When we announced our move to Manhattan, no one was more excited than our founding Brooklyn students. Last week, some of those students visited our new campus in Herald Square and were very excited about the new opportunity to be in Manhattan. Oden G. ’22 says, “I’m really excited about the new campus in Manhattan. Although it will be different, it’s great to see the school expand and the opportunities in Manhattan are endless.” Lane R. ’22 says, “I am looking forward to a new space that will broaden my future as a student of the Winchendon School.” We are all excited to watch the school grow and can’t wait to move into the new space over the summer. If you are interested in learning more, check out our NYC campus page.
Looking back, Sophie Jamison ’18 jokes her friends didn’t really like her Nerf-focused posts on Instagram. Those posts evolved into @nerfers101 and garnered attention from Nerf enthusiasts around the globe. During the Covid lockdown, she was unable to attend the Nerf shows and competitions she is known for, so she turned her attention to TikTok and creating content. Since starting on TikTok, Sophie has amassed more than 1.8 million subscribers (yes, you read that correctly). But it ALL began here, at The Winchendon School, when during her ColLAB, Sophie created a YouTube Channel, learned basic videography and other skills she still calls upon in her work.
At the end of March 2021, Hasbro announced, “The NERF Marketing Team at Hasbro today kicked off a nationwide search for a trend-obsessed and highly-creative NERF fan to take on the title of NERF Chief TikTok Officer (Nerf CTO). The coveted position will pay $10,000 a month for up to three months to help develop strategy (read: give our marketing team some clout), create content (make 10-12 epic NERF TikTok videos each month), and ultimately set the tone for NERF’s debut on the social platform.”
With over 1,000 applicants, in addition to her application and content, what set Sophie apart was the fact her TikTok subscribers also recommended her for the position. According to Adweek, “Nerf said that throughout the campaign, the comments section on its TikTok account was flooded with users and fans tagging Jamison and saying she was perfect for the role of chief TikTok officer.”
WHAT’S A ColLAB?
Immersive learning through ColLABorative studies at The Winchendon School means our students have achieved subject mastery and personal growth through our experience-based learning. This can look different for different students. For some students, it may look like an internship at a non-profit learning how to fundraise, while for another student it may be writing a research paper on The Detection Mechanism of Gravitational Waves Emitted from a Type 1A Supernovae (say that ten times fast!). For Sophie, it translated into her new position at Nerf.
ColLABs end with a symposium giving the students an opportunity to share their knowledge and research with an appreciative audience. In short, ColLAB Symposium is the centerpiece of our commitment to immersive education.
To watch Sophie in her 2018 Baccalaureate speech as she describes the anxiety she learned to overcome – go here:
Written by Sydney Comire ’21
Races were run, eggs were tossed, soccer and tennis skills were put to the test, as students started off DEIJ week with the well loved tradition of The Cultural Olympics. Students topped off the Olympics with a photo booth “I am, but I am not” activity where they were asked to write down something they identify with/as and something they break within the stereotypes surrounding said identifier. For example, “I am tall, but I still wear heels” or “I’m Italian, but I don’t like pizza”.
On Tuesday, within dorm/day student groups, students attended DEIJ workshops set up and led by Student Service Learning Leaders. Workshops included, “Education and Equity”, “How Diverse is your Universe?”, and “Gender in Sports”. Within their individual workshops, students participated in activities to broaden their knowledge of Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, or Justice related topics.
On Wednesday, students learned about why we shouldn’t use “The R Word”.
On Thursday, students will participate in a joint Fashion and Talent Show to represent their Dorm/Day Student teams, something they’ve been working on throughout the week. Students will showcase their talents and will walk the catwalk in fashion that represents their culture.
Could you imagine living on $2 a day or staying silent for a whole day? On Friday, students have the opportunity to try both those things when participating in The Day of Silence and $2 a Day activities, also led by student Service Learning Leaders.
Overall exciting things are happening!
About DEIJ Week at The Winchendon School:
Why Are We Here and Who Are We Helping?
Inquiry drives a Winchendon School education. Our students dive deeply into learning how their service can provide meaningful change. Designed by students, the activities supporting the workshops during the week asked two essential questions: Why are we here? Who are we helping?
With warmer weather comes a bustling campus. Students are outside at the basketball hoops, playing tennis, or a pick-up game of football, tie-dying, and getting in games against other schools. Scores can be found by sport on the website under Teams and Arts.
Teams are having cookouts, students are playing competitive wiffleball in between studying in their rooms or designated study spaces on campus!
The Winchendon School | NYC moves to Herald Square
The Winchendon School | NYC moves to Herald Square to 45 West 34th Street in an expanded space of 15 classrooms, by September 2021. The independent Winchendon School opened a campus in Brooklyn in 2018 in order to create better access for NYC families to Winchendon’s renowned highly personalized style of high school education and to establish better opportunities for students to participate in community-based learning and internships. In order to support continued enrollment growth, provide much better access for students and faculty, and provide better classrooms, workspaces, and labs, Winchendon will relocate to the Herald Square building for September 2021 and the start of the 2021-2022 academic year. The School also has an option to significantly expand its space in the building in the future to support growing enrollment.
Located in Herald Square, the new redesigned and furbished location will allow the School better access to student field opportunities and better access to the City’s world-class museums, colleges, and businesses while continuing its mission to be the best college prep school for students with significant unrealized potential, exemplified by Chelsea Mendez ‘21.
Senior Chelsea commented, “At Winchendon, I have been supported in pushing myself to achieve my very best, accelerating through multiple AP’s while taking advantage of opportunities on our MA campus as well.”
After receiving multiple college acceptances, Chelsea is headed to Villanova in the fall where she plans to continue her study of psychology while majoring in Political Science.
Head of the New York campus, Sean Duncan elaborated, “For a student like Chelsea, a bright student with significant unrealized potential, our new location allows better access to the museums, studios, labs, and workplaces where we spend our time learning while on field studies, in internships, and engaged in other personalized academic projects – while halving her commute.” Duncan continued, “Proximity to every major subway line makes it’s easier for us to get off campus during the school day, and also for students to get to campus from home, making it just much more convenient for more students throughout the metro area.
To learn how other Winchendon students like Chelsea have thrived and found more academic success, go to https://winchendon.org/student-profiles.
New Midtown campus address as of Fall 2021:
45 West 34th Street
Transportation: Easy access with no transfers required from almost anywhere in the City.
Our seniors are getting ready to move to their next adventure – and we are excited – yet a bit sad to see them off. Picking the next leg of their journey includes finding the next “right-fit” school.
Our commitment to helping our students explore possibilities and turning them into more opportunities for college begins when they first step onto campus. Our College Counseling office brings students and colleges together (virtually and in-person as circumstances allow) and this time of year we work with students to narrow their future choices to the best match for them.
College acceptances for the class of 2021 so far include Bowdoin College, Boston University, Tufts University, Georgetown, George Washington University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Temple University, Trinity College, New York University, Northeastern University, Wake Forest University, Wellesley College, Villanova University, and MORE!
Congratulations to all our seniors!