About Penguin Hall

The Academy at Penguin Hall is an independent, college preparatory school for young women in grades 9-12. Our mission it to educate, enlighten, and empower young women to live and to lead exemplary lives.

An Interview with Hollywood Screenwriter, Olivia Krebs

It is a crisp, breezy Saturday afternoon in October in Greenwich, a small, eerily quiet Connecticut town. My interviewee, Ms. Olivia Krebs, and I, are brought together by both the circumstance of a family reunion and our mutual affinity for writing. She has worked as a screenwriter on projects at Dreamworks, HBO Max, and Paramount Animation. At this particular moment, Olivia has agreed to talk to me about the complexity of the world within Hollywood, her identity as a writer, how she was led to the path of writing, and even her stance on Harry Styles.

Envisioning Information Class Visits the Boston Public Library and the Mapparium

Last week, Ms. Cook and Ms. Clarke took the Envisioning Information class on a field trip into Boston to visit the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library and the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston. While at The Boston Public Library, they explored the Leventhal map room, including the Bending Lines: Maps and Data From Distortion to Deception exhibit.

Artwork Inspired by the Empresses of China’s Forbidden City

Students in Studio Art and Introduction to Art classes were recently given a unique assignment. They had to create a piece of art inspired by items they had seen during a recent trip to the Empresses of China’s Forbidden City exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. They translated the knowledge they gained during the field trip into artwork that echoes Chinese history but with a modern twist.

Symposium Master Classes

On January 22nd, the first day of Intersession Symposium, students selected two of the following Master Classes taught by APH faculty and staff. These classes are designed for students to gain exposure to diverse topics and also to see how intellectual curiosity and passion for learning are important qualities they can develop throughout their lives. The full course descriptions highlight the range of subjects that will be taught.

Symposium: How is an Exemplary Life Defined?

The inaugural APH Intersession Symposium will take place on Tuesday through Friday, January 22nd-25th. This kind of event is critical to students' professional and personal growth. Making intentional time for learning beyond the classroom and to help students envision their future is in keeping with The Academy's mission: to educate, enlighten and empower young women to live and to lead exemplary lives.

Developmental Theory as Understood by Tracing Cultural Trends

To better understand Lev Vgotsky’s theory of the Zone of Proximal Development, students in Cultural Psychology chose a topic they were interested in and worked with a partner to trace the history of their topic over a 100 year span to understand the impact of time, place, and culture on that topic. Students studied the evolution of wide-ranging topics including music, makeup, toys, bathing suits, dyslexia, feminine hygiene products, and LGBTQ history.

Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden, Offers Inspiring Advice

The APH community recently hosted Amy Latimer, President of TD Garden as the first 2019 speaker for the Women in Leadership Speaker Series. During her high-energy talk, Ms. Latimer shared stories from her career, what she does in her role today, and advice she would give her high school self. Her great sense of humor, flair for sharing her story, and heartfelt advice were an outstanding way to begin the year.

Master Class Discussion of the Film Glory

Recently, two faculty members hosted an interdisciplinary Master Class to discuss several scenes in the film Glory. Dr. Meditz in Humanities discussed the history of what it depicted in the film and Mr. Crowley in Theater and Film Studies helped the students understand the challenges the actors faced in bringing the Civil War to life.Having the chance to discuss what they observed and to compare and contrast the reality with the film version of history was an illuminating experience for the students.

Olympian and Award-winning Filmmaker Mary Mazzio Visits APH

On Monday, December 10th, The Academy was honored to welcome Mary Mazzio as the second guest in our Women in Leadership Speaker Series. Ms. Mazzio’s inspiring body of work extends from athletics (an Olympic rower) to the arts (an accomplished documentary filmmaker). Ms. Mazzio’s inspiring words remind all of us how important it is to lift others up and to work hard to make a difference in the world both for ourselves and for those who come after us.

Exchange Student from Guatemala Reflects on Her Time at APH

Each fall, an APH family hosts an exchange student from Guatemala and this year, we were delighted to welcome Claudia G. While she was with us during the past two months, Claudia did an excellent job of immersing herself in all elements of school life. On Friday, December 7th, her final day at APH, Claudia gave a presentation to the entire school during Morning Meeting. We miss her already and wish her all the best for her very bright future!

Junior Class Service Project: Beach Clean-up Day

Article by Juliette Chait '20 - On Thursday, November 15, the junior class was invited to eat at first lunch and then was excused from classes for the remainder of the afternoon. We all bundled up and took the vans to Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester for our team-building class service project. Our mission was to collect all the trash we could find on the beach and keep track of everything on the paper for an organization called COASTSWEEP.

Bringing Women’s Lives Out of the Shadows of History

In a unique class called Out of the Shadows, students are learning about the lives of enslaved women in New England and the South. Under the guidance of faculty member Dr. Linda Meditz, the students are learning about several “hidden” women in Massachusetts including Lucy Foster who was enslaved in Andover. Their proposal to erect a gravestone in Lucy's honor has been approved by the Board of the South Church at Andover and is now moving forward.

Fall 2018 Sports Season Recap

The Academy at Penguin Hall Athletics teams had a strong Fall 2018 season. All four teams (soccer, cross country, volleyball, and field hockey) made great strides throughout the season, with each team improving their skills and ability to play well together. Coaches and athletes from other schools frequently commented on how our student-athletes are both competitive and kind.

Expressing Creativity through Choreography

When you see a dancer performing with passion, it is truly mesmerizing. Each movement, gesture, and facial expression can convey so much. In Taunia Soderquist’s Choreography class, seven students are learning the power and grace of dancing individually and as a group. We look forward to seeing this talented group of young women perform their final choreography projects at the Winter Concert on December 14th!

Programming Dancing Robots?!?

In Craig Gorton’s Robotics class, six students are hard at work writing code using a program called Arduino to control robots. After moving from simple tasks to more complicated maneuvers such as completing a maze, the girls completed their greatest challenge yet: programming the robots to perform a choreographed dance together.

Celebrating the Life of a Poet Who Defied Convention

On an early, cool fall morning, eighteen students gathered to embark on a field trip to Steepletop, the home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Each girl had her own unique reasons for being willing to spend a whole Saturday traveling 163 miles each way to Austerlitz, New York to visit Millay’s home and grounds but the common thread they all shared was an eagerness to learn more about the Pulitzer Prize winning poet and thoroughly modern woman.

Meeting Peter the Great in His Own Language

Through Introduction to Russian Language and History, an elective course taught by Mary Richards, students are learning about the people and forces that have shaped Russian culture and daily life. After several classes where they explored the life of Peter the Great, now the students are each researching the life of a Russian historical figure of their choice as part of a multiphase biography project.

Designer, Founder, and CEO Sara Campbell Visits APH

Sara Campbell, the designer, founder, and CEO of Sara Campbell Ltd., started this year’s Women in Leadership Speaker Series on a high note. She shared her story of professional and personal success and challenges as well as encouraging young women to make a difference.

The Honorable Chief Justice Paula M. Carey Visits APH

By APH Staff—The Honorable Paula M. Carey, Chief Justice of the Trial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts shared words of wisdom with the APH community. She encouraged students to have their voices heard and dream of who they can be without limits.

Environmental Studies Students Support Plastic Bag Ban

Environmental Science students and Art History students collaborated with organizers from Salem Sound Coastwatch and Tidal Shift, an organization creating community created public art installations on the North Shore to communicate the negative impact of plastic bag pollution in the oceans.  

In the Classroom – Global Literature

By Bryon Williams, Humanities—Juniors in Global Literature are currently showcasing their culminating projects in their study of Americanah, the award-winning 2013 novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Students had already read Adichie’s short non-fiction book Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, and Americanah serves as an even more expansive exploration of identity, gender, and race in the twenty-first century.

Six Ways to be Mindful in May

The weather is finally warmer and our calendars are full this month with all the end of school year activities. This is especially true for me as my four children graduate (a daughter from college and triplets from high school) and I am looking to Mindfulness as a way to stay focused and calm.

Latin II Class Attends 46th Annual Classics Day at the College of the Holy Cross

By Lily Johnson'20 and Ella Nazzaro '20—Hundreds of students from all around the Northeast take part in this event. Holy Cross undergraduates host popular contests during the day including an art challenge, a costume contest, a manuscript challenge, and, usually, a famed chariot race

APH Students Participate in Student Government Day

By APH Staff–Kathryn Ward '18 and Lainey Turner '19 participated in the Student Government Day program held at the Massachusetts State House last Friday. On the train ride there both students exclaimed, “Thank you for bringing us, Ms. Zink. We get so many great opportunities at Penguin Hall. This never would have happened for me at my old school.”

Hank Phillippi Ryan Visits APH

The message Ms. Ryan brought to the community was an inspiration, centered on taking chances, never knowing what exactly lay around the next corner, pursuing dreams, acting on personal principles, and holding fast to one's values.  "If you can't own it, you can't be it,"

New Noises Playwriting Festival

By APH Staff—This semester our 25 Play Production students will be participating in the New Noises Playwriting Festival at Boston Playwright’s Theatre of Boston University. Our students will be writing their own original 10 minute plays to be submitted for the festival.

From Banned Books to Urban Planning to Russian Literature

At APH, we are always striving to expand the horizons of our students with new and interesting academic opportunities.  The second semester is seeing important growth in elective courses which diversify and expand the classroom experience at APH.  These courses offer new ways for our students to think and grow and truly show the depth of expertise in a variety of fields that our faculty brings to the community. 

The Verdict Is In!

APH came out with a win against Bishop Fenwick High School in the second of three meets on February 2nd, with the judge commenting that our APH students performed as well as any of the students he had taught at Boston University School of Law.

APH: A Light in Winter

By Brigid Beckman, Campus Minister—Many local agencies and organizations work hard to ease a wide array of needs in our communities. Yet sadly, they often struggle to balance an abundance of help at the holidays with being largely forgotten throughout the year. This reality inspired the creation of what we hope will become a dearly held tradition for our school: APH, the Light in Winte

Fall Sports Review

By Kate Reardon—Many local agencies and organizations work hard to ease a wide array of needs in our communities. Yet sadly, they often struggle to balance an abundance of help at the holidays with being largely forgotten throughout the year. This reality inspired the creation of what we hope will become a dearly held tradition for our school: APH, the Light in WinteFall 2017 was a great season for The Academy at Penguin Hall Athletics with all four programs taking positive steps forward from last fall and each team demonstrating growth over the course of the season. 

APH’s Critical Inquiry Class Wins Economics Video Prize

The challenge helped the students understand the topic better: “When I heard about the issue I was very pro-regulation: you have one planet and you have to save it. When you hear that these regulations affect someone’s livelihood, you realize it’s not as simple as you thought,” Trzcinski says. “I don’t think we could have read about it in a textbook and understood it the way we do now,” Atkins adds.