Building confidence. Making strides.
Our Middle Schoolers develop in leaps and bounds, progressing rapidly from fixed homerooms to traveling classes and from open cubbies to lockers. Far more important, our 4th-8th Graders make strides toward increasingly sophisticated academic tasks — grappling with complex problems, posing nuanced arguments, and working collaboratively while also learning to increasingly think for themselves.
Holland Hall Middle Schoolers don’t just study the ecology of the sea. They use what they know to create an ocean museum and teach all they’ve learned to their primary school peers. They don’t just memorize physics principles. They use them to build — and race — boats in a cardboard regatta. And they don’t just study global economics. Our Middle School students devise and enact plans to fight inequity and poverty, confronting real-world problems in ways that are frequently audacious, inspiring, brilliant, and brave.
We offer our transformative Middle School experience early, by transitioning our students in 4th Grade — an unusual arrangement that allows younger minds to engage more complex ideas taught by subject specialists sooner. Our unique Middle School building reflects that purpose, a serene, well-ordered space where deep thinking and intent concentration spins naturally out of unvarnished interiors and orderly spaces.
Meet the new Middle School Head, Ms. Jennifer Whisenhunt White ’89.
After an extensive national search that drew interest from independent schools throughout the country as well as outstanding internal candidates from our own Holland Hall community, we are pleased to announce that Ms. Jennifer Whisenhunt White ’89 has accepted the appointment to be the next Head of Middle School at Holland Hall beginning in mid-July 2017.
Jennifer brings extensive leadership and independent school experience to her role at Holland Hall, along with an abiding respect and admiration for the transformative impact the Holland Hall experience has on its students.
She currently serves as the Head of Middle School at the highly regarded Emery/Weiner School in Houston, Texas. There, Jennifer leads 30 faculty members and holds responsibility for establishing a culture that is both student-centered and focused on excellence in all domains. With responsibility for the overall culture and tenor of the middle school program, Jennifer works diligently to establish strong, trusting relationships between teachers, students, and families. Among many initiatives she led while at Emery/Weiner, Jennifer takes great pride in the work they did with advisory programming, technology, and anti-bullying programming, including training with the cyberbullying research center, and excellent professional development opportunities for faculty.
Prior to her work at Emery/Weiner, Jennifer held various teaching and administrative appointments at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City. There she taught Spanish, coached field hockey, served as 7th-grade team leader, chaired the middle school language department, and oversaw the schedule, advisory programs, and student activities, along with many other responsibilities. Jennifer holds two B.A.’s, one in Spanish from Texas Christian University and one in secondary education from the University of Colorado. She also holds an M.A. in teaching and leadership from the University of Kansas.
Of her appointment as Holland Hall Middle School Head, Jennifer shared, “The reality of this spectacular opportunity is still sinking in for me. For as long as I can recall, I have dreamt of being part of the Holland Hall community as an educator, in part, or mostly, because it was Holland Hall that shaped me into the person I am today. Holland Hall gave me the structure, responsibility, and community in which I gained valuable lessons in how to be an effective life-long learner, how to build relationships, and how to pursue my goals. Holland Hall continues to provide an incredible home community for its families; this was apparent immediately upon returning to campus the past few weeks. The Middle School is a dynamic and active place where students are confident, involved, and happy. The devoted and excellent faculty demonstrate thoughtful collaboration and a desire to grow together. I am eager to get to know this community as we work together to continue the tradition of excellence for which Holland Hall stands. Though the day-to-day functions of the school have changed in the details, the traditions and atmosphere that make this school uniquely special remain intact. My family and I are honored and excited to return home to be part of the Holland Hall family.”
Please join us in welcoming Jennifer and her family home to Holland Hall and back to Tulsa!