The Student Life Department supports Madeira’s mission to launch women who change the world by providing opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills to help them navigate and take charge of their lives in high school and beyond.
Student Life classes empower Madeira students to: discover and develop their individual and collective identities; learn how to make healthy choices and care for themselves and others; strengthen their ability to communicate effectively and advocate for themselves and others; and increase their awareness and understanding of cultural issues impacting local, national, and global communities
2-block course; Required of all ninth graders.
The Student Life ninth grade curriculum (LAUNCH) engages students in the examination of who they are as individuals and as community members, how they influence and are influenced by others, and how they can care for themselves and cultivate healthy and inclusive communities around them. Each student will develop and apply essential life skills as she builds a deeper understanding of herself and of those around her. Students will be assessed through experiential activities, inquiry-based projects, presentations, journal entries, papers, and class participation. Required of all ninth graders.
1-block course; Open to grades 10, 11, and 12
Exploring the Digital Frontier is a survey class in contemporary topics in digital literacy. Students will investigate topics in rapid prototyping, cloud computing, programming, hardware and digital citizenship while learning critical 21st-century skills and gaining experience with a variety of hands-on technologies that include 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and more.
1-block course; Open to grade 9-12
This class is an introduction to riding, designed for students who have had minimal or no previous experience with horses. Students will learn how to groom, lead, tack, mount and dismount. Students will also learn the correct position and basic controls while riding a horse in the walk and trot. The theory and practice of basic horse care will also be taught. Prerequisite: Department approval. No or limited prior riding experience.
Special note: This course has limited enrollmentand a physical fitness requirement.
1-block course; Open to grades 10, 11, and 12.
Mindfulness practice involves paying attention to the present moment in a specific and deliberate way without judgment. Research shows that mindfulness can have a profound impact on the way neurons fire in the brain and subsequently the way different regions in the brain, most notably the prefrontal cortex, communicate with each other. In other words, mindfulness practice can permanently influence how we think. Through examination of the work of Daniel Siegel, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and others, students will investigate the anatomy, functions, and interconnectedness of the brain, how the brain continues to change over the lifespan, and how mindfulness practice impacts the brain's functions and by extension, one's ability to make decisions, regulate emotions, and interact with others. This course will provide each student the opportunity to explore the basic tenets of mindfulness, experience different ways to focus attention and increase awareness, and develop her own unique daily mindfulness practice.
Class of 2020 & beyond:
Classes of 2018 & 2019:
Student Life Curriculum is taught by faculty and staff members from various departments, giving students the opportunity to learn from community members not usually found in the classroom. These faculty and staff members bring their unique, professional perspectives to the Student Life Curriculum.
|Body Image, Gender, and Media||Nicole Cologne, Counselor
Tracie Epes, Director of Counseling
|Car Maintenance and Safety||Ed Hamer, Director of Facilities|
|Chemical Dependency*||Nicole Cologne, Counselor|
|Cyber Safety and Etiquette||Jeff Dayton, Director of Technology|
|Digital Citizenship||Jeff Dayton, Director of Technology
Stacy Tippens, Educational Technology Specialist
|Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion||Pilar Cabeza de Vaca, Head of School
Hunter Southworth, Director of Residential Life
Andre Withers, Assistant Head of School
|Exercise and the Brain||Audra Krupp, Learning Specialist
Katie LaRue, Director of Athletics
|First Aid, CPR, and AED Certification||Health Center Nursing Staff|
|Healthy Relationships and Consent 101*||Tracie Epes, Director of Counseling|
|Introduction to College Counseling||Linda Mathews, College Counselor
Sheila Reilly, Director of College Counseling
|Introduction to Mindfulness||Tracie Epes, Director of Counseling|
|Learning Styles||Audra Krupp, Learning Specialist|
|Madeira 101||Kim Newsome, Dean of Students
Jenny Walton, Assistant Dean of Students for Student Activities
|Memory||Audra Krupp, Learning Specialist|
|Organization, OneNote, and Preparing Your Planner||Audra Krupp, Learning Specialist
Stacy Tippens, Educational Technology Specialist
|Our Digital Life||Lauren Roy, Educational Technology Specialist
Stacy Tippens, Educational Technology Specialist
|Personal Safety and Awareness||Jim Pollack, Director of Campus Safety and Security|
|Personality Type and Identity||Tracie Epes, Director of Counseling|
|Public Speaking||Kim Newsome, Dean of Students|
|Reading Strategies and Note Taking||Audra Krupp, Learning Specialist|
|Sex Education||Nicole Cologne, Counselor
Tracie Epes, Director of Counseling
|Small Talk 101||Kerin Hamel, Director of Co-Curriculum
Kim Newsome, Dean of Students
|Stress Management and Technology||Nicole Cologne, Counselor
Jeff Dayton, Director of Technology
|The Power of Sleep||Tracie Epes, Director of Counseling
Health Center Nursing Staff
|Time Management and Using Resources||Audra Krupp, Learning Specialist|
* Outside speakers
** InnerQuest is a collaborative partner and facilities 10 class blocks of outdoor experiential education each spring.
Ms. Cologne began working at Madeira in 2008 and is a school counselor in the Health and Wellness Center. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Lynchburg College and master's degree in School Counseling from George Washington University. Ms. Cologne is the sponsor of the Riding Club, an advisor, and a member of the health and wellness committee.
Jeff Dayton joined Madeira in 2000 as the network operations manager after a long career in the business world. He brings a wealth of technology experience, having worked in the field since 1982 beginning with mainframe computers at Tyndall Air Force Base. Mr. Dayton has also given a number of presentations and workshops at varying schools on technology use and social networking. As director of innovation and technology he continues his passion for learning and teaching as a member of the Student Life faculty. In addition to his work at Madeira, Mr. Dayton has worked with Campus Outreach Services, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), Virginia Association of Independent Schools, and has begun work with the newly formed Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools. An avid tennis player, Mr. Dayton and his family live in Springfield Virginia. Mr. Dayton is also an 11th-grade advisor.
Ms. Epes began working at Madeira in 2008. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Science degree in Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Specialist in Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Mr. Hamer earned a bachelor's degree from University of Pittsburgh.
Ms. Mathews began working at Madeira in 2009. She earned a bachelor's degree in Music and Religion from Kenyon College and a master's degree in Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education. Prior to coming to Madeira Ms. Mathews served on the administrative team at The Cathedral School in New York City, first as the head of the lower school and then as the director of admission. After working in Madeira’s Admission Office, she became a college counselor in 2012.
Ms. Newsome began working at Madeira in 2002. She earned her bachelor's degree in Religion and Afro-American Studies from Princeton University where she graduated Cum Laude and was also awarded the Senior Thesis prize for the Afro-American Studies program. Before coming to Madeira she had a 13-year career with Macy's as a store line executive and taught preschool for a year. She became director of summer and auxiliary programs in 2005 and was named dean of students in 2012. She teaches 9th Grade Public Speaking.
Ms. Reilly began working at Madeira in 1994. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Newton College of the Sacred Heart and master's degree in Counseling from the University of Rochester.
Mr. Southworth came to Madeira in December of 2006. He is a graduate of Kent School, an independent boarding school in Connecticut. He earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Colgate University. He started at Madeira in the role of assistant director of annual giving. In 2014 he became director of residential life for the Dean of Students Office. Before coming to Madeira he worked for two and a half years on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman Christopher Shays. Mr. Southworth also has several family connections to Madeira: both his great-aunt, Elmeda Ansell '21, and his cousin, Tracy Ansell '50, are Madeira alumnae.
Ms. Krupp joined Madeira as learning specialist in the Skills Center in 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College where she focused her studies in Psychology and Scientific and Philosophic Studies of Mind. She has her master’s degree in Child Development from Tufts University. Her experience as a student at The Hockaday School, an all-girls boarding and day school in Texas, allows her to fully understand the value and impact of our community. Ms. Krupp’s previous work experience includes working as a learning specialists at Worcester State University; academic coach at Dean College; premier tutor and instructor, master trainer, and course director at The Princeton Review; and principal tutor at Test Dynamic. She is a sports enthusiast who has coached field hockey and lacrosse teams on the college level.
Ms. Hamel started working at Madeira in 2009 as the Assistant Director for Co-Curriculum and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Susquehanna University. She played Rugby and Volleyball while in college and has coached Field Hockey, Softball and Volleyball during her time at Madeira. She currently lives in Herndon with her husband and two children and also loves to compete in Triathlons when she has time!
Mr. Pollack joined Madeira in 2014 after having been a professional law enforcement officer for 28 years, both in the City of Manassas and Fairfax County. Throughout his law enforcement career, he was assigned to several prominent positions as an officer and supervisor, including supervising the motor squad for the Fairfax County Police Department and the traffic safety services section with the traffic division. He also served six years with the S.W.A.T. team.
Lauren Roy joined Madeira in 2014 as an education technology specialist after working as the interactive technology director for a private K-8 school in South Florida. In her role, Ms. Roy advises faculty and staff how to incorporate technology into their classes and helps fuel innovative approaches in the classroom. In December 2013, she graduated with honors from Purdue University with a master's in Learning Design and Technology. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications from the University of West Florida. Ms. Roy is also the Dorm Director in New Dorm.
Stacy Tippens joined Madeira in 2014 as an educational technology specialist. Mrs. Tippens started her career in educational technology in 1997 at a public high school in Omaha, Nebraska and has worked as an information technology specialist for several schools since then, and the Smithsonian Institution. Mrs. Tippens has a passion for teaching others to use technology and a particular interest in video production. She introduced a new pod-casting studio to the Madeira community in 2015. When she's not on campus, Ms. Tippens and her family live in Falls Church, VA and enjoy going to the theater, visiting museums, and experiencing all that the DC metro area has to offer.
Matti Donkor began working at Madeira in 2015. Matti received a bachelor's degree in African Studies and a minor in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College. She pursued her master's degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in International Education Policy. Matti's interest international education issues stems from her experience growing up with two parents working for the UN. Due to their work, Matti has lived in over eight countries including Ghana, Italy, Switzerland, and Uganda. Prior to joining the team at Madeira, she worked in the Admission Office at Miss Porter's School. Having attended a single sex college and a boarding school herself, Matti is passionate about the opportunities that Madeira has to offer. Matti works in the Admission Office, serves as a dorm adult, and lives on campus with her family.