While the Lenape to the North spoke a Lenape dialect called Munsee, the southern Lenape, including those who lived on what is now the school’s land, spoke Unami. The Lenape were driven off this land by European settlers in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds and experienced a series of eight forced removals between that time and the mid-1800s. As they became further removed from their homelands, other groups referred to the Lenape as the Delaware (in reference to their origins in the Delaware River Valley), and they eventually adopted Delaware nomenclature for themselves. While the Munsee-speaking Delaware ended up in Wisconsin and Ontario, the Unami-speakers settled in Oklahoma. 

    Today, a number of different groups of people claim Lenape heritage, from communities in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario to communities in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. These communities have different types of recognition–some are recognized at the federal level, others at the state level, and still others are pushing for recognition as tribal entities. Following a process of discernment, Westtown School is primarily engaging with the federally recognized groups, beginning with the Delaware Tribe of Indians, which is based in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The Delaware Tribe of Indians is one of five federally recognized Lenape nations, which also include Delaware Nation (Oklahoma), Stockbridge-Munsee Community (Wisconsin), and in Ontario, Delaware Nation of Moraviantown and Munsee Delaware Nation. 

    Elder John Thomas’ visit included assemblies for our fourth through eighth graders and our Upper School students. He spoke about the traditions and history of the Lenape people, including gender roles in a matrilineal society, Lenape emphasis on respecting the Earth, and Lenape customs around storytelling. He talked about his own upbringing, including the time he spent in a residential boarding school geared towards assimilating Indigenous children into mainstream U.S. society. With Upper School students, Elder John spoke passionately about some of his work with the American Indian Movement in the 1970s. He also discussed his current work on NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which focuses on the reburial of human remains that have been in the hands of museums, universities, and private collectors. He spoke, too, about current efforts in the Delaware Tribe to keep Lenape culture alive through teaching traditional language and crafts to Lenape youth. 

    Five Indigenous Middle and Upper School students and one Indigenous faculty member joined Elder John for lunch. Elder John also met with Head of School Chris Benbow for conversation and a walk to the lake. On the way, Elder John pointed at a few tulip poplars and remarked, “I see you have a few canoes growing here!” He graciously received several gifts from community members, a few of which included letters from some Upper School English classes that are studying Indigenous literature, and a beautiful book of cyanotypes of native flora, created by Middle Schoolers and Middle School art teacher Marta Willgoose Salo. 

    Elder John left campus emphasizing his delight and gratitude for the hospitality of the Westtown community. At Westtown, we are eager to continue building relationships with the descendants of the original inhabitants of the land.  ~Louisa Egan Brad, Dean of Equity, Justice, and Belonging

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  • Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer: Patricia Park

    Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer: Patricia Park

    We were honored to welcome author Patricia Park as our first Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer of the school year in September. Park is a tenured professor of Literature at American University,…

    We were honored to welcome author Patricia Park as our first Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer of the school year in September. Park is a tenured professor of Literature at American University, Fulbright scholar in Creative Arts, Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, and author of the debut young adult novel, Imposter Syndrome & Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim, which some students chose for their summer reading. She is also the author of the acclaimed adult novel, Re Jane, a Korean American reimagining of Brontë's Jane Eyre named Editors' Choice by The New York Times Book Review; Best Books of 2015 by American Library Association; O, The Oprah Magazine pick; NPR "Fresh Air" pick; and others. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Guardian, Salon, and others.

    After an engaging lecture on Monday evening, Park had breakfast with some faculty members on Tuesday morning, then met with students to talk about the book, the writing process, identity, and imposter syndrome. She also met with students in the Asian Student Association and Multiracial Student Union. It was a wonderful visit and we were thrilled to host the Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer Series once again.

    See our Community Section below for information about the next in our Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer series.

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  • Lower School Playground: Students Dream Big

    Lower School Playground: Students Dream Big

    An exciting addition is coming to the Lower School: a new playground! Studio Ludo, a well-respected landscape architecture firm with certified playground safety inspectors and vast experience designing play spaces,…

    An exciting addition is coming to the Lower School: a new playground! Studio Ludo, a well-respected landscape architecture firm with certified playground safety inspectors and vast experience designing play spaces, including those for school environments, has been engaged for this project. As Lower School Principal Karyn Payton notes, “One of the draws for hiring this firm was their practice of engaging teachers and students in the pre-design phase. Studio Ludo and their partners have worked with us to develop their understanding of our Lower School community and play culture, and of our hopes and dreams. They will use the information gathered to inform their proposed designs. Beyond the installation of new play equipment, we are looking for an outdoor play space that reflects our divisional commitment to whole-body health and learning. A space that facilitates and broadens our students’ opportunities for social, cognitive, sensory, and motor growth and development. A space that fosters individual choice, resilience, healthy risk-taking, deepening social interactions, and of course, play, play, play!” 

    The folks at Studio Ludo have come to campus several times and have engaged faculty and students in pre-design activities (pictured below; top collage courtesy of Studio Ludo) to help in their understanding of our school culture and to capture the essence of play at Westtown. In the workshop for faculty, teachers recalled their favorite play memories from childhood, then they broke into small groups to gather a sense of what play means in this community. 

    Students were asked to draw their ideal play space based on the prompt questions: What kind of adventures could you have here? If you build anything, what would it be? Then there was a design workshop in which each student built a 3D model of their ideal playground. You can enjoy their delightful ideas and imaginative creations here

    The goal is for the playground to be ready by the opening of school in September 2024. Stay tuned to eCollections and other publications for updates on this exciting project! 

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  • Independent School Access and Equity Conference and College Fair

    Independent School Access and Equity Conference and College Fair

    More than 300 students and their families attended the Independent School Equity and Access Conference and College Fair. Since 2005, Westtown has hosted this biennial conference and college fair with…

    More than 300 students and their families attended the Independent School Equity and Access Conference and College Fair. Since 2005, Westtown has hosted this biennial conference and college fair with a goal of creating space for substantive conversations with students and their families regarding issues of belonging, equity, access, inclusion, and allyship. The event had a variety of panel presentations, student-led discussions, and a college fair with almost 100 colleges represented. Thank you to Marje Ireland, Jay Farrow, our College Counseling team, guest panelists, and all who participated making this event such a success! And thanks, also, to student photographer Coco Chen ’25 who captured these images of this special day!

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Students

  • Lower School Mask Parade

    Lower School Mask Parade

    Our Lower School artists participated in a beloved Westtown tradition—our Mask Parade! Students designed and created their one-of-a-kind masks in their art classes then showed them off to cheering families…

    Our Lower School artists participated in a beloved Westtown tradition—our Mask Parade! Students designed and created their one-of-a-kind masks in their art classes then showed them off to cheering families and friends. We loved seeing frogs, unicorns, hot dogs, and more parading by! Enjoy their creativity here!

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  • Fifth Graders Travel to Echo Hill

    Fifth Graders Travel to Echo Hill

    Experiential learning is an important part of the Lower School curriculum, and fifth graders have the opportunity for hands-on learning, exploring nature and ecosystems off campus, and team building in…

    Experiential learning is an important part of the Lower School curriculum, and fifth graders have the opportunity for hands-on learning, exploring nature and ecosystems off campus, and team building in their annual trips to Echo Hill. Echo Hill is an outdoor education camp by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland that houses, feeds, and educates students. During our fifth graders' trip to Echo Hill, they engaged in canoeing, ecology classes, learning survival skills, studying the bay ecosystem, and more. Over three days and two nights, our students have experiences that allow them to build their independence, learn about themselves and classmates, and do things they may have never done before. Some of the highlights included, night hiking, learning about the bay—and kissing fish!  See more from their adventures here! 

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  • Lenape Celebration Day

    Lenape Celebration Day

    Fourth grade spent the fall term learning about the Lenape people who were the first people to live on the land that is now our campus. The Lenape Celebration Day…

    Fourth grade spent the fall term learning about the Lenape people who were the first people to live on the land that is now our campus. The Lenape Celebration Day is an opportunity to honor and celebrate the Lenape, while enjoying the beauty of this campus. Students worked together to prepare food from ingredients (squash, beans, and corn) that the Indigenous people would have grown. They spent time in the woods building structures and canoeing on the lake. They also played traditional Lenape games in the Arboretum. Other campus activities included time on the ropes course, a cookout at the lake, a sunset Meeting for Worship, and making s'mores at the fire circle.  See more photos from Lenape Day here!

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  • Seventh Graders Meet with Author Amy Sarig King

    Seventh Graders Meet with Author Amy Sarig King

    Students in teacher Abby Lausch’s seventh grade English class had the wonderful opportunity to have a conversation with Amy Sarig King, author of Attack of the Black Rectangles, which they…

    Students in teacher Abby Lausch’s seventh grade English class had the wonderful opportunity to have a conversation with Amy Sarig King, author of Attack of the Black Rectangles, which they are reading in class.  The students are having conversations about censorship and access to books. Lausch shares, “We've talked about lists of books that are banned in some schools and reasons why, and students have reflected (in writing) on whether they agree with this censorship. We are focusing mostly on the activism that we read about in the book and are learning persuasive communications skills. In the novel, the main character and friends write persuasive letters, protest in their town, and speak at school board meetings. We are practicing all of those same skills: practicing debates, preparing presentations for a school board/town council meeting, and writing persuasive letters. We will also be doing some research about young activists in the real world and studying some of their strategies.” 

    It was an engaging visit with Sarig King and she spent time answering students' questions.

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  • Seventh Grade Canoe Trip

    Seventh Grade Canoe Trip

    The beloved tradition of Middle School canoe trips, which now spans more than four decades, kicked off this year with the seventh grade’s trip to the Delaware Water Gap. Students…

    The beloved tradition of Middle School canoe trips, which now spans more than four decades, kicked off this year with the seventh grade’s trip to the Delaware Water Gap. Students prepared for the trip on campus before taking off on the water where they paddled well, developed new friendships, and laughed a lot! Director of Outdoor Education Chris Costa shared that they had beautiful weather and saw multiple Bald Eagles—including several that were circling over them during their floating Meeting for Worship. Students worked together to set up camp, cook dinner, practiced Leave No Trace principles, read maps, and navigated their canoes over 20 miles on the Delaware River. They were challenged and grew in many ways that will continue to strengthen their class and our community back at Westtown! We offer a special shout out to the many enthusiastic teachers who accompany students on these trips, ensuring that they have a safe, educational, and fun experience. Have a look at the entire gallery of photos from this trip here!

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  • Outdoor Ed Goes to the Mountains

    Outdoor Ed Goes to the Mountains

    Seven Upper School students, along with teachers Elson Blunt, Tom Berrian, and Director of Outdoor Education Chris Costa, traveled to the Delaware Water Gap for the Outdoor Education Fall Backpacking…

    Seven Upper School students, along with teachers Elson Blunt, Tom Berrian, and Director of Outdoor Education Chris Costa, traveled to the Delaware Water Gap for the Outdoor Education Fall Backpacking Trip. They hiked on a section of the Appalachian Trail with heavy packs on steep and rocky terrain. During their unplugged weekend, they learned how to live and travel in the backcountry including how to work within a group to set up camp, build a fire, protect their food from bears, navigate with a map and compass, and cook delicious food. Costa shared that despite the rain and cooler temperatures, students layered up and stayed positive while reflecting together and laughing a lot. They showed great leadership in their support for one another and their ability to meet and push their edges. And, she added, "All of the students expressed so much gratitude for the opportunity to challenge themselves in this way." You can see more from their mountain adventure here!

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  • Students Demand Action Host PA Senator Williams

    Students Demand Action Host PA Senator Williams

    On November 3, Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams ’75 met with students for a Town Hall about gun control legislation as well as funding for education/access. The visit was proposed…


    On November 3, Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams ’75 met with students for a Town Hall about gun control legislation as well as funding for education/access. The visit was proposed and organized by Tessa Kipnis ’26 and Lucy Smith ’26, club heads of the new Westtown School chapter of Students Demand Action with the support of Joseph Daniels, Chair of the History and Religion Department, who also serves as the club’s faculty adivsor.  As Williams arrived on campus, he was greeted by Head of School Chris Benbow '90 and classmate Jay Farrow '75. Afterward, he spoke at two Town Hall sessions with students and answered questions.

    Students Demand Action Club Heads Tessa Kipnis and Lucy Smith with PA State Senator Williams and Joseph Daniels
    Senator Williams with students and faculty advisors of Black Student Union
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  • National Merit Scholarship Commended Students

    National Merit Scholarship Commended Students

    The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has recognized the following as Commended Students for their outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT: (from left) seniors Peishan Huang, Maya Jain, Joey Kim, Jerry…


    The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has recognized the following as Commended Students for their outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT: (from left) seniors Peishan Huang, Maya Jain, Joey Kim, Jerry Li, Ly Nguyen, Ethan Shaman, Tony Wang, and Alena Zhang. “Those named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” says a spokesperson for the NMSC. “These students represent valuable national resources; recognizing their accomplishments as well as the key role their schools play in their development is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.” Please join us in congratulating these students on their outstanding achievement!

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  • Sports Roundup

    Sports Roundup

    The fall season of athletics was marked by exceptional achievements and milestones which were the results of our student-athletes' dedication, skill, and sportsmanship across various sports. The boys and girls…

    The fall season of athletics was marked by exceptional achievements and milestones which were the results of our student-athletes' dedication, skill, and sportsmanship across various sports.

    The boys and girls soccer teams brought immense pride to our community, both clinching Friends Schools League (FSL) Championships! This triumph was a monumental moment for our boys' team, achieving their first championship since 2011, and a testament to the consistent excellence of our girls' team, who secured their second consecutive title. The individual accolades of Olivia Bley ’24 and Leo Salvucci ’24, who were named to the All-State Team, further exemplify our teams' and players' talent and hard work. Olivia's remarkable journey, culminating in her 100th goal, illuminated the path to the PAISAA State Championship game, showcasing the bright future of both teams.

    Our cross-country runners, though few in number, demonstrated immense spirit and resilience. Their performances, especially in setting personal records at the FSL Championship at George School, signal a promising future and a culture of healthy competition and personal growth.

    In tennis, our girls team, led admirably by seniors Amy Vaduva ’24 and Sasha Khalo ’24, showed remarkable tenacity. Though starting slowly, their season ended on a solid note, exemplifying the spirit of perseverance and improvement.

    Our field hockey team, guided by the leadership of senior Lily Diamond ’24 and junior Grace Malavolta ’25, achieved a significant milestone by making the FSL playoffs for the first time in four years. Their progress and enthusiasm throughout the season set a foundation for future success.

    The school's overall athletic prowess was further highlighted as 24 student-athletes were named to the FSL All-League and Honorable Mention Teams, the highest representation from any Friends League school. This achievement underscores our commitment to athletic excellence and holistic development.

    Lastly, the advancement of the Oak Lane Turf Fields Project marks a significant step forward for Westtown School. The approval for Conditional Use and Land Development and the progress in other related areas bring us closer to realizing our vision for enhanced sports facilities, which we aim to complete by the Fall of 2024.

    These accomplishments reflect the spirit of Westtown School, where growth, teamwork, and resilience are as much a part of our ethos as academic excellence. As we look towards the winter season, we remain committed to fostering an environment where our student-athletes can continue to thrive and succeed.

    Girls Soccer Team - FSL Champs
    Boys Soccer Team - FSL Champs
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Arts

  • Fall Dance Concert

    Fall Dance Concert

    Elements Dance Company and the Upper School Fall Dance Ensemble put on quite a show for their fall concert entitled All The Jazz. As a warm-up for the spring musical,…

    Elements Dance Company and the Upper School Fall Dance Ensemble put on quite a show for their fall concert entitled All The Jazz. As a warm-up for the spring musical, Chicago, the lighthearted and energetic fall concert featured collaborative student work, original pieces by dance teacher Amy Grebe, video shorts, and even live accompaniment from student performers! Well done, dancers! Enjoy images from the concert by student photographer Eric Li ’24.

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  • Upper School Fall Play

    Upper School Fall Play

    The Upper School Fall Play, Move Fast and Break Things by Mark Galarrita, was commissioned by Westtown School. This play began development with theater students in the spring of 2022. In this contemporary comedy, a group…

    The Upper School Fall Play, Move Fast and Break Things by Mark Galarrita, was commissioned by Westtown School. This play began development with theater students in the spring of 2022. In this contemporary comedy, a group of teens enter a competition to create the next world-changing app. Their intentions are good but the consequences are unexpected.

    The play featured 25 students on and offstage, and senior Ali Unrath designed costumes for this production. Galarrita visited the campus for the performances and met with students during his stay. Our thanks to playwright Mark Galarrita, Alex Ates, Director of Visual and Performing Arts, and all of the students who worked on this production. Well done! Enjoy the gallery of photos from the production here.

    Cast and crew with playwright Mark Galarrita (left)

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  • Upper School Winter Concert

    Upper School Winter Concert

    Bravo to all of our Upper School singers and musicians who performed in the Winter Concert! The concert showcased three ensembles with over 50 students and celebrated the magic and…

    Bravo to all of our Upper School singers and musicians who performed in the Winter Concert! The concert showcased three ensembles with over 50 students and celebrated the magic and music of the season. Our thanks to student photographer William Wang '26 who captured this event! You can see more photos here.

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Community

  • Campus Nature Walk

    Campus Nature Walk

    Campus Nature Walk Friends gathered for our annual Campus Nature Walk, where they were led on guided tours of our beautiful grounds and saw plants, animals, and birds native to…

    Campus Nature Walk

    Friends gathered for our annual Campus Nature Walk, where they were led on guided tours of our beautiful grounds and saw plants, animals, and birds native to Westtown. The walk was led and curated by Marta Willgoose Salo, Middle and Upper School faculty member and naturalist, Courtney McKinley, Middle School science teacher, and Ryan Black, Upper School science teacher. Thank you to our guides and to the community members who’ve helped us make the Campus Nature Walk and annual event! Enjoy more photos here

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  • Campus Dog Walk

    Campus Dog Walk

    Thanks to all (and their four-legged friends!) who joined us for the annual Campus Dog Walk! More photos from the event can be found here—thanks to student photographer William Wang…

    Thanks to all (and their four-legged friends!) who joined us for the annual Campus Dog Walk! More photos from the event can be found herethanks to student photographer William Wang '26!

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  • Community Basketball Game

    Community Basketball Game

    Join us on January 6, 2024 on Coach Downey Court to see our alums, parents/guardians, faculty, and staff in action for our annual Westtown Community Basketball Game! Whether you want to…

    Join us on January 6, 2024 on Coach Downey Court to see our alums, parents/guardians, faculty, and staff in action for our annual Westtown Community Basketball Game! Whether you want to participate in the game or cheer from the stands, you'll have a great time. Be sure to come before the game and stay after to support our girls and boys varsity basketball teams as well!  Register to play here! See below for a schedule for the games.

    3:00 p.m. - Girls Varsity vs. Fort Erie International
    4:00 p.m. - Check-in and warm-up for Community Players
    4:30 p.m. - Tipoff for Community Game
    5:30 p.m. - Post-Game Reception for Community Players
    6:00 p.m. - Boys Varsity vs. Olympus Prep

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  • Quakerism in Curriculum

    Quakerism in Curriculum

    Parents and guardians have been engaging in learning and reflection in the “Quakerism in the Curriculum” informational sessions. Led by Dean of Faculty and Innovation Chris Wills, these sessions have examined how Westtown incorporates…

    Parents and guardians have been engaging in learning and reflection in the “Quakerism in the Curriculum” informational sessions. Led by Dean of Faculty and Innovation Chris Wills, these sessions have examined how Westtown incorporates Quaker teachings and values into its curriculum and programming across the divisions, and explored Meeting for Worship. The next session will be January 23 at 6:00 p.m. in the Belfry and will be facilitated by Director of Pre-K-12 Visual and Performing Arts Alex Ates. This session will cover how Quakerism and Quaker values shape the Visual and Performing Arts curriculum. It is open to current parents/guardians who are new to Quakerism, who would like a refresher, or who would simply like to participate. If you would like to join us, please RSVP here.

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  • Save the Date for Our Next Shoemaker!

    Save the Date for Our Next Shoemaker!

    Sheryl Oring will be our next guest in the Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer series. She will do a performance of I Wish to Say on the Granolithic during the academic day…

    Sheryl Oring will be our next guest in the Shoemaker Visiting Lecturer series. She will do a performance of I Wish to Say on the Granolithic during the academic day for students and faculty; the lecture will be on April 8, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. in the Barton-Test Theater. This lecture is open to members of the whole Westtown community, but is not open to the public

    For I Wish to Say, artist Sheryl Oring sets up a makeshift public office—complete with a manual typewriter—and invites members of the public to dictate postcards to the U.S. President. Each card is typed verbatim; originals are sent to the White House and Oring keeps a carbon copy for her project archive. Oring has presented more than 100 performances at dozens of venues across the country. 

    Since launching the I Wish to Say project in 2004, artist Sheryl Oring has typed more than 4,000 postcards to U.S. Presidents from dozens of locations across the U.S. She is a Creative Capital grantee and her book, Activating Democracy: The I Wish to Say Project, was published by the University of Chicago Press. Oring is Dean of the School of Art at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. 

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Alums

  • Alums Weekend 2024!

    Alums Weekend 2024!

    We look forward to welcoming you back to Westtown for Alums Weekend on May 17-19, 2024! This year we will celebrate reunions for classes ending in four and nine, including special 50th reunion gatherings for the Class…

    We look forward to welcoming you back to Westtown for Alums Weekend on May 17-19, 2024! This year we will celebrate reunions for classes ending in four and nine, including special 50th reunion gatherings for the Class of 1974. Registration will launch in March, but in the meantime, it's time to start thinking about your class reunions. If you already have plans confirmed, please let us know

    Keep an eye out for more details in the coming months, and don't hesitate to email our team with any questions! 

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