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Anyone who has crossed Dwight’s transom at 18 West 89th Street knows that the gateway to our school is comprised of double hand-forged iron doors that are not only quite heavy but also beautiful to behold. These architectural icons of our campus, named the “School of Spirits” doors, were designed intentionally to be difficult to open.

Each door weighs 1,000 pounds. They were crafted by James Garvey, a Dwight parent (Sara ’95, Constance ’98, and Noah ’99), who is one of the leading metalsmith artists in the world. He wanted students to realize that they need to make an effort to learn, to overcome inertia to enter and excel; and that once inside Dwight’s learning community, they would feel safe.

The ironwork is complex and labor-intensive — and reflects Dwight’s 143-year legacy of merging tradition with innovation. The doors were created using ancient forging methods that originated before the Middle Ages combined with techniques developed in modern times.

Donated to Dwight in 1994 by the artist, our “School of Spirits” doors are again in the spotlight through a current re-crafting project by Mr. Garvey. I am reminded that the ornamental doors mirror the narrative of every child that enters Dwight’s portal. It is the story of overcoming small setbacks as a necessary ingredient to achieve anything of significance. Great teachers, just as the artist who created the “School of Spirits” doors, help to forge students with iron wills and open hearts. Historic and heroic teachers are memorialized in the doors, as they assist children to ascend to become ethical leaders. The doors represent the hopes and dreams we have for our children.

To learn more about Mr. Garvey’s work and the original concept for our “School of Spirits” doors, visit
On Friday, April 10, The Dwight School Foundation hosted it's annual Spring Benefit at 583 Park Avenue. Over 400 members of the Dwight community came together to support student financial aid, faculty professional development, and the new Spark of Innovation Program. The night was fun-filled with dinner, dancing, a lively auction, and a special video about the new Spark of Innovation Program. Click here to watch the video and click here to see pictures from Friday night.
Thank you to the entire Dwight community for making the 2015 Spring Benefit such a memorable evening. To learn more about The Dwight School Foundation and how you can help, please visit
Returning to her home city of Melbourne, Australia, Head of Dwight School Dianne Drew was on familiar turf when she joined a panel of international education leaders for the inaugural conference of The Centre for Educational Enterprise (CEE). The CEE, which is based at Melbourne Girls Grammar School, is spearheaded by women.

Entitled “Future Fusion: The Confluence of Health and Education,” the conference brought together internationally recognized players in both fields to create a continuum of practice between the two, and to identify innovations and technologies that can transform health and education services on an international level for the future.

As head of an innovative international school, Ms. Drew was part of a lively discussion about innovative schools and student well-being under the umbrella topic of “What’s trending for young people — and are we up to the challenge?” She shared Dwight’s unique international experience as a global network of schools and the IB perspective of seeing all attributes of a student holistically as the key to a child’s success.

“It was a privilege for me to represent the innovative work our school excels in — from in-depth advisory and like-skills programming, to cross-campus global connectivity and personalized learning opportunities,” says Ms. Drew. “Fellow educators are eager to see what American and international schools are focusing on to meet the challenges our youth present to us, particularly in the tech-dominated society in which they are growing up. I was equally eager to hear what other schools are doing to address this need and proud to acknowledge that Dwight pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking to meet students at all the various levels they require. Flexibility, resiliency, and the ability to listen as educators — really listen to students — are what our youth today demand, and Dwight certainly has exceptional faculty that provide that day in and day out.”

As Dwight continues to be a prominent force in global education and with her recent appointment on the IB Heads Council, our Head of School is being invited more and more to present at a variety of educational conferences and workshops both here in the United States and around the world.
“The future belongs to youth. Why not empower students to help us find solutions to global issues?” Why not, indeed. Such was impetus behind the founding of the Global Issues Network (GIN) and its first conference in 2006. Since that time, GIN has attracted students from around the world in increasing numbers — including Dwight students, serving as global leaders — to share ideas and develop solutions to some of our world’s most pressing issues.

This year’s Dwight GIN Team was no different. They traveled to Milan, Italy, to attend the tenth annual conference entitled “Tackling Global Issues with Energy, Passion and Innovation.” Our students participated in lively sessions, heard from guest speakers, shared action plans — igniting new ideas — and gave inspiring and well-received presentations as global citizens.

Daniil Frants ’17 spoke about Dwight’s new Spark of Innovation Program and his plans to use technology to raise awareness of global issues. He also joined Zoe Vorisek ’16, Ilan Pesselev ’18, and Zaria Howell ’18 to discuss issues related to water shortages and the lack of clean water in the majority of undeveloped countries. They posed the question: Have we thought about how our disregard of efforts to conserve water could be detrimental to us in the future?

Dwight’s team engaged the audience in animated discussion that addressed this question from scientific, political, and environmental standpoints to deepen understanding and offered a plethora of well-thought-out solutions to the problem.

Continuing the focus on technology during the conference, Lillian Chu ’16, Changsik Moon ’17, Finnigan Grollo ’17, and Daniel Elahi ’18 led participants in an intensely debated and impressive discussion around questions such as: Is excessive dependency on technology good? How can we avoid the negative impacts of technology? How can we use technology to further our development as a society and to make our world a better place? Does technology guarantee a peaceful, sustainable world? These are certainly BIG questions that require the best young minds to help answer them.

We’re proud of each and every member of Dwight’s GIN team for representing our School with such thoughtfulness, international-mindedness, and enthusiasm. Thanks to all for your hard work, commitment, and innovative ideas — you rock!
Founded in 1872 and located in New York City, Dwight is a leading private international school. The first school in the Americas to offer all four International Baccalaureate programs

for students in preschool through grade 12, Dwight is dedicated to igniting the spark of genius in every child.
Dwight School   291 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-3002   Phone: 212.724.6360