Who better to work in Admission than a former student? That kind of first-hand experience is tough to beat, but it is only one of the many qualifications that alumna Rayven Vinson, Class of 2010, brings to the Oldfields community! We are thrilled to welcome her back to campus as an Admission Counselor bringing her knowledge and expertise to prospective families.
Opening night is finally here! We are excited to welcome family and friends back to the David Niven Theatre for one of our three performances on Friday, November 12 and Saturday, November 13, at 7:00 p.m. or the matinee on Sunday, November 14 at 2:00 p.m. The show is 90 minutes of pure suspense with no intermissions.
Every time of year is a great time to be a rider at Oldfields, but there is something special about the fall. Maybe it is the chill in the air that allows the horse’s breath to be seen as the rider makes their way up the hill to the indoor arena for an early morning lesson, possibly it is warm afternoon sun on their shoulders as they take a jump in the Lana duPont Wright ‘57 lower ring, or it might just be the fact that now our riders have had a little over a month to settle into the friendships and rhythm of life at the barn. Whatever the reason, 25 young riders are having the experience of a lifetime as part of one of the largest groups of riders Oldfields program has seen in recent years.
After a global search, Oldfields is excited to welcome Dawn Anderson as our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She has hit the ground running and has already been a valuable resource as we continue the work to create a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for everyone. Dawn's sessions with the students during orientation and faculty during opening meetings demonstrated the depth of her knowledge and empathy when it comes to complex DEI issues.
Words can’t describe how great it feels to have the classrooms bustling with activity, the quad filled with conversation and laughter, and the lights glowing in the dorm windows once again! What an incredible action-packed opening we have had as the students, new and returning, create and reestablish connections and embrace life at Oldfields. See more photos of Opening Days >
Opening Day activities kept everyone busy while students participated in a variety of activities such as the Scavenger Hunt on Saturday and Fun Run on Sunday designed to help them get to know the members of their advisory and the rest of the “Oldfields family” better. As you can see by the pictures--it worked! The weather was hot, but the students rose to the occasion, and the water balloon toss, ice cream trucks, and frequent water breaks in the shade helped! A highlight was when Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Dawn Anderson led “What’s in a Name,” an artistic session where students created and shared their feelings about their names and what they represent. Believe it or not, by nightfall, it cooled off enough to have s’mores and music around the firepits.
Beloved by all who knew him, former Head of School Hawley Rogers P’82 GP’12, ’17 died on Friday, August 20, 2021. While the Oldfields community mourns this tremendous loss and offers deepest condolences to his wife, Wendy, and the entire Rogers family, we know his legacy lives on in each of us and in every Oldfields student—past, current, and future. Read more and view video >
Oldfields’ Graduations are always special, but this year as the girls walked slowly down the hill, dressed in white with their bright smiles and colorful bouquets, the emotions were exceptionally poignant. The joy, the pride, and yes, a bit of relief, were palpable as all were aware what an accomplishment and privilege it was to participate in this cherished Oldfields tradition.
On June 1 our community was able to come together on the Rodney Quad to celebrate our Spring 2021 Awards Ceremony. Seeing students gathered on this beautiful sunny day, sitting on picnic blankets, cheering for each other, made it feel like “old times.” After a long year of hybrid, remote, and in-person learning, the community enthusiastically honored the academic and athletic achievements of the students. No member was forgotten in this celebration, as we aired the ceremony live on Zoom for our remote students as well as held cutouts of students who were unable to attend.
Everyone’s favorite time of year is here--May Program, Oldfields’ signature experiential learning program. It began early on Monday morning as The Maine Stage pulled out of Rodney parking lot to get their creative juices flowing in beautiful Kennebunkport, ME. The activity level continued to rise as a scavenger hunt had students exploring every corner of campus while other groups headed out on an urban hike and a jaunt to nearby Kilgore Falls. Design, Build, Play tested their strength and balance on some team building games they created, while nutritionist and alumni Ashley Grimmel ’06 gave an interactive presentation to Food Science. Many more adventures are planned for the next two weeks of experiential learning. Be a part of the magic by following us on Facebook and Instagram. We will share new highlights every day, so hop on board and let our students show you where they go, what they do, and who they can become during this 50th anniversary of May Program!
Karen Miller and Oldfields School are lifelong friends. Regardless of time or circumstance, Karen has come back to serve this community and celebrate the milestones in both her life and Oldfields’ for more than forty years. In her words, “Oldfields is near and dear to my heart.”
- Nevens Library
Director of Health Services Darla Carter joined the Oldfields community in early September and has navigated this year, one unlike any other, with patience and expertise. Darla is extremely passionate about her work on campus advocating for our students and faculty and off campus advocating for accessibility through her own nonprofit. Sweet-natured with a sweet tooth, our campus is made safer and more resilient with Ms. Carter.
- Darla Carter
- Health Services
- Ms. Carter
Optimistic and passionate, educator Mrs. Antoinette Dempsey-Waters inspires and motivates her students to see the power in voting, continuing their education, and sharing a good meal. Mrs. Waters joined our community for an interview on the importance of African American studies, the role economics play, and how the Black experience shapes American history.
- African American History
- Black History
- Guest Speaker
Shawn Wright joined the Oldfields community at the start of the 2020/2021 school year. Effervescent and experienced, she has jumped into campus life during a very unique school year. Shawn serves as the Theatre teacher/director, teaches AP Language and Composition, is the Co-Director of DEI Committee, a member of the DEI Board Committee (and leader of the Student Life & Restorative Justice sub-committee) and a dorm parent.
The spirit of Oldfields was in the air at the Fall 2020 Awards Ceremony on February 15 as students spread out across the gymnasium floor waving green and white pom poms. The celebration had been delayed for a variety of reasons, but that did not diminish the enthusiasm as we finally gathered to honor the academic and athletic achievements of the students. Everyone was included, as remote students and faculty joined via Zoom. Faculty children held up cardboard headshots of the students who couldn’t be present to receive their award. Since we were in a celebratory mood, we took the opportunity to hold our mid-year Green and White Ceremony as well, welcoming our 12 new students to their respective teams. Having so many of us together in the same space felt both familiar and wonderful!
Here at Oldfields, learning happens both in and out of the classroom. From attitude and accountability to commitment and teamwork, some of the biggest life lessons are taught on the stage, on the athletic fields, and in the riding ring. The young women at Oldfields look up to their coaches as mentors and guides throughout their time here. Their coaches believe in and commit to educating the whole girl. And in turn, our students create unique bonds with their coaches and teammates, allowing important dialogues to happen within these unique spaces.
- Professional Development
From her corner office on the first floor of Rodney Academic Building, Mrs. Thompson greets both students and faculty each day. She refers to her office as the “science wing snack stop” since girls frequent her office often during the mid-morning break. Mrs. Thompson loves the feel of a community like Oldfields—one where you support one another as neighbors and individuals.
On January 20, Oldfields campus was brimming with hope and excitement as the country watched Kamala Harris take the oath of office as the first Black, South-Asian female Vice President. Alongside Kamala, women were making history on so many levels. Amanda Gorman, the youngest female inaugural poet, captivated our community and country with her words, power, and poise.
During our first Monday back on campus, Oldfields community members came together for a day of activities, discussion, and service projects to honor the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As always, the health and safety of our community is our top priority. Therefore, we must pay close attention to our school culture as it directly affects the emotional and physical safety of our community members. Oldfields should always be a place that feels warm, welcoming, respectful, accepting, and inclusive of all who step foot on campus. This spring, the voices of our alumnae helped us understand—more so than ever before—how this has not always been the case for all students at Oldfields, and particularly not for many students of color.
Performers use the term “triple threat” to refer to someone who excels at all three disciplines: singing, acting and dancing. Here at Oldfields, one could consider Arts Chair Carrie Hammond another type of triple threat. Teaching, advising, and raising her two young boys, Ms. Hammond weaves her work and life together effortlessly, like ribbons on a pointe shoe.
History teacher Kate Wyvill’s classroom is a calming space, lit by strands of twinkle lights and decorated with world maps. A classroom that reflects its students, the walls are adorned with favorite quotes made by the girls, a birthday chart, and colorful student artwork. Kate shared, “I want my students to have some ownership of this space. This is a space they can bring their whole self into.”
My favorite part of Mr. Shelton’s class is the interactive learning. We never know what we are going to be doing. He always has fun demonstrations that connect what we are learning to the real world. Mr. Shelton’s teaching is one-on-one, making sure everyone is on track. He is energetic and engaging with the students! – Madi '22
Our beloved Oldfields tradition, Green and White Night, was held this year on a perfect, crisp September evening. Like always, returning students adorned themselves in bright team colors and costumes and decorated the venue with streamers, balloons, and posters, while new students and faculty practiced the School song and studied Oldfields’ history in anticipation of the ceremony. Everyone gathered on the Commons Lawn for the first full-community dinner of the year to kick off the evening.
It’s a wrap! Our community has a wonderful reopening experience under our belts, and we are looking forward to the months ahead! Move-in day went incredibly well thanks to all of you, our families, who did a great job following our health and safety protocols. A shoutout also goes to the faculty and staff who greeted the girls with smiles, helped move everyone into the dorms, and made all feel at home. However, the real rock stars of Opening Days were the students. Their attitude and energy were fantastic as we all got to know each other better through Advisory meetings, games, and of course, classes!
This is a moment to reflect carefully on the norms, practices, and behaviors that occur at Oldfields and the role we all must play to ensure that we create a true sense of belonging for all of our students—and particularly for our BIPOC students.
On June 26, Head of School David G. Perfield announced in a letter to families that all students would be welcomed back to campus on August 22. Since early spring, the School has been leveraging external expertise and evolving guidance from local and national authorities to develop health and safety protocols designed to protect the overall well-being of both residential and non-residential students and employees. This remains the highest priority.
Oldfields is committed to doing our part to address the systemic racial injustice that has long gripped our nation. We join together with our students, families, and alumnae of color, particularly our Black community, both on and off our campus, as the nation continues to fight racial injustice. We are committed to working as a community to educate ourselves, better our understanding, and lead change.
On the 25th Martin Luther King, Jr.’s National Day of Service, Oldfields is proud to say we honored his call to action by canceling classes, loading up the entire community on buses, and spending a rewarding day working alongside our neighbors in Baltimore City.
- MLK Day
- United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)
- US Eventing Association