Foote Turns 100

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Foote Turns 100
Carol Maoz with Eugenia Whitney Hotchkiss ’35 at Reunion Day 2015

As educators of young children, we naturally look toward the future, focusing on the knowledge, skills and values that our students will need to succeed in the 21st century. As The Foote School marks its centennial year, we pause to look back and reflect on our school’s remarkable journey, how it grew from a living room full of young learners into the beautiful campus and nurturing community it is today. 

Foote has been a place of discovery and growth for generations of children and families. I was reminded of this at Reunion Day this past May, when I had the pleasure of visiting with two of Foote’s oldest living alums, Eugenia Whitney Hotchkiss ’35 and Eugenia Lovett West ’36. Eight decades after graduating, they had returned to Foote to celebrate their 80th and 79th reunions, respectively. To have an alumna celebrating her 80th reunion is an incredible thing by itself. But it says something important about our school that these remarkable women—best friends since their Foote days— would stay connected to their elementary school, and to each other, over all these years. 

I hear from alums frequently about the lasting impact Foote made in their lives. As you’ll read in this issue of Foote Prints, the Eugenias can still recite—in unison—lines from the Christmas plays they performed in the converted stable that housed Foote from 1923 to 1958. This year’s graduation speaker was another alum, Clinton White ’82, who spoke movingly about the role Foote played in his decision to pursue a career as a diplomat and humanitarian with USAID. You will find many more examples in this magazine of the meaningful contributions our alums are making all over the world, and the part that Foote played in their journeys. 

Much has changed at Foote over its first century—new buildings, expanded faculty, a more diverse student body, new programs and curricula, stronger ties with New Haven. In these pages, you will read how our new technology curriculum is using 21st century tools to enhance student creativity and collaboration, and about an exciting new initiative to assess our students’ non-cognitive skills, which research shows are critical for school and life success. 

But what is truly notable about Foote at 100 is all that has not changed: the spirit of curiosity in the classroom; inspiring teachers who value children as individuals and treat their every question with respect; the sense of stewardship toward each other and our environment; and above all, a genuine love of learning that makes Foote a joyful and vibrant place to be a child. I wish that Martha Foote could see the incredible community her little school has become, and know that the vision she pioneered a century ago is alive and well in our classrooms today. 

I hope you will join us in celebrating this amazing milestone during Centennial Weekend in May 2016, and come back to the place you can always call home. 

Sincerely, 

Carol Signature

Carol Maoz, Head of School 

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    Since 1916, The Foote School has provided child-centered education that nurtures creativity, excellence and joy in learning.