Rumson moms Victoria Gmelich and Mairead Clifford have announced that in September of 2013 they will be opening the first all-girls high school in this area — Trinity Hall.
Though the school will not be a parochial one, religious leaders will serve on its board and its mission will be faith-based, encouraging girls to “focus on their education, become leaders and grow in faith,” as they told Patch's Shannon Winning in an interview on Monday.
While conceding that the all-girls high schooling option is not one that everyone prefers, they also said that they feel strongly that the option should exist. Both hail from out-of-the-area same-sex religious schools, as do their husbands.
Wanting to transplant what they say were their overwhelmingly positive experiences to this area with Trinity Hall, they came up with mission statement.
It, in part, says:
“Trinity Hall is an innovative, independent college-preparatory high school for young women, in the Catholic tradition. In a technology-rich learning environment, a superior faculty and a challenging interdisciplinary curricular program fosters leadership, respect, perseverance and faith … These young women will be empowered to take risks, pursue personal passions, network globally and grow as learners — and as valued individuals.
Simply put, girls’ schools teach girls that there is enormous potential and power in being a girl.”
The two founders also say that girls tend to do better without the incidental daily distractions of typical interactions with teen boy counterparts during the day.
Gmelich and Clifford have $5 million in seed money and counting for their school.
Some, like the Trinity founders, strongly believe that there is overwhelming benefit in a single-sex, faith-based educational environment. While they say they know it's not for everyone, they maintain that the option should exist.
Others think the single-sex school environment is too sheltering and deprives students of the opportunity to develop valuable socialization skills and prepare for a real-world career experience where both sexes exist and interact on a daily basis.
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