Get To Know the Center Directors

By Harleigh Markowitz

We all know and love HB’s Institute for the 21st Century, and the amazing center directors that provide us with endless opportunities. Course selection is here, and with all of the amazing electives that HB offers, it can be hard to choose which electives and center designations you would like to pursue. Here is a list of all of the centers here at HB along with interviews as to why you should participate in their center:

Institute for 21st Century Education – Mr. Vogel

Q: What would say the mission of the Institute is?

A: The primary mission of the Institute is to allow girls to pursue their passion and discover things that they had no idea they were interested in. I always refer to the Institute as exemplifying experimental education. The Institute not only allows girls to experience their passion, but exemplifies life outside of the classroom. All classroom instruction establishes the foundation for the work that the Institute provides for the students. If you think of the Institute as the solar system, the common curriculum is the center of the solar system and the centers are surrounding the curriculum, collaborating with the curriculum and each other. It is important to understand that center and center directors are engaged in all divisions not just the upper school. One of the great things about the Institute is that it is HB’s Institute for 21st Century not just the Upper School.

Q: What is your favorite part of being the director of the Institute?

A: My favorite part about being director is being able to see first-hand how the institute has significantly impacted the HB experience and the lives of the girls that have graduated from HB in terms of shaping who they are. The other thing I love about being director is working and collaborating with an amazing group of colleagues, the other center directors.

Q: What changes, if any, are in store for the Institute over the next few years?

A: The biggest change occurring this year is the introduction of STRNAD into the Institute. Our other change is re-evaluating the requirements for designations and creating new and unique capstone experiences.

 

Center for the Creative Arts – Mr. Morse

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A: Co-Director of the Center for the Creative Arts along with Ms. Burnett

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: Starting at the end of Junior year and then over the summer we give the students a summer project called the “summer sketchbook”, where we give the students prompts to help them discover what their vision might be. We want them to start thinking and seeing like artists, and the sketchbook allows them ways to express themselves. The big project is over the course of their senior year which we call “The Concentration” which is creating a series of works on a theme. The variety of projects is very wide. It could be in printmaking, photography, sculpture, or any other type of art-medium. That is incredibly exciting to me as it allows for a variety of approaches. The structure varies depending on the medium and the choices that the students make. We don’t judge it by quantity of art, but the amount of time put in to the work. Each student gets assigned an advisor, usually me, Ms. Ahern, or Mr. Zeleny.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: This allows students to explore their own vision without being graded on it. Thus, we are tapping into student’s passion and personal vision. The students are doing it because they want to, just for the sake of doing it which is truly what art is all about.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: We are only in our second year, so the center itself is a work in progress. Every year we look at ways to tweak the center requirements, so the excitement is just the beginning of this and the center should get nothing but better every year.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: We promote it at curriculum night with parents and through the website of course as well as our classes. That said, there is really only a finite number of students who we want to do it. We only want the most passionate artists and the ones who truly want to put in the effort.

 

Center for Business and Finance – Ms. Krist

Q: What is your official title as center director?
A: Director for the Center of Business and Finance

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?
A: The curriculum covers a wide range of business and entrepreneurship principles including marketing, finance, HR, personal finance, entrepreneurship, as well as important skills such as writing emails, resumes and cover letters, and interviewing. Outside experiences and off campus opportunities are paramount to the center experience. Students can participate in field trips to local businesses, banks, and other organizations as well as participate in business and entrepreneurship competitions throughout the city. I am starting to spread the curriculum in the Middle School and Prime to teach business skills to the younger kids so they will have early knowledge of the business world as they move through HB.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?
A: My favorite part of my job is being able to work with students and show them the world of business which is something they have never really seen up close as well as teaching skills and providing opportunities as the students enter the real world.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?
A: The HBSIG (HB Student Investment Group) allows students to invest real money, purchase stocks and mutual funds, and manage the funds for future growth. We will be introducing an internship program next summer that will provide the opportunity to pursue a five-week internship to get a glimpse into what it is like to work in the business world. We will be expanding the curriculum for the 18-19 school year to incorporate freshman into the business and finance curriculum.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?
A: I would advertise the center as the ability to offer authentic experiences to our students whether it is through an internship or interacting with young alumnus who come to speak. All of our HB students will be in the working world one day, and the skills learned and developed within the center will serve them well in the future.

 

Center for Civic Engagement – Ms. Hiedemann

Q: What is your official title as center director?
A: Director of the Center for Civic Engagement

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?
A: I think that at its core the center challenges students to step outside their comfort zone towards the public good in age appropriate ways. There are various ways you can be involved. The main way to be involved is to take service learning classes and complete the requirement for the designation that goes along with. The students start with Service Learning I, then move on to Service Learning 2, and then finally complete their work with the Capstone course. There is a service component to each class that goes more in depth throughout their time in the Upper School. The additional experience needed for Capstone courses is to partake in a philanthropic experience such as leadership program, service trip, or partnering with other service organizations. In addition, students can be involved in the center as much or as little as they want. Students can sign up for one local service trip or can be more involved with ongoing service projects that we sponsor such as the Citizen’s Leadership Academy. This can be done through the service learning curriculum or just out of interest or curiosity. Likewise, a large group of GROW members are doing many aspects of the center, but some only participate in GROW. We also participate in civic events that may not have a direct aspect to service such as visiting the City Club of Cleveland, where students can become an active member of the community.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?
A: My favorite part would probably be advising GROW, which is a unique experience in seeing the combination of head and heart to make decisions and seeing how much passion students have throughout the year in GROW. GROW is such a special thing that we offer here at HB which not a lot of schools across the country has. GROW is still relatively new, and it is very exciting to see the organization develop. Outside the school, I love to be able to connect our students to non-profits and other organizations to make change and better our community.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?
A: This year our focus is on hunger and nutrition, and while it is not the first year we have had a theme, something new is that we are trying to create a series of events throughout the year that relate to our theme. For example, the food drives that we sponsor and 10 for a Turkey as well as a benefit at the end of the year where students of all ages can connect to make a difference in the community. Another new thing is the Service Learning 1 class has a new structure where we are having 4 half day field trips during the school day where we are going outside of HB to connect with the Greater Cleveland area. This is a change in that these field trips give students an intense view into the community. A third change is that we have taken the annual fair trade sale and instead of just focusing on fair trade we are focusing on the concept of purpose driven business. We are not just focusing on whether or not an item is fairly traded, but whether the vendor has a true purpose.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?
A: If you care about your community and love service than this center is a great center to join and is very rewarding and it is incredible to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

 

Center for Global Citizenship – Mr. Vogel

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A: Director of the Center for Global Citizenship

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: The world. It is engaged in all divisions with various program such as EC Global Scholars that regularly engages in the prime as well as experimental programs abroad in middle school. This year’s Middle School experiences abroad are Panama and Quebec. I plan and oversee all experiences abroad in the middle school and the upper school. I also teach Global Scholars where the center’s designation comes from, and I work with faculty members across all divisions. We offer between 10 and 12 programs per year as a school and send between a quarter and a third of our upper school students abroad each year. One of the things I think is really important about students going abroad is that many years ago as a school we decided that we did not want financial situations at home to determine whether or not a student could go abroad, so we offer financial aid that is entirely from gifts by donors.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: The world. I love every aspect of it. I guess ultimately what I love about it is impacting the experience of what it means to be at HB and greatly shapes how students view themselves and the world. This is not about teaching or developing a tolerance for others, but celebrating and finding the joy in the diversity of what it means to be human. Ultimately, this is the human experience, which is particularly what this program teaches. I am also the executive director of a non-profit called Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG) that is a group of 225 schools across the US and around the world. Our annual global educators conference is being hosted at HB this April, so I will have 300 educators from around the world on campus. I do know that educators are coming from Turkey, China, Denmark, Switzerland, and the UK just to name a few.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: I am excited about our 2 new programs abroad: Japan and Ecuador and the Galapagos Island programs. Japan is a walking program where the students will have the ability to be outside and reflect on nature with the ability to distance themselves from technology while away from HB. The Galapagos trip will be amazing, I’m jealous. Something I love about it is that it not just to the Galapagos which is amazing, but looking at the cultural piece rather than just the science piece. The group will start high up in the Andes looking at the cultural groups of South America which will contrast life in high-altitudes with life along the coast of Ecuador.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: The biggest sell in terms of global scholars is that it is interesting. Ultimately it is intellectual candy where you can learn and enjoy learning about some of the most incredible things in the world. Who wouldn’t want that?

 

Center for Leadership and Well-Being – Ms. Biggar

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A:  Director of the Center for Leadership and Well-Being

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: So, our center really focuses on fostering strong leadership skills in our students and supporting our students in learning social and emotional skills regarding wellness and taking care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. On the leadership side, we have a leadership seminar class available for all upper school students as well as providing the opportunity for all students to pursue leadership experimental opportunities. For example, our sophomores can be part of the HOBY program. This fall, five of our upper school students attended the Youth Engagement and Leadership lab which was put on by an organization called inspirED. At this event, the students learned specific skills and tools in order to be an innovator and change-maker in their community using tools from Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Facebook, and other organizations. We want to make sure that every student in our school has the opportunity to seek leadership training outside and inside of HB. On the well-being end of the center, the center is working hard to make sure that we are using evidence based practices for social and emotional learning to benefit a positive school culture as well as making sure we are using evidenced based practices in our wellness classes. We are working on an assessment to create a strategic plan and map going forward on how to support our faculty and our students in learning about authentic leadership and practicing leadership and well-being throughout all areas of their life. We are striving to create a framework and common language around these areas for the whole school to use. Lastly, the center is working hard at supporting the senate and going forward, would love to provide more support to all formal leadership roles in the school across divisions.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: This fall, coming in new, I wanted to have an understanding about what leadership means at HB and how we are teaching these skills to our young women. I have been taking on the role of meeting with faculty across all divisions to take inventory of how they feel that they are teaching and fostering leadership at HB. It has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know the faculty on a more personal level. My other favorite part of being center director is having the opportunity to offer these various leadership opportunities to our students and take them off campus to different events.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: Something new and exciting occurring within our center is that we are in a stage of transition for re-inventing the center. We are open to feedback from students, faculty, parents, and alumni on how the center can best serve the HB community.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: Making announcements in morning meeting is a great way to advertise the center and opportunities in addition to consistent contact with students via email as well as announcements in class meetings. In the future, we would love to be able to highlight some of the different experiential opportunities that students have experienced. In the future, I would love to tell the current eighth graders about the center and all of the opportunities they might encounter in their Upper School experience.  

 

Center for Multicultural Affairs and Aspire Program – Ms. Seals

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A: Director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs and Director of the Aspire Program

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: As far as the Center for Multicultural Affairs, this is the first year students will be able to graduate with a designation. In order to do that they will have to take a series of classes, first TRUST where they will learn about how identities shape who a person is. The next class is Social Justice and the Media, where you apply the ideas you learned in TRUST in terms of justice and identify. We also look about how media can be used in both positive and negative ways to manipulate or propel ideas. We also look at creating social change. By the time students get to senior year, they create a capstone on how to educate those on social issues they are passionate about. For the first time, in May, students will be displaying their projects at Mosaic Symposium. In addition to those curricular pieces, students can be involved in the center by participating in clubs such as Spectrum, BCA, Islamic Students Association, and if students are interest in starting a club with the support of the center, they can do that as well in regards to justice, identify, and social-culturalism. As far as Aspire is concerned, students can work and volunteer at Aspire during summer sessions. We also have an internship program where one can be a junior teacher in Aspire. Students can learn about more complex issues around equity education from the opposite side of the desk.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: My favorite part is particularly the diverse array of students that I get to work with as I get to be surrounded by different types of people with different passions. I love being on the journey to help students define issues regarding social justice and the action that they can take themselves.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: The biggest new piece is that you can graduate with a designation and the launch of the Mosaic Symposium, which will be on May 5th, designed to be an opportunity for students around NE Ohio to talk about issues regarding equity, social justice, etc. We are incredibly excited to launch this program. For Aspire, we just celebrated our 15th anniversary of programming. We are looking for people to hire and will be launching our session in June.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: I would say that students should participate in this center because diversity is everyone’s work and sometimes we can forget that everybody is responsible for making sure that the world is an equitable place. We tend to look at diversity as the work of people of color, and I want to encourage students to look at this work as human work and they we are all connected to each other through common humanity. There is room for everyone at the diversity table no matter one’s privilege or identity, and we need the beauty of everyone’s voices to make sure that happens. The work that Aspire does is taking one issue and responding to it. Aspire and Multiculturalism are connected because Aspire in an example of the action step and finding an issue that you are passionate about and want to fix and create something that addresses it. Aspire is an example of that creation due to inequity in education. We want to teach you to be the change that you wish to see in the world.


Center for Sustainability – Ms. McMillan

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A: Director of the Center for Sustainability

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: In the Upper School, we offer the climate and action class. I also support projects in collaboration with other centers such as working with Ms. Krist and Ms. Hiedemann where students are reimagining the fair-trade sale to incorporate other types of businesses. Another collaboration with Ms. Krist is that we are working with students with a farmer who produces maple syrup out in Amish country to see if we can develop some markets for their products. My work also expands across the divisions. My biggest collaborations are in the Prime working with the Prime students on activities such as gardening and the bird sanctuary project as well as getting outside with them and giving them to opportunity to explore nature. I have also been working on the bird sanctuary project for the EC. I also do a lot “behind the scenes” such as creating the food philosophy, and this year we are making changes in the dining hall as a result of the food philosophy work.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: My favorite part is working with students to make changes and embracing the complexity of the work that we do in order to find pathways to change. I love the complexity of all of that we do and having students dive into that complexity with me. I also love that this center is not just focused on environmental aspects, but also working on social and economic issues along with human wellness as well.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: We are developing a center designation for upper school students which is new and exciting. Stay tuned for the details coming soon! The students who have seen the proposal are really excited about it!

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: People should come check out my center because of the change we are looking at within our society and our environment. The center is super interdisciplinary because you don’t have to mainly focused on the environment. If you are interested in economics or policy there is also a project for you. We work on weaving different interests of students into a project that can serve as the foundation for change.  

 

Ms. Jackson – Center for Technology and Invention

Q: What is your official title as center director?
A: Director of the Center for Technology and Invention

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?
A: The Center for Technology and Invention (CTI) covers a few different departments in that all projects completed pertaining to other center can be done with the help of CTI. Work in Robotics and anything Computer-Science related pertains to the center as well as Tech-Theatre in regards to the making, designing, and building processes. Other projects such as capstone projects can be done with the CTI such as coding, engineering, etc. Lastly, if you are doing something with Business and Finance, being innovative and crating prototypes that use machines in the lab falls under CTI as well. There is a lot of cross-over between CTI and other departments as well as other divisions.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?
A: I love the versatility of my job meaning that I get to work with all divisions from the 3 years olds to the twelfth graders every day. I love that every day is completely different with new projects, new classes, and new problems to fix.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?
A: We changed our designation criteria this year. There are two new things: the first thing is that in order to graduate with the designation starting with the class of 2019 is 15 contact hours that include visiting another maker-space, helping out mini-makers in prime to create a project, or something like that to expose students to more than what we have here at HB. The second exciting component is that there will be a showcase May 5th and 6th called the Maker-Faire, where our seniors fellows can showcase their capstone projects and our mini-makers can show off the projects that they have made as well. It is almost like the SREP poster session, but on a much smaller scale with a much wider audience. Those are the two most interesting things that we have added to the center this year.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?
A: I think that the draw to this space is that everyone is a maker in some way. Whether you physically make or sew or knit or make food, everyone is a maker in their way. You can come to this space to explore the ways in which you are passionate about making. This space has so many different ways for people to be creative and try new things. A lot of what we have in here is not meant to be intimidating, but a way for people to have a place to explore. This space is for everyone, a safe place, and a place where you go to create and try new things.

Osborne Writing Center – Mr. Parsons

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A: Director of the Osborne Writing Center

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: One class is Retrospect which has students from all grades which write for the online newspaper. The writing community is for sophomores through seniors that is a weekly exercise in creativity and relaxation. The other class is editing/publishing for seniors that are editors for retrospect. There is also the Young Writers and Artists Festival each year which is a great experience for all students.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: One thing is getting the chance to work with students in a multitude of different ways such as students writing for the newspaper as a ninth grader or tenth grader and working with them as editors when they are seniors. I also love getting to work with and build relationships with students every day. For instance, there are some juniors that I can have three times in one day. I can have a junior for English one period, have them again during lab in Retrospect, and have them a third time that day for the Writing Community. I also love developing ongoing relationships with visiting writers through the years and I love how much they love the students and the school. I also enjoy collaborating with other people and bringing people together through writing and global conversation that also speaks to global citizenship.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: I am working on things but I can’t talk about them until they become real. I’m excited about a return visit from Hanif who will be visiting classes and giving a talk on writing and culture in April. The writer Azar Nafisi will also be doing an assembly in the spring that I am very excited about. Next Spring, we are launching a new program called Writing CirCLE which will be a conference for high school students all over Cleveland. It will have student panelist with keynote speakers and I can’t say anymore but it will be great! It will be a great chance to interact with students all over the place and HB students will take a strong lead in that whole thing.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: The writing center is about cultivating and using your authentic voice and when you do that you have a strong role in shaping the culture and experience in the upper school. It is simply a more vibrant, dynamic place to be every day. When more people are putting their whole selves into it and the sooner everyone learns to be able to use their voice, the better they will be and will inspire others to use their voice as well. I also like that there are classes where students in grades 9-12 are working with each other and encouraging each other. These experiences are the opposite of competition.

Science Research and Engineering Program – Dr. Miller

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A: Director of the Science Research and Engineering Program

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: Our curriculum is a class that students are required to take a class called the Science Research Seminar from the time that they begin the program to when they graduate. That meets once per cycle. Most of the learning comes from being in a research laboratory once a student obtains a placement, at which point she will spend many hours during the school year and many days during the summer contributing to a research project.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: Meetings and getting to know many students and seeing them get excited about science.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: We have more and more students going to professional conferences and I hope that number continues to increase!

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: Imagine you can contribute to real science research that could end up in a textbook someday about the human body or what happens in space or an equation for some physics project. You can do that by participating in SREP.

 

Strnad Fellowship in Creativity – Mr. Hatcher

Q: What is your official title as center director?

A: Director of the Strnad Fellowships in Creativity

Q: What does your center entail (curriculum, projects, hands-on experiences, etc)?

A: The Strnad Fellowships allow motivated students the opportunity to work on a one or two year project culminating in a creative product. The projects are wildly diverse— from collections of short stories to glassblowing to computer games to movies. They are only limited to students’ imagination.

Q: What is your favorite part about your job as center director?

A: My favorite part of being director of Strnad is being continually inspired by the students. Every year, I get the urge to create something cool and unique.

Q: Is there anything new and exciting within your center that you would like to share?

A: Not really.

Q: How would you best advertise your center to the student-body?

A: In the past, I’ve made morning meeting announcements and sent out emails. I’ve also do and introductory meeting for students. I’m thinking about putting photos up of ongoing projects on the monitors in the hallways.