Head Lines: Summer 2022

Dear York House Community,

In the “busy”- ness of life, we seldom take time to slow down and truly notice what is around us. As the last few months and weeks of school have gone by, and ahead of my departure for a new adventure, I made a point to notice all that surrounds us at York House School. 

Picture happy Yorkies skipping along 26th avenue in their uniform, some holding their parents’ hands, others bopping along with parents trying to catch up. There is something magical about students skipping to school and I have loved watching this play out every day for the past seven years. As Yorkies skip along, you can see their joy and love for their school, their friends and their caring teachers. I love their carefree spirit, their curiosity for learning and their boundless creativity. This energy can also be seen in the classrooms as well as recess and lunch. 

There is no doubt that the best part of being a Head of School is getting to be part of the lives of so many wonderful students. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing our Yorkies in the hallways and in classrooms connecting with their peers and their teachers. I have seen them so invested in their studies. It has been so inspiring to see students who care deeply about their learning. York House School is a place that nurtures this joy of learning and also reminds students that they can dream big and achieve anything they set their minds to.

Supported by outstanding faculty and staff, we have seen our Yorkies thrive academically, in athletics, in fine arts, and of course in service to the school community and beyond. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, we have had an outstanding year in athletics and in fine arts. The learning and social development that occurs through participation on athletic teams, choir, band or clubs truly enriches the learning experiences of our Yorkies. Thank you to all the faculty coaches and alumnae who have given of their time and energy. You truly make such a positive difference.

I leave York House School having been enriched as a leader, educator, and human being. I am extremely grateful for my seven years here at York House, five of which have been as Head of School. I am incredibly proud of our students and extremely grateful for our supportive parent community. York House is truly a special place and the sense of community that exists here is largely due to the outstanding faculty, staff, administration team and board I have had the pleasure of working with. 

I know that the school will be in very capable hands with Ms. Deryn Lavell as the new Head of School. I want to wish you all a wonderful summer ahead. May this summer be filled with sunshine, laughter, and memorable times with family and friends.

I wish to thank you all for your support over the years. I will forever cherish very special memories of my time at York House School.


Julie Rousseau

Head Lines: Spring 2022

With COVID and travel restrictions lifting and spring just around the corner, I’m sure many of us have a desire to break out from under the veil of the pandemic and get back to exploring the world, connecting with others, and resuming our normal activities. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years already. In March 2020, one day before Spring break, I remember meeting with our staff in the auditorium to share with them that in essence, the world was shutting down. There was a clear sense of disbelief, uncertainty, and palpable fear for what lay ahead.

Now, looking back, as a school community, we’ve learned so much in two years. We’ve learned that we are capable of finding solutions to problems that never existed, that clear and timely communication is key, that empathy, critical thinking, and that collaboration are skills essential to finding ways to be adaptable in meeting the needs of all members of our community. We learned from our mistakes, we created networks where we intentionally shared our key learnings and gained knowledge from others who also faced the same challenges we did. We learned that we are courageous, caring, and resilient and that a community of care is vital when facing unprecedented challenges. Thank you parents for the support you have displayed towards each other and of course, for your trust in us. 

Most importantly, we learned to put into practice the very skills and competencies we seek to develop in our students in order for them to be successful in facing various challenges and opportunities in an ever-changing world. Never have I felt stronger about York House School’s mission to “empower young women to be active global citizens with the courage to act on their beliefs and make a difference in the world.”

We certainly are a global community connected not just by our common humanity, but collectively through our struggles with COVID-19, climate change, the fight for social justice, and the global conflicts. Never, in most of our living memories, have so many challenges confronted our ability to navigate uncertainty while continuing to live our lives and fulfill our aspirations. 

It has never been more important for educators and parents to join forces in helping girls develop the skills and mindsets necessary to ensure their readiness and curiosity to navigate successfully in this complex world. No doubt, their future success depends on their ability to seek to understand the world around them, investigate issues that matter and have the confidence to take action in ways that are meaningful to them. 

If you wish to explore what teaching students to become global citizens really means, I am sharing the newest episode of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Educating Girls podcast, where Clare Sisisky, Executive Director of the Global Education Benchmark Group, shares her experience, wisdom, insights, and actionable recommendations for educators and parents. I’m sure you will find it insightful. 

I want to thank our staff and students who have worked so hard this past term and wish them a wonderful holiday. I also hope that you spend a wonderful time with your family and friends over the break.

In April, we also look forward to meeting Deryn Lavell, our newly appointed Interim Head of School, who will be joining us on April 19, 20, and 21, for a few days to connect with staff, students, and the YHS Board. 

Once again, we will make sure to provide you with timely information related to the easing of restrictions following the break. Be well everyone.