Leading the Way with Single-Gender Education: Miss Porter’s School | Joel Backon | 12 Min Read

January 9, 2023

During 31 years in the independent school world (35 if you add the student experience), visiting over 100 schools was one of my favorite activities. I always enjoy seeing different campuses, talking with school leaders, faculty, and students, and visiting classes, as the classroom was my passion. I resumed these visits, post-COVID, in early December by traveling a whopping 7 miles to Miss Porter’s School (1843) in Farmington, CT. I’ve visited Miss Porter’s many times before, but by the time I departed on this cold day in December, I sensed that the barriers to the professional success of women were crumbling, and Miss Porter’s was a player in that transformation.

What brought me to Miss Porter’s when I had a choice of several hundred schools in southern New England alone? It was the announcement of a series of changes that had resulted from reimagining their academic program in order to better position students to tackle the challenges of the world. In order to learn more, I spent the better part of a day with Tim Quinn, the school’s Chief Academic Officer. We discussed a series of questions I had sent to him, visited classes to…

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Joel Backon

Joel Backon has been the Editor of Intrepid Ed News since its inception in January 2021, responsible for all educator content on the website. He joined the OESIS Network, owner of Intrepid, in 2019 as Vice President. Joel spent much of his career at Choate Rosemary Hall (CT) where for 27 years he held founding roles in Information and Academic Technology, as well as being a classroom teacher, curriculum designer, coach, dorm head, and student adviser. Prior to Choate, Joel spent 15 years in the printing and publishing industry educating printers on how to maximize their strengths and minimize weaknesses. He has crusaded to achieve consensus on the question of why we educate kids in an effort to meet the learning needs of every student.