WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/359840

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Page 129 of 219

W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 4 128 create rich and rigorous learning experiences and couple them with extensive social [and] emotional programming. Our goal is to ensure that our students are successful not only here at Neighborhood House, but are able to graduate from high school, pursue post-secondary edu- cation, and experience life success." The CEO of Excel Academy, Owen Stearns, shares his school's holistic approach: "Our mission is to put our students on a path to success through college. To do that our stu- dents need to be smart, yes, but they also have to have character, a sense of self, and the ability to persevere through challenge. That is what students also learn at Excel." The positive, inclusive atmosphere at NHCS inspired Sarah Maynard to become a supporter of the school. Sarah visited NHCS with her daughter, Elizabeth Maynard Chiu, a graduate of Columbia Teacher's College and former kindergarten teacher at two lottery charter schools in New York City: Harlem Success Academy and Harlem Link. "We were struck by the upbeat energy and consider it to be a great environment for kids to learn and grow," she explains. Despite all the support, the transition to a demanding charter school environment is not always an easy one for students. One stu- The fact that Excel kids outperform the kids from every town in Massachusetts—including from our highly educated, affluent towns of Wellesley and Weston—on the 8th grade MCAS, demonstrates what is possible. C O U R T E S Y O F E X C E L A C A D E M Y C H A R T E R S C H O O L S ; P H O T O B Y N I C H O L A S M A N N

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