Madeira’s resilient, creative, hardworking, curious, and grounded students

April 23, 2021

Dear Madeira Community, 

As I approach the one-year mark of my tenure at Madeira, more than anything I am in awe about how remarkable our students are.  

Madeira students are remarkably RESILIENT 

  • Musicians in the Chamber Orchestra digitally collaborated and produced beautiful music, as highlighted in the Orchestra Video Showcase! 

  • Students are engaging in new and exciting Co-Curriculum opportunities across the globe. All of our Co-Curriculum students benefitted from our ability to connect students with organizations outside of our immediate area, across the nation and world. Because we were not limited by geography, the School was better able to match students to programs that allowed them to pursue a passion or curiosity. 

  • With the pandemic, high turnover in an election year, and social unrest on Capitol Hill, the 11th grade internship experience presented unique opportunities to expand students’ experiences beyond the Hill. Students engaged in an adjusted integrated research project to develop a broader focus on their issue area research, allowing students to work with advocacy organizations and interest groups near Capitol Hill and state capitals. 

  • Madeira seniors are engaged with an expanded network of parents and alumnae. The extended Madeira community was critical to our success in placing students with internships and mentors this year; thank you! Seniors took part in the inaugural Madeira Mentorship Program. This new hallmark of the senior Co-Curriculum experience will be foundation of a growing Madeira network.    

Madeira students are remarkably CREATIVE 

  • Our Red & White team captains have inspired festive and fierce school spirit throughout the year and on Founder's Day! 

  • Artists and writers in both our Dance and GATE courses collaborated to produce the Dance-GATE digital production! 

  • Ayana A. ’23 created a film on the Black Lives Matter movement that was nominated for the Grand Jury Award, Best Documentary, and Best Screenplay at the San Bernardino International Student Film Festival  

Madeira students are remarkably HARDWORKING 

  • Students in Ms. Sundberg’s Global Justice course have been working to synthesize a large body of work about scholarly activism. Students identified a singular guiding thought about their individual role as an activist for global justice. Students worked to create a public piece of art that illustrates the relationships between individual and collective liberation.  

  • The School’s Model UN (MUN) team enjoyed a successful seasonOf note, Xinyi (Luna) Q. ‘21 led six students all studying remotely in a +12 time zone. This intrepid group met and spent their MUN season researching Iranian nuclear policies. Students wrote individual position papers, and as an experienced MUN head delegate, Luna provided valuable feedback for her team  

Madeira students are remarkably COLLABORATIVE 

  • Students in Madeiras performing arts program have brought theatre to the masses in both the play and musical this year. Harnessing intense creativity, and mentored by expert adults, Madeira was one of the only theatres in the country to host live theatre in the fall and use creative integration of technology to produce Pippin in the spring. 

  • Sevginaz G. ’23 collaborated across schools to participate in the NASA-sponsored App Development Challenges and presented on the national platform for the competition.  

Madeira students are remarkably CURIOUS 

  • Ashley Z’22 is Madeira's nominee to the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing. 

  • Mercer T.’22 wrote a memoir, “Through the Lens of Daughters,” that will be featured in this year’s Gate and be the subject of a special Gate podcast on creative nonfiction. 

  • Students in Dr. Ding’s French IV course recently held a virtual workshop with Belgium play writer M. Van Wetter.  Students studied his One Act play Les croque-monsieur and took the initiative to reach out and ask to meet in the digital realm. M. Van Wetter gracefully accepted their invitation! Dr. Ding reflected, “The one-hour Zoom meeting felt like flying like an arrow shooting out of the bow! The whole session was conducted solely in French. Madeira girls proved again, as curious and adventurous young explorers, they can make meaningful connections beyond borders. 

  • In Dr. Walker’s Linear Algebra coursestudents learned about fractals and used their knowledge of matrix algebra and coding in order to create their own.  

  • In Mr. Wallace’s Trigonometry class, students learned about polar equations and used them and other trigonometric functions to create a work of art that included an animation. 

    • Jaein C‘23 example 
      Rowan S. ‘22 example (you’ll need to press the “play” button for each of her variables) 
      Ayana A. ‘23 example  


Madeira students are remarkably GROUNDED 

  • Among the many silver linings of operating in the time of a pandemic was bearing witness to the many ways our students demonstrated extraordinary kindness, compassion, and gratitude toward one another. For example, a team of Madeira students raised more than $100,000 to support patients with blood-related cancers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Their team was named the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year Loudoun County 

As the 2020-21 school year rapidly comes to a close, I am eager to celebrate our alumnae during Reunion Weekend and our soon-to-be alumnae at Graduation for the class of 2021More than anything I am grateful for the partnership and collaboration of all our community members. Living, learning, and being in community together through a global pandemic has been both a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience, and I look forward to all that is to come. 

Yours sincerely,