High School Attended: Episcopal High School
College Attended: Northwestern University
“There I was in Indianapolis, and I ran into Misha!” exclaims Maya Glenn ’12, referring to Misha Wooden, ’11, and describing one of the joys of attending the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Indiana in December of 2014. Maya and Misha, representing Episcopal High School and Flint Hill, respectively, were among hundreds of independent school students in grades 9 to 12 who met to reflect together on diversity and to build community. “I was one of five representatives from my school,” says Maya, adding, “The conference was a great opportunity to meet other students who share my interests.”
Being open to surprises and learning from them is important, Maya says. When she visited Green Hedges late in her Grade 6 year as a potential transfer student, her future classmates were off campus, attending the individual class spring trips. Even without seeing them, she thought she would like the school. “I could tell it was academically rigorous, but also that students get to do cool things in the community.” By the time school was starting, “I was nervous and excited,” says Maya, explaining that the turning point between nervousness and excitement came on the very first day, when two girls from Grade 8 befriended her and made her feel welcome. “One of those girls was Misha,” she remembers.
Reflecting on the Green Hedges Core Value “Become Yourself,” Maya says, “sometimes kids think, ‘I’m an arts person,’ or ‘I’m a sports person,’ but at Green Hedges everyone tries out everything. Often people end up finding they enjoy things they didn’t know they would, or finding talents they had not explored.” Her own experience, starting as a ballet dancer who performed for a school assembly in Grade 7 and ending up with a leading role in the Middle School musical, illustrates the point. “I was a dancer, not a singer or actress! But my teacher worked with me after school, exploring different aspects of performance. I think my parents were proud to see all that I did on stage, and now that I’m in high school, I have continued being in musicals.”
Her first year at Green Hedges brought non-academic discoveries to Maya, as well. “We are not a camping family, so I was surprised to have such a great time on the Middle School camping trip,” she remembers. Another important discovery was Maya’s love for Math. With a current academic load that includes Pre-Calculus and AP Statistics, Maya credits GHS mathematics teacher Syamala Chenulu with making this her favorite subject: “She is such a passionate teacher, you can’t help but get excited about math.” Even leaving Green Hedges provided lessons in being open to new possibilities. “Mr. Gregg encouraged me to consider Episcopal, even though it is a boarding school. Now I love it here, because in so many ways it feels like a continuation of Green Hedges,” she reflects.
Finally, thinking about her younger sisters, Kyra ’14, now a Freshman at Maret, and Celina, Grade 7 at GHS, she says, “Each of us has different interests, but for each of us, it has been important to explore new things.” To anyone reading this who may be considering attending Green Hedges, Maya advises, “Be open to all the school has to offer, and be ready for surprises!”