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Saving Miss Oliver's


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  • Speaking engagements at meetings of the Association of Principals of Schools for Girls and other related conferences.

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  • Excellent content for current and aspiring leaders who want to overcome resistance to change.

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  • Empowering for young women.

Even in that last year of her reign, Marjorie Boyd had insisted that the graduation exercise take place exactly at noon.

“When the sun is at the top of the sky!” she declared—as she had every year for the thirty-five years she had been headmistress of Miss Oliver’s School for Girls. “Time stands still for just a little instant right then. And people notice things. They see! And what they see is the graduation of young women! Females! From a school founded by a woman, designed by women, run by a woman, with a curriculum that focuses on the way women learn! I want this celebration to take place exactly at noon, in the bright spangle of the June sunshine, so the world can see the superiority of the result!” Marjorie demanded once again, still dominant at the very end in spite of her dismissal. She would be the headmistress till July 1, when her contract expired. Until then, her will would prevail.

Even her opponents understood that it was Marjorie’s vivid leadership that had made the school into a community so beloved of its students and alumnae (who were taking their seats now in the audience as the noon hour neared) that it had to be saved from the flaws of the very woman who had made it what it was. Founded by Miss Edith Oliver in 1928 and standing on ground once occupied by a Pequot Indian village in Fieldington, Connecticut, a complacent suburb twenty miles south of Hartford on the Connecticut River, the school that Marjorie created was a boarding school, a world apart, whose intense culture of academic and artistic richness was celebrated in idiosyncratic rituals sacred to its members.

“But it will be too hot at noon,” the more practical-minded members of the faculty had objected once again in an argument that for senior faculty members Francis and Peggy Plummer had become an old refrain. They were like theatergoers watching a play whose ending they had memorized.

“No, it won’t,” Marjorie replied.

“How do you know it won’t?”

“I just do,” she said, standing up to end the meeting. For meetings always ended when Marjorie stood up—and began instantly when she sat down. Francis and Peggy understood that what Marjorie meant was that she would cause the weather to be perfect for their beloved young women by the sheer power of her will. The weather had always been perfect for each of the thirty-three graduation ceremonies in which Peggy and Francis had been on the faculty—and that day, June 10, 1991, was no exception.



Publié par
Date de parution 18 septembre 2018
Nombre de lectures 3
EAN13 9781513261331
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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