When first-grader Anthony Garcia took the microphone at Marymount of Santa Barbara’s traditional Opening Circle ceremony on the first day of school to tell collected students, faculty, staff and parents why he was happy to be back at school, there wasn’t a face in the crowd without a smile. The same was true when eighth-grade students addressed the audience about their goals for their last year at Marymount.
The sense of community and support at Marymount of Santa Barbara has always been strong and a tremendous draw to the school. When Head of School Andrew Wooden stood up to speak, he gave the crowd new reasons to be happy to be back at Marymount.
Marymount’s track record of preparing students for success in secondary school and beyond is well documented in student success both academically and in terms of non-academic “life skills” that help to support future student success — skills such as leadership, collaboration, follow-through, creativity and adaptability. Several new faculty members have been added to Marymount’s team of teachers to continue to provide students with crucial new skills for the future.
Ty Hegner, who has taught high school students at the MAD Academy at Santa Barbara High School and college students at Santa Barbara City College, will be teaching a new multimedia course at Marymount. Hegner is well-positioned to understand the skills that graduating eighth-graders are going to need upon graduation.
New Spanish and girls’ middle school volleyball coach Megan Cannon is joining the Marymount teaching team that emphasizes interactive, inquiry-based learning.
Assistant teachers Kate Rutkin and Katie Jepson have been added to the lower school team of teachers to ensure that the youngest Marymount students get personalized attention in the classroom.
New technology will be found in every classroom this fall. An iPad program is being introduced at Marymount this year as a result of the very successful fundraising initiative, “Safe, Secure and Connected.”
While Marymount’s commitment to teaching fundamental, core subjects such as mathematics, STEM science, reading and writing is top priority for the school, new and enhanced school programs include robotics, community service, multimedia and leadership. Summer campus improvements abound: a renovated Tea House and pool, a redecorated Multipurpose Room, an improved kindergarten playground and new play structures. Marymount’s historic Meditation Garden was also renovated.
Wooden shared that 98 percent of parents participated in Marymount’s Annual Fund, an indicator of parent confidence and happiness with the school. He also shared that the school surpassed its enrollment goals and that more than two-thirds of Marymount students again scored 95 percent or higher on the ERB, the standardized test most frequently used by independent schools.
Immediately following Opening Circle, Marymount Parent Council co-chair CeCe Borchardt started the first meeting of the year by presenting Wooden with a $10,000 check to further enhance Marymount’s differentiated learning/learning specialist program.
New reasons to be happy to be back at school abound at Marymount but are perhaps best summed up by a new kindergarten parent in an email sent to Admissions Director Molly Seguel, “Our daughter is LOVING Marymount, and we are all so happy she is there.”
Marymount is an independent coeducational school, junior kindergarten through eighth grade, on a picturesque 10-acre campus nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. For nearly 75 years, Marymount has prepared young people for the academic challenges of high school and college, while laying the foundation for lifelong character, achievement and love of learning.
— Molly Seguel is director of admissions for Marymount of Santa Barbara.