This September marks a momentous milestone for Carmel Academy, as the school kicks off a yearlong celebration in honor of its 20th Anniversary.
“Two decades ago, a group of 20 parents gathered to do something quite extraordinary—launch a new kind of Jewish day school,” said Carmel Academy’s Head of School Nora Anderson. “Our founders had a clear vision of a school that would embrace and celebrate religious diversity; a school whose philosophy would champion a true child-centered educational journey; and a school that would be fully committed to an innovative educational approach. Our founders were aspirational and ambitious—qualities that I am proud to say are a legacy that continues to make Carmel Academy the exceptional school it is today.”
“As we celebrate this notable anniversary, we do so as we proudly welcome our largest incoming early childhood class this fall and graduate our largest class this upcoming spring—a true testament that our founders’ dream of creating a thriving Jewish day school has come to fruition,” Anderson said. “Twenty years later, we have graduated 12 classes—close to 200 students—many whom are now young adults taking the roots they planted at Carmel and making a difference in the world.”
Carmel Academy, which was founded as Westchester Hebrew Academy in 1997, opened its doors on one floor of a synagogue with 14 kindergarten and 10 first grade students. Today, the school serves students from transitional kindergarten through 8th grades and is located on a 17-acre historic campus in central Greenwich, attracting more than 225 students from throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties, as well as Riverdale and New York City.
“Our anniversary theme is “20 Year of Daring,” which reflects our founders’ pioneering spirit, and the innovative culture that remains a core value of the Carmel Academy educational experience,” Anderson said.
From its inception, Carmel Academy has had a forward-thinking approach to education—striving to be a beacon of excellence and innovation that draws students, faculty, and thought leaders from near and far, Anderson said.
Carmel’s commitment to innovation has earned the school prestigious academic invitations including being one of the first schools in the country to pilot and then adopt the renowned E2K STEM program, as well as being selected to pilot the Judaic and general studies Standards and Benchmark programs. Carmel’s innovative mindset has led to groundbreaking programs—ranging from the school’s inclusive PALS program for children with learning disabilities to one of the only Reggio Emilia-inspired transitional kindergarten programs in the region.
The “20 Years of Daring” theme will be integrated into the curriculum, as students and faculty will be encouraged to take on academic and personal challenges, as well as pursue a variety of endeavors such as studying daring figures in history. In honor of this significant year, Carmel Academy will take a step back into 1997 for a “1997 Day,” gather for a 20th Anniversary Erev Tov Annual Dinner and formally honor the architects of the school with a Founder’s Day Celebration.
Carmel Academy’s faculty kicked off the yearlong celebration by welcoming students and families to the school year with a 20th Anniversary dance video which can be found on the school’s website at www.carmelacademy.com.
By Julie Lapin