What was your journey after you graduated from Hamlin?
After Hamlin, I attended UHS, and then headed to the east coast for college. I have spent most of my adult life in the Greater Boston area teaching middle school science in both public and independent schools.
What made you decide to come back and teach at Hamlin?
Coming back and teaching at Hamlin was an opportunity to come home (home to Hamlin and home to family and San Francisco where I grew up). I taught at an all-girls school in Boston and have really enjoyed working in this type of school environment. By returning to Hamlin, I have an opportunity to give back, to pass on my love of science to the girls, and to foster a love of learning, which is what I received as a Hamlin student.
What has changed the most at Hamlin since you were a student?
Hamlin was a lot smaller when I was a student, as my 8th grade graduating class had 19 students, so that is one big difference. I would also say the integration of technology in every class is very different. I remember the first computer lab at Hamlin on the second floor, and now Hamlin has a 1-to-1 iPad program where the students are using technology to demonstrate their learning and teachers are learning new platforms to teach in innovative ways.
What has changed the least at Hamlin since you were a student?
The traditions, the mission and the creed of the school – they were and still are the guiding principles of Hamlin.
What are you most excited about being back at Hamlin?
Teaching the girls science, making it relevant to their lives, and when we are back on campus being able to teach in the (updated) science labs that I was taught in by Danny Meyer and Fran Dorais. Also, service learning opportunities and outdoor education adventures – I can’t wait until we can travel with students again – hiking, backpacking, and experiencing the outdoors together. Those were some of my best memories from Hamlin.
The Hamlin Middle School has temporarily moved its campus from Broadway to historic Fort Mason. Perched right above the Bay, the space is enormous, allowing our whole student body to be at school at the same time and still maintain social distancing protocols. The cavernous hall has primarily been used for art shows and artist studios and, with paintings from students in Ms. Feldman’s classes now adorning the walls, Hamlin Middle Schoolers are continuing that artistic legacy!
Although we miss our beloved Stanwood Hall, having all members of the Middle School together makes it more than worth the move. This transition, along with all the changes that have been required since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have certainly illustrated how flexible and resilient Hamlin girls can be. We knew this year would be an adventure and we are excited to start the next chapter of this journey in such a beautiful new space.
On Wednesday, December 16th, Hamlin welcomed San Francisco Mayor London Breed to our all-school assembly. Mayor Breed talked about being raised by her grandmother, who was a strong and fierce woman and taught her the value of taking care of your community. Mayor Breed also learned from her grandmother how important it is to be resilient, hopeful and to stand strong in your values. Talking about her experiences as a student and about the teachers that inspired her, Mayor Breed reminded all the Hamlin girls to listen to their parents and teachers and told us that it’s ok to make mistakes–it just matters how we learn and grow from those mistakes. Mayor Breed thoughtfully answered some questions from our community and told us about how she takes care of herself: long walks in the city, drinking plenty of water, getting exercise, and hanging out with her new plant friends. We are so honored to have been able to hear from such a strong, caring leader!
Hamlin’s Opening Assembly looked a little different this year. Even though over 600 students, teachers, and parents logged in to a virtual version, you could still feel the excitement of the start of a new year and a deep love of Hamlin coming through the screen. Student body president, Audrey Spaly, introduced this year’s theme: “I Am Changing.” Ms. Holland-Greene beautifully sang the lines from a song in Broadway’s Dreamgirls that inspires our theme:
“Look at me, I am changing. I am trying every way I can. I am changing–I’ll be better than I am.”
At a moment in history that requires all of us to be willing to change, to adapt, and truly to meet the challenges of our times, the girls of Hamlin are ready to begin.
Last week, Grade 4 students visited Slide Ranch as part of our Table to Farm Program.
Table-to-Farm field trips give Hamlin girls a chance to get their hands in the dirt and experience the process of growing food, tying in conversations about food justice, environmental sustainability, and the role of women, immigrants, and young farmers in the changing face of agriculture.
-Milking a goat named Sweet Pea and tasting the milk
-Gathering leaves and plants, then feeding them to the goats
-Picking lettuce, chives, mint, and sorrel from the garden; then eating those plants in rice paper rolls
-Sifting compost to make potting soil
During the month of January, Grade 8 students followed their scientific passions, created their own experiments, and learned a ton in the process. All of the hard work and investigation concluded Thursday with STEM Night.
The days leading up to STEM Night were an opportunity to go through the science exploration process, consider multiple proposals, then practice failing and trying again through many iterations (in some cases 20+).
All the projects involved energy/force in some way, working in the realms of physics, chemistry, engineering, and robotics.
Science teacher, Ms. Gillian Curran adds:
I provided guiding questions, but they figured everything out themselves. In the month leading up to STEM Night, every student had something they were super engaged with, and was self-driven. As part of the work, each girl was in a research group that figured out the science behind the various projects. During February they will create iBooks about the science topics in their experiments, they will then teach part of the upcoming units.
Our students delved into the following topics (among others):
For many, many years, The Hamlin School has worked to support families experiencing homelessness in San Francisco through a profound partnership with Hamilton Families.
Hamilton Families’ mission is to end family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Our largest event connected to Hamilton is our annual Harvest. This year over 200 Hamlin students, parents, and faculty members prepared food for families currently experiencing homelessness. On Saturday, January 27, we made vegetable lasagnas, salads, fresh garlic bread, and apple crisps. The following day a group of Hamlin Grade 8 students served the food at Hamilton Families. Altogether, Harvest provided nourishment for 300 people.
The event took place between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and consisted of two work shifts. Between the shifts, Wanda Holland Greene (Head of School) and Tomiquia Moss (Executive Director of Hamilton Families), addressed the volunteers. Ms. Holland Greene shared inspiring words and led everyone in the song With My Own Two Hands. Ms. Moss stated that we can end family homelessness in San Francisco and stressed how important is for kids at Hamilton to be known, loved, and supported by their community.
Special thanks to Hamlin parents Betsy Ahlstrand and Nichole Sullivan for helping to organize this wonderful event.
For more information about Hamilton Families, please visit: https://hamiltonfamilies.org/
On January 20, 2018, Women’s March San Francisco united with multiple cities around the world to reaffirm the commitment to building a positive and just future for all.
The March began with a rally at the Civic Center, designed to engage and empower all people supporting intersectional feminism, women’s rights, human rights, civil rights, disability rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers rights, immigrant rights, reproductive, social and environmental justice (Hoodline).
Hamlin parents, students and alumnae, shared in the spirit of the day.
More information about Hamlin in the Women’s March appears in this SF Weekly article: http://www.sfweekly.com/news/youth-voices-surface-at-womens-march/
On January 17, Carole Shorenstein Hays and the Curran Theatre ushered in the 2018 season with a powerful performance by a few San Francisco Bay Area schools.
Audiences to the Curran’s press conferences were treated to a rendition of “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen,” performed by students from Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, the Hamlin School and Cathedral School for Boys — a fitting accompaniment to Shorenstein Hays’ announcement of the theater’s new student education program, the Curran Angels, which will underwrite children’s attendance at the theater. Lynne and Marc Benioff are lead sponsors (SFGATE).
Our Hamlin School chorus sang from the seated area to guests who were gathered on stage, creating a dramatic audio and visual experience for those in attendance.
One student shared:
I thought it was really cool that we got perform with high school students from SOTA (Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts). Being with them elevated our performance and was a great experience.
For more information on the performances coming to the Curran, please visit: https://sfcurran.com/
This video shows the final rehearsal for the event: