Penguin Corridor in Wenham sits on 50 acres of sweeping lawns and wooded panorama. Initially constructed as a summer season property, at completely different instances it has been a house to the Sisters of Notre Dame, an promoting company, and now an academy designed to supply ladies with a singular and transformative training.
Based in 2016 by Wenham residents Al and Molly Martins, together with Dean Tsouvalas of Hamilton, the Academy at Penguin Corridor is the primary all-girls impartial college on the North Shore. Targeted on making ready ladies for faculty and life, the varsity attracts from 45 communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. With 165 ladies enrolled for the autumn, the varsity is embarking on a brand new initiative—a five-day boarding choice—giving ladies who dwell farther away the possibility to avail themselves of this college’s distinctive academic alternative.
“We made the choice to supply a five-day boarding as an alternative of seven days as a result of it will be significant for the ladies to have household time,” says Molly Martins, president of the varsity and mom of 5. “The boarding choice additionally offers a terrific alternative for seniors to transition to dwelling away from house throughout the college week earlier than going to varsity.”
The Academy at Penguin Corridor’s mission is to coach, enlighten, and empower younger ladies to dwell and to guide exemplary lives. Jan Healy, Dean of Lecturers, who got here to Penguin Corridor 5 years in the past with 30 years of expertise at impartial faculties, has organized the curriculum round these questions: What? So What? Now What?
“The ‘What?’ is the content material the ladies are learning,” says Healy. “The ‘So What?’ invitations college students to select the subject aside and take a dive deeper, and the ‘Now What?’ is the real-world software.
This strategy holds far more that means and worth than educating to a take a look at and is constructed round deeper tutorial inquiry.”
Penguin Corridor’s interdisciplinary, inquiry-based curriculum is valued by the academics on the college. “I like the liberty and suppleness to design programs and ship instruction that’s in the perfect curiosity of the scholars,” says Bryon Williams, who lives in Topsfield and began educating humanities at Penguin in fall of 2017 after educating at Duquesne College in Pennsylvania. “Not being tied to a take a look at permits us to place probably the most attention-grabbing materials in entrance of the scholars. It’s a trainer’s dream come true.”
One instance Williams factors to comes from his Activist Literature class. “We noticed a play, The Peculiar Patriot, about mass incarceration,” says Williams. “The scholars have been very and wished to do extra, so that they every researched a distinct facet of the difficulty and shared what they realized with the category. In step with the theme of the play, they every made a quilt sq. which was sewn right into a quilt. It now hangs within the halls of the varsity together with dozens of different student-generated paintings.”
Craig Groton of Beverly got here to Penguin in 2018 to show laptop science after a profession in software program growth. He wished the scholars in his internet growth class to work as an actual software program staff, utilizing the precise instruments and strategies of the business. Equally necessary to Groton was discovering an actual shopper.
“As a result of I like all of my initiatives to be ocean primarily based, I contacted Ocean Alliance in Gloucester to see if they’d any wants,” says Groton. “Dr. Iain Kerr, who runs the Alliance, instructed me they wanted a approach to present the general public what they do, which is flying drones over whales world wide that choose up samples after they exhale.” For six weeks the scholars labored collectively on the identical coding undertaking, then they introduced the positioning they’d constructed to a more than happy Dr. Kerr.
The boardroom is one other distinctive characteristic you will discover on a tour of Penguin Corridor. “We don’t need the primary time considered one of our college students walks right into a boardroom to be at a job,” says Tsouvalas of the room that would slot in at any Fortune 500 firm. “Our purpose is to demystify the boardroom and assist the ladies see that they’re the CEOs of their very own lives.”
“Our philosophy is confidence over competence,” says Martins. “The one cheer that claims ‘nice job’ could be highly effective. One criticism, nevertheless, can take a lady out of an surroundings. When you develop confidence, the competence follows.”