- Head of School
- Why Girls?
There is an abundance of fabulous schools in Providence and in Rhode Island, but what we are doing here cannot happen anywhere else: At Lincoln, girls come first.
Through our size, through our mission—both all girls and Quaker—through our dynamic, excellent and innovative academic program, we are preparing our students to build their confidence, through their successes, through their trial and error, through discovery, through laughter, and through joy.
In the four, eight, or 12 years your daughters spend at Lincoln School, they practice speaking up and out, tapping into strengths they did not know they had, challenging their teachers and each other through respectful and engaged dialogue and putting the best of our Quaker values into practice: listening to each other, sitting in collective silence at our weekly meetings, and reflecting on what it means to be a empathetic, creative, and active problem-solvers.
There’s a lot you may know about Lincoln. You may know about our innovative partnerships with Save the Bay, Brown, RISD, the Steel Yard, our global programs to India and Cuba, our academic excellence and our strong and vibrant community.
But what you may not know is that we have become an educational destination, not just for the fabulous students who attend our school, but for colleagues in the independent school world who are eager to learn more about our curricular programs:
We have had administrators from Greenwich Academy and the Chapin School, excellent all-girls schools in Connecticut and New York City visit to learn more about our advanced classes, interdisciplinary courses, and partnerships, and recently we had seven colleagues from the Leadership Rhode Island program visit with us to learn more about our Middle School curriculum.
You may not know that:
- our Model UN team is the best in the state and is now ranked in the top 100 across the country.
- that Lincoln is the first all-girls team to participate in the PBS High School Quiz Show: Rhode Island
- that one of our Grade 5 students is a published poet ("Toes Chew" was recently featured in Magic Dragon Magazine)
- that one of our Pre-K students, Marek in the Ginkgo Room, won 1st place for completing the most cartwheels in three minutes during a Cartwheel-A-Thon (he did 40!)
You also may not know that we just launched a Sophomore Speakers Series, during which every Grade 10 girl delivers a speech to her peers on a topic about which she is passionate. Students have shared their thoughts about yes, you guessed it, what it means to have a fear of public speaking;, a spoken word poem about Sammy Sosa; what it means to be an introvert in a world that cannot stop talking; an analysis of the #MeToo movement; and a thoughtful, action-oriented speech about a powerful and sorely under-funded ballet company in Cuba (this student visited this ballet troupe as part of our Cuba program last summer).
Lincoln students feel comfortable and confident sharing their thoughts and ideas about tough and complicated issues. They can do that here—do it courageously and honestly—because in the end, Lincoln girls know that they come first in a world that does not always create that space for them, that encouragement, that deep and steadfast belief in who they are.
In the four years that I have been the head of Lincoln School, I have sometimes heard the question, “how do I know my daughter will be prepared for a co-ed world?” The short answer is that she is better prepared as a result of Lincoln, because she spends her days practicing being who she is, seeing herself in her peers, and in the alumnae who visit the school—she sees herself as a writer, an athlete, an actress, a computer scientist or all four combined. Lincoln girls believe that they can be who they see—and they see inspiring examples all around them every day.
Martha Boss Bennett, chair of our board, parent and alumna has just been named 2016/17 Rhode Island Girls Lacrosse Coach of the Year. Upon posting this news on social media, the likes and comments exploded in celebration of this achievement and in the sisterhood that Lincoln promotes. Take the following comment from another alumna:
Congratulations to Martha Boss Bennett '85 on her well-deserved coaching award. Proud of Lincoln's winning record, but prouder still that today's Lincoln girls are being taught by one of our own how to compete with equal parts ferocity and integrity. Life skills that will serve them well beyond the playing fields.
And take our robust Alumnae Speakers Series. The following women have visited with us in the past three years to share their experiences, their challenges, their successes, and most of all, how Lincoln helped them become who they are.
- Leah Tinberg ‘12, Mechanical Engineer at NASA in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who attended Carnegie Mellon
- Meredith Vieira ’71, Journalist and Media, who attended Tufts
- Abbey Canning ’09, Women in Sports, Working for the Chicago Sports Commission, who graduated from Boston College
- Jenna Musco ’07, the Sustainability Manager at Dartmouth College, her alma mater
- Rebecca Arvanites ’03, Flight Operations Lead at Boeing Satellite Systems, and an MIT graduate
- Helena Buonanno Foulkes ’82, former Executive VP at CVS, now CEO at Saks/Lord & Taylor, who attended Harvard
And finally, as part of our Grade 8 Global Citizenship Program to New York, students and alumnae come together for dinner. Nancy Dubuc ’87 former CEO of the A&E channel and new CEO of Vice Media is hosting our student/NYC alumnae dinner!
Let me end with a story: When a family last year decided to send their daughter to a peer school, her parents cited the following reason: that their daughter could “cut it”in a co-ed school and that going to a co-ed school was good practice for the real world.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I beg to differ:
I have no doubt that lots of girls can "cut it" and find success in co-ed schools. Many of them do, but I wonder at what cost—when they may not take an advanced physics course, because there is only one other girl in the class, when they may not join the robotics team because this is something that only boys do, when they see that bigger crowds attend the boys’ athletic events over the girls athletic events, when it feels like a big risk to be funny (and girls are funny!), or when it feels uncomfortable or unsafe to talk about challenging topics like #MeToo.
Here is what we believe at Lincoln School:
If you want your daughters to compete against the best and the brightest and to be exceptionally well-prepared for the future, then you will want them competing against students like those they will face at Lincoln. As statistics show, the majority of students who receive high school, associates, college, and postgraduate degrees are female. Here at Lincoln your daughters will be competing against the top students they will encounter in college and eventually in their careers. In addition to our top-tier academics, our students also develop effective social, communal, and leadership skills that last a lifetime.
As Dr. Minahan, the Chair of our English department often says: Yes, we want to make Lincoln girls ready for the world, but our real desire is to make the world ready for Lincoln girls.