Message from the Director of the Middle School

​​The Daugh W. Smith Middle School at Harpeth Hall is a place where girls take center stage. Girls occupy every leadership role, fill every position on the math and robotics teams, run the student council, lead classroom discussions, and excel on athletic teams. The Middle School curriculum is challenging, relevant, and exploratory. It encompasses every aspect of a girl's educational program: academics, arts, physical education, life balance, leadership, sports, and community service. In addition to content and skills in the individual disciplines, the curriculum engages students in interdisciplinary study and reflection on their learning process. Students learn study skills and strategies and gain confidence by developing the tools needed for academic success at every level. 
 
Every aspect of the middle school student experience is designed with the needs of adolescent girls in mind. Our teachers know the best way to capture their students’ attention is to give them a challenging and thoughtful program of study where they can explore both the why and the how of things. Through varied teaching methods and ongoing assessments that advance and measure learning, teachers empower students to engage deeply in the learning process, advocate for themselves, and explore new possibilities for growth. Our teachers inspire a sense of wonder and guide students to also see the practicality of what they are learning by making connections to the wider society. 

Adolescent girls achieve their highest academic potential in a nurturing, diverse, and inclusive environment that supports their intellectual, emotional, social, and physical needs. The Middle School program is designed to ensure that each girl is seen and known well by her teachers and classmates. We believe a sense of belonging and meaningful relationships with teachers and supportive peers are essential in cultivating an optimal learning environment for young women. To that end, every student works closely with a faculty advisor and meets regularly with a small advisory group to foster authentic relationships and community building.  In addition, students have access to their classroom teachers every morning prior to the start of the school day to ask questions or receive extra support. 
 
The Harpeth Hall motto - Let us lift up the mind and spirit - reflects a vital aspect of our community; a place where the voices of girls and women are ever-present and valued. 
 
Judi O’Brien
Director of the Middle School