Due to winter weather, Salem Academy will open at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. See our Winter Storm Update page for details.

Carol Killebrew - Personal Statement/Educational Philosophy

I firmly believe that it is essential to educate every girl so that she is not only college ready but also career ready. The specifics of an academic course hold importance in education, but the skills obtained in gaining knowledge – the investigation, patience, questioning, perfecting – are components that must be included on the road to academic and personal success. Educating a girl is not exclusive to the classroom, for the recreational and creative environments in which a girl participates reinforce collaboration while also confirming confidence. Teamwork with peers provides an arena for personal expression and growth on a regular basis, and the requirement of being able to effectively communicate exists as strongly in a non-academic setting as on a test.

Girls are ready to be pushed, and a single-sex environment is the very best setting for growth. The girls I encounter appreciate the confidence that I have in them when I ask them to step out of their comfort zone and take a risk. The compassionate rigor that I direct is embraced after the first or second try, and the pride in work and accomplishment that the student/athlete achieves is a gift of which I will never tire.

The expected skills of a 21st century education – communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking/problem solving – have always been a part of the traditional girls’ school curriculum, in part because of the nature of a single-sex environment. An intentional curriculum and dedicated community ensure that students will possess a keen sense of the nuances of a global community, the ability to communicate and make ethical decisions, and the resilience to make mistakes and continue to strive for a solution.

It is equally essential that educators be encouraged to continue their own professional growth. Teachers need opportunities to work together to design and investigate solutions and strategies for innovative teaching, allowing them to keep current in their field so that they may provide a broad educational experience for female students. The faculty in a girls’ school responds to society’s cultural and academic expectations, be they technologically or service driven, and the reason for this ever-evolving community is that the nature of female learners demands it.

I am a product of a girls’ school and will defend my educational experience to anyone who will listen. A well-rounded woman in the 21st century must have the confidence and vocabulary to express herself in any situation, and the opportunities afforded from a single-sex education guarantee that she will explore the avenues that secure her spot in the world after her high school years.