• By devonsimpson on April 3, 2019

    What is your superpower? How will you use it to fight injustice?

    These are the questions presented in the first annual 5th Grade Comic-Con & Toy Study culmination. Throughout the year, 5th graders have engaged in interdisciplinary projects that uncover the stories lying beneath topics familiar to us. In this inaugural showcase, students dug deep into the purposes, impacts, and potential of super-people and mass-marketed toys. In the integrated toy study portion, students explored questions like, What would we find if we looked at toys and games throughout history? What messages do super people intentionally and unintentionally send? What is the design process for creating a video game? Why are stereotypes about young adults so similar around the world? Are there certain toys and types of play kids should be engaging with? What barriers to equity exist and what can we do about them?

    Students channeled the super (s)heroes within by creating custom super people personas based on their values, identities, and unique talents. Each super person had a catchphrase, theme song, name, and power pose to be empowered in mind and body. Throughout the process of building up their characters, students partnered with Cappy’s Boxing Gym to learn new boxing moves that helped the (s)heroes feel strong in their bodies. Each student showed off their moves and performed their “super speech” that told who they are and what they believe to a full audience.

    In the months leading up to the culmination, students analyzed popular and subculture toy and game markets, looking for tends in American culture and history. They identified and evaluated marketing differences based on gender, age appropriateness, and environmental costs. After taking all of this into consideration, they planned, designed, and created their own functioning toys that meet 21st century standards for neuroscience, equity, and environmentalism.

    Among many lessons gleaned from this culmination, the 5th graders proved just how powerful youth voices and movements can be. Each one of our students has a unique super power, and we can’t wait to see them use these powers for good in our communities.

  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on October 3, 2018

    Our 3-day trip to YMCA Camp Seymour reinforced what this year will largely be about: identifying our personal leadership capacities, bonding as a class community, broadening our “courage zones” and engaging with others in the built and natural world to better understand and improve the realities we live in.

    Class activities taught students the skills of canoeing, the unique traits of reptiles (first-hand), the properties of marine life in the Puget Sound and the threats they face, and how to make our water use more efficient.  Led by naturalists, the students worked in small groups to design their own water filtration system, developed hypotheses about marine animals and held turtles, geckos and snakes!

    Next we met in advisory groups for an afternoon of team challenges on a low ropes course. These necessitated communication, problem solving, self-advocacy, listening and perseverance. Many exhibited new-found strengths in themselves and observed them others. They also identified areas for growth, and ways they could step into their “Courage zone,” particularly when it came to zip lining!

    Perhaps the most meaningful of all activities was the chance to be alone in nature. Students were dropped off at their own sites for a “solo” of about an hour, to fully absorb the sights, sounds and insights possible only in a wooded setting near an estuary. Here, they wrote in journals, sat beneath majestic cedars or on fern-covered hillsides, built “fairy houses,” teepees and “stick bouquets,” or simply laid on their backs looking at the sky.

    While the 7th graders may be most likely to recall hilarious skit performances, dipping into the swimming pool the last week it was open, sharing stories in the cabin or channeling their inner “Katniss” on the archery course, it was likely the moments shared with classmates beyond their friend groups that will have the most sustained and positive impact. When asked to reflect on their personal strengths and takeaways, here’s a snapshot of what many had to say:

    “I was a leader, but I stepped back as well.”

    “I have the strength to be kind to others.”

    “I want to spend more time in nature.”

    “I noticed that different people started to speak up and others learned to step down.”

    “I was able to be flexible and able to give up things that would benefit the feelings of others.”

    “I work well in a team.”

    “I was able to help lots of people and I was proud of myself because normally I just do what people tell me to do.”

    “I saw people who were nervous about the solo walk do it and really enjoy it.”

    “I noticed multiple people step up to take leadership. I saw a bunch of people try new things that they weren’t comfortable.”


  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on June 1, 2018

    IMG_2326_previewPlease join us for the New Home Building Design Workshop!
    JUNE 9TH

    9:00AM – 12:00PM
    Seattle Girls’ School
    2706 S Jackson St

    It’s important for our building team to hear from you. We hope you will join us for breakfast at 9:00 AM and then participate in our Building Design Workshop.

    Come learn about:

    The project and our progress with creating a powerful design
    What our student ambassadors think represents joyful learning

    Come tell us:

    What makes SGS unique?
    What do you think we should know about the SGS culture as we design the building?
    What do you think SGS should look like in 2065?


  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on May 31, 2018



    Dear SGS Community,

    The message you’ve been waiting for is finally here: Seattle Girls’ School’s Mentor Program is ready to launch once again!

    Thank you for your patience with the Mentor Program amid the changing roles in the Development Office. While the program has been mostly on pause for the 2017-2018 school year, we are happy to announce that the new Development & Communications Associate Devon Simpson, is working to get the much anticipated mentor program off the ground. Please feel free to contact her with any questions at or (206) 276-4273.

    To kick off the return of the program, Seattle Girls’ School will be hosting an informational session for returning and prospective mentors to gain insight on what being a SGS mentor entails. We hope you can join us at 5:30 PM on June 21st for light hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, networking, and an informational presentation about SGS’s Mentor Program. If you know anyone who is interested (or could possibly be interested) in mentoring a courageous young leader at SGS, please let them know about our Mentorship Mixer on June 21st!

    We are so excited to get the Mentor Program up and running again and hope you are too. Please feel free to contact Devon with any questions regarding the program and don’t forget to RSVP to the Mentorship Mixer.

  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on May 21, 2018

    We’re pleased to present our 2016 – 2017 Annual Report. In this year’s report, you’ll find a welcome letter from our Student Council, regards from our Head of School, Brenda Leaks, a timeline of notable events from the 2016 – 2017 school year, gratitude to our generous donors, and so much more!

  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on March 22, 2018

    SCAD Savannah – Summer 2017 – Exhibitions – "Lines of Influence" – Barbara Earl Thomas – Artist Portrait – SCAD Museum of Art – Photography by Kevin Wells    1432660882508

    Barbara Earl Thomas (left) and Julie McElrath (right) 

    Dear SGS Families and Supporters,
    We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Grace Hopper Award for the 16th Annual Seattle Girls’ School Luncheon! This year, we will be honoring Barbara Earl Thomas with an award for outstanding accomplishment and Julie McElrath for exemplary leadership. We look forward to inviting these outstanding role models into the SGS community.

    Barbara Earl Thomas is a Seattle-based artist whose work ranges in many mediums such as egg tempera paintings, linocuts, and woodblock prints. Thomas has exhibited her work in museums throughout the U.S., including The Seattle Art Museum, The Tacoma Art Museum, The Museum of Art and Technology in Indiana, and Meadows Museum in Louisiana. Thomas is noted for her commitment to social justice and inclusivity in her community. She served as the executive director of the Northwest African American Museum from 2008 – 2013, where she was instrumental in creating the agency and broad-based support that now sustains it.

    Julie McElrath is a senior vice president and director of the vaccine and infectious disease division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the principal investigator of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network Laboratory Center. Dr. McElrath’s research, conducted through the McElrath Lab, centers on developing an HIV vaccine and investigates the complex relationships between HIV and the immune system. She has been intentional in her work to mentor junior faculty, young investigators, and graduate students as they work together to tackle the HIV epidemic.

    The Annual Seattle Girls’ School Luncheon is a creative celebration of our students and mission, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting SGS’s need-based financial aid and innovative academic programs. Registration for the 2018 Annual Luncheon on May 10th is open. Please register here. If you are interested in sponsoring a table at the 2018 Luncheon, please complete and submit the Sponsorship Packet by no later than April 20th.  More information on the Table Captain role can be found here.

    If you have any questions about the Luncheon, registration, or details on being a Table Captain, please contact Devon Simpson at

    We hope to see you at this important and inspiring event.

    Thank you!


  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on October 20, 2017

    Our 2017 Annual Fund kick-off was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who came, carved, and gave a donation. You can find out more about our Annual Fund and how you can help support Seattle Girls’ School here.

  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on September 22, 2017

    Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 1.44.16 PM


    Join us on Thursday, October 19th, from 4:00-6:00 pm for our

    Fifth Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest and Annual Fund Kick-Off!

    Meet us at the Northwest African American Museum [2300 S Massachusetts St, Seattle, WA 98144], where we will have access to the exhibits [We are One].  There will be prizes and free food.

    Why do we have an Annual Fund?

    The Annual Fund is a significant and yearly effort, providing much needed funding for mission critical programs and expenses. Tuition and program revenue make-up 82% of our operating budget. The Annual Fund helps makes up the difference between tuition and the actual cost of educating a student. Although there are other giving opportunities throughout the year, such as the SGS Annual Luncheon, the Annual Fund is the one time ALL members of our community are asked to contribute to SGS.
    One of the best ways you can help us meet our operating needs this year is by contributing to the Annual Fund.

  • By Erika Bailey on March 1, 2017


    Seattle Girls’ School will be honoring Leonard Yerkes during our 15th Annual Benefit Luncheon on May 15, 2017. Leonard was an incredible advocate of Seattle Girls’ School, exemplified by his service on the School’s Board of Trustees until his passing.

    Leonard Yerkes

    Leonard’s involvement with SGS grew from ardent supporter, to “kitchen cabinet” advisor, to member of the SGS Finance Committee and ultimately to service on the Board of Trustees. Over this span of time Leonard’s gentle steerage kept SGS on course toward achieving its mission. In each instance Leonard brought his wisdom gained from many years of independent school governance, his engaging sense of humor and his enduring sense of humanity. His role in setting our direction and holding everyone accountable will benefit our school for many years to come.

    The Seattle Girls’ School community is ever grateful for Leonard’s involvement with the school. Though short in time, the impacts are great. To give to a cause Leonard cared deeply about you can make a donation here, or join us at the event.

    Seattle Girls’ School (SGS) is a 501 (c)(3) all-girls middle school with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). Founded in 2001 on the principle of “our girls are tomorrow’s leaders,” the SGS STEAM curriculum inspires future female leaders and innovators. The mission of Seattle Girls’ School is to inspire and develop courageous leaders who think independently, work collaboratively, learn joyfully, and champion change.


  • By Erika Bailey on November 16, 2016