In this month's letter, Steve expresses his gratitude to the Shipley community for a wonderful start to the new year. "In particular, thanks go to parents and guardians who have been there not only to support their own children, but also to reach out and find ways to make a difference in others’ lives and in the School."
It took courage to start a college preparatory school for women in the 1890s. The idea that women were as academically capable as men was controversial. Yet the Shipley sisters, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Katharine took on the challenge.
From teacher to librarian, paralegal to artist, Melanie “Mel” Chia-Yu Sze ’65, has lived many lives. As a lifelong learner and ceaseless adventurer, her career exemplifies the power of the excellent, multi-faceted education she received at Shipley. “My dad emphasized to me that everything can be taken away from you except your education,” she says. “Shipley started me on a road to see [education’s] real value.”
What does it take for an educational institution to survive and thrive for 125 years? Changing with the times and, in some cases, making unpopular decisions. Here are some major changes in Shipley’s 125-history.
Whitney Stengel Kellett ’89, CIO at Aqua America, is part of a four-generation Shipley family. She values the compassion and broad thinking fostered by a Shipley education, in addition to its rigorous academic preparation – for herself and for her third-grade daughter.
Steve's summer was full of great nostalgia and special importance, including the wedding of his daughter and beginning his final year at Shipley. "Everywhere I turned, I found myself doing things that forced me to reflect on the many years I’ve had the privilege to spend as the Head of Shipley."
Even though Generations has been an important part of Shipley's seventh grade curriculum since the early 1990s, the multi-disciplinary unit is more relevant than ever in the personal and academic lives of students.
Margaret Bailey Speer was Shipley’s Headmistress from 1944-1965. With her background in a family of missionaries and her prior experience as a teacher in China, she had a clear-eyed understanding of the human condition and was global before “globalism” was a thing. She pressed Shipley’s Board of Trustees to admit African American students to Shipley, and she inspired a whole generation of Shipley girls to live lives of purpose and service.
Shipley will mark the 125th anniversary of its founding during the 2018-2019 school year with many events and opportunities to celebrate Shipley’s past, present, and future and our rich tradition of positive change making in the classroom and beyond.
Shipley is the first school in the country to adopt a school-wide approach to Positive Education, which aims to strengthen academic and personal achievement through wellbeing using evidence-based techniques. What is wellbeing? Can you teach it? How do you incorporate a successful Positive Education practice in schools? Should you? Our panel explores these questions and more.
On Thursday, May 24 the Upper School held their annual Closing Awards Ceremony. During this ceremony, Shipley recognized the outgoing and incoming student leadership officers and presented students with academic, athletic, and leadership awards.
On April 21, several Shipley Lower School students participated in the first annual School Maker Faire, hosted by The Agnes Irwin School and The Baldwin School. Lower School science teacher Dan del Duca shares his reflections on the day and excitement for next year's School Maker Faire.
Over Shipley's spring break, Steve and his wife traveled to China to visit Shipley families and schools in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. While his trip was one he will never forget, the most important lesson he learned was to remain open to and receptive of those who come from a different background, have different views, or simply look different.
Steve reflects on Shipley's March All-School Assembly, which highlighted moments of Shipley pride. "My hat is off to each and every student mentioned above and to all of our students who are seeking and finding excellence on an individual or collective basis."
June Baldwin ’68 has enjoyed aremarkable career in broadcast television. She’s held a driving, steadfast focus on social impact. “Television’s a powerful medium for transforming consciousness, for giving a voice to those who don’t have one,” she says. And Shipley’s motto, Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing has been at the heart of her work.
After noticing a family out to dinner together engaging with their phones instead of each other, Steve reflected on the increased use of technology in our everyday lives and the effects it has on us as people. "Many of us—and I very much include myself—rely on our phones (and other technology) way too often."
January's All-School Assembly celebrated and honored Black History Month with a focus on courage. Steve recounts the special moments of the assembly and the powerful speeches given by Upper School students, "I was amazed by virtually everything that happened."
By the time Shipley students reach senior year, students are offered choice in which semester-long English electives they’d like to enroll. This offering of choice is meant to inspire learning based on students’ interests and the courses are designed to give students a college-like learning experience, and many of the courses interdisciplinary in nature. Learn more about the English Senior Seminar.
When Elizabeth Ralph ’06, was invited to join Politico Magazine in 2013, the Yale graduate leapt at the chance. As Deputy Editor, she oversees web publishing, monitors the article pipeline, and does “a ton of editing and assigning.” Shipley nurtured her drive towards discovery. “Shipley encouraged challenging conventional wisdom. My teachers were always willing to let me explore.”
Shipley's Head of School, Dr. Steve Piltch, has announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 academic year. Read letters from Steve and Brooksley Wylie, Chair of Shipley's Board of Trustees.
Shipley’s Strategic Plan provides a strong vision to help guide the School into the next decade and beyond. Deeply rooted in Shipley’s mission and traditional ideals, the plan provides a framework for its continued commitment to excellence in education. How does Shipley’s Strategic Plan maintain the essential character of the School while boldly moving it forward? Members of Shipley’s Board of Trustees share their thoughts.
Elizabeth Vale ’72, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and significant member of the Obama White House, credits Shipley with teaching her everything she needed to know. She valued her Shipley education so much, she sent her daughter Ann ’03 to Shipley, where she, too, received an education that prepared her for a successful future.
I’m an introvert, and he’s an extrovert,” says Emily Chapin Vollkommer ’05, of herself and her brother Colin Chapin ’08. At Shipley, they both thrived. “We could be our own people,” Colin says. Read more about the Chapins and why they give back to Shipley.
For Adam Goren, Upper School Physics and Chemistry teacher, teaching is an important and delicate business. “It’s a process,” he says. “of challenging the kids appropriately so they’re prepared to find the magic along the way.”
Shipley's partnership with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doctors and scientists to discover an objective way to diagnose concussions and prevent long-term effects was recently featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Concussions in teen athletes: Making sure the brain is OK before getting cleared to play."
Are K-12 Schools Ready For The Shift In College Admissions? Clearly, most of the work involved, to transition to the type of admissions process recommended in the report, is in the hands of educators at the elementary and high school level. Steve Piltch is Head of School at The Shipley School, a pre-K through 12 independent, coeducational day school in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Shipley promotes an environment that promotes creativity and curiosity, values intellectual effort, and encourages moral integrity and concern for the community.
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.