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Welcome to Madeira

A Letter from the Head of School

Dear Reader, 

As someone new to Madeira, you may be wondering what to expect. In 2010, I was new to Madeira as well. Since my arrival, I have focused on enhancing global experiences, introducing new technology, and embracing innovative approaches to classroom instruction. Madeira has changed some in my time. But the lessons I learned in my first year are still worth sharing, because the core of Madeira remains the same. 

Madeira’s location in the Washington, D.C. area is ideal. 

Madeira is a mixture of the fast, cosmopolitan pace of Washington, D.C. – with a booming cultural life, the buzz of politics, and the mix of diverse nationalities – and the beauty and serenity of the 376-acre campus where one can get caught up in nature by walking in the woods and admiring the spectacular views of the Potomac River. 

Our academic program is unique.  

Madeira fosters the growth of the individual while cultivating collaboration. Our faculty and staff are highly qualified, but more importantly, they love working with our students and are truly passionate about what they do. The academic program is rigorous, challenging, and exciting. And our award winning Co-Curriculum program provides real-world experiences that prepare students for college and beyond.

Our community is diverse and highly active.   

Madeira welcomes students representing 20 states and 24 countries, and more than one-third are students of color. School life blends boarding and day students, all of whom may participate in late afternoon athletic and performing arts activities and clubs before sharing dinner with friends. In the safety of this environment, Madeira students develop a clear identity, become comfortable with who they are, feel compelled to voice their opinions, and are active members of an increasingly global community. 

Madeira students leave prepared for lives of leadership and success. 

Madeira prepares each girl to face successfully the challenges awaiting her as she moves into the world of higher education at its most demanding. The proof of this experience is easy to recognize in Madeira’s graduates, women who have gone on to make a difference in the world and in the lives of those around them. 

We look forward to providing you the opportunity to envision your future here.  

Welcome to Madeira. 

Pilar Cabeza de Vaca
Head of School 

Explore Our Campus

We invite you to visit The Madeira School’s campus in McLean, Virginia, just twelve miles from Washington, D.C. 

Take the Virtual Tour

Read our Fall/Winter Magazine

Madeira Today is out! Read about inspiring alumnae and more in the semi-annual magazine. 

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