With the usual international travel component not an option this year, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is offering its Global Odyssey program – with some other ways of fulfilling its goal of providing every student with an international experience to spark her global curiosity and develop a global competence. After completing this year’s final exams, students will embark on Global Odyssey May 24-27. Next, they will participate in Global Voices June 1 by reflecting on their role as global citizens and partaking in globally themed activities.
News Around Woodlands
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s May Crowning ceremony held Monday, May 3, is a visible reminder that Mary’s example continues to endure even 2,000 years after her Assumption. May Crowning is a traditional way within the Catholic Church to honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus, by crowning her statue with a wreath of flowers. “What makes Mary especially unique and relatable is that she was not a known or wealthy individual when she was called by God to serve him in a great way,” senior Kate Wenc said in her opening remarks. “Mary’s example is universal, meaning that anyone can look to her life to see how she demonstrated a life of love and service, purity of heart, and obedience.”
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s participation in this year’s Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (ICTM) contests added up to multiple successes. Overall, MathCats team members from the all-girls college-preparatory high school in Lake Forest finished third in their Division 1A regional competition and then in ninth place at the state level. Due to COVID-19 protocols this year, there was only one event at the regional level with students participating at their home school either in person or remotely. Then, in lieu of a traditional state competition, ICTM used the regional event results to determine overall state awards. (Depicted are junior and senior class members of MathCats during one of this year’s club meetings.)
Woodlands Academy recently hosted a virtual public forum aimed at motivating girls to explore high-level business executive roles. Those participating in the April 21 Imagine Yourself in the C- Suite program heard from Woodlands Academy alumna Mary Erdoes, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s asset and wealth management division. Her accolades include being named "the most powerful woman in finance" by American Banker and “the most powerful woman on Wall Street” by the Wall Street Journal. “I wouldn't be where I am today without my years at Woodlands,” she said.
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart Board of Trustees has voted to appoint Dawn Nichols, Ed.D., the next head of school effective July 1, 2021. “Dr. Nichols is a highly successful educational leader who has worked in public, independent and Catholic schools,” Board Chair Mary Clare Pollard White said. “Additionally, Dr. Nichols has a very special connection to Woodlands. In 2014, she chaired the visiting committee for the school's ISACS [Independent Schools Association of the Central States] accreditation. Our school and the mission of Sacred Heart left a positive lasting impression on her, and she developed a genuine affection for Woodlands.” Nichols currently is head of school at St. Michael's Catholic Academy, a co-educational high school in Austin, Texas. Previously, she was head of school at Visitation School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, an independent Catholic all-girls school with students in grades 6 to 12.
On four occasions during the school year, the Woodlands Academy community comes together to acknowledge two girls per class and one member of the adult community for living the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria in a most visible way. For the current Sacred Heart awards, our student government selected Goal Four: “Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to the building of community as a Christian value.” Freshmen Teresa Ciaglo and Campbell Eggers, sophomores Abby Pace and Lucy Saucedo, juniors Ashley Komac and Julissa Rodriguez, seniors Maddie Moravek and Kate Wiegand, and art teacher Jose Avalos were recognized April 15 for their efforts in living out this goal.
Women in the Arts, a Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart tradition, takes on new significance this year as it becomes the Jamie Tuttle Women in the Arts. Tuttle was a vital member of the school’s arts faculty for three decades who inspired generations of Woodlands students with her dedication to the arts. She passed away Sept. 15, 2020, after a heroic battle with cancer. In addition to renaming the annual arts series in her honor, Tuttle’s husband and daughter will donate a photo of the late faculty member and one of her photographs to be permanently displayed in the student art gallery in the front hallway of the Lake Forest school.
Junior Ring Ceremony, one of the most significant days of a student's time at Woodlands Academy, marks a turning point in her Sacred Heart education. The class rings and Philippine Duchesne medals presented to junior class members will remind them of the strong bond students feel within the school and the international Sacred Heart community. Woodlands Academy's senior class planned and hosted the March 5 event. Each ring bears the Sacred Heart symbol of two embracing hearts – signs of love, friendship and unity. Juniors wear it with the hearts facing in toward their hearts. Once they graduate, they turn the ring around, challenging students to reach out to others and share Sacred Heart traditions and values.
Eight Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart students (two from each class) and one faculty member received third quarter Sacred Heart awards Feb. 3 in recognition of living the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria in a most visible way. Goal Two, “Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to a deep respect for intellectual values,” was chosen by the Woodlands Academy student government as the basis for these awards. Freshmen Tate Reilly and Salome Rojas-Diaz, sophomores Natalia Kozic and Sophia Gammel, juniors Lily Hinojosa and Lillard Preschlack, seniors Hailey Denton and Kayla Imanzi, and science/mathematics teacher John Denman were recognized for their efforts in living out this goal.
Powerful remarks from someone who befriended Nelson Mandela under somewhat unusual circumstances provided the framework for this year’s “Open Hearts: Be the Change” day at Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. Students, faculty and staff set aside the usual classroom routine Jan. 27 to focus on exploring ways of building bridges toward greater inclusion and equity in our society by grounding themselves in the Sacred Heart values of community and relationships. The theme for the day was Understanding Implicit Bias and Becoming Allies for One Another. Keynote speaker Christo Brand emphasized the importance of finding common ground with people we might believe to be unrelatable. At age 19, Brand was a prison guard to Mandela. To his surprise, Brand realized the two had much in common and they became close friends.