Arts & Humanities


Great leaders have a deep understanding of the complexities of the human experience and the tools to use that knowledge for the greater good.


At Castilleja, girls have the opportunity to study how people process and document their experiences through our innovative humanities departments: English, History-Social Science, and World Languages. Knowledge of these subject areas grants emerging leaders a sense of connection and understanding with others; critical analysis skills practiced in every class engage students in the process of developing agility and critical thinking skills.

Academic Departments

English

Our English program introduces students to great works of world literature, exposes them to important literary traditions, helps them learn to develop and defend their own ideas, and fosters a lifelong love of reading.

With an emphasis on the principles of good writing rather than rigid rules, Castilleja's writing curriculum encourages students to develop their own voices. Castilleja's English courses deepen students' ability to think critically, reason abstractly, and reflect upon questions and issues that have no easy answers.

Celebrating Shakespeare's birthday with some classic Shakespearean insults.

Students celebrate Shakespeare's birthday by trading some classic Shakespearean insults.

Teacher Mr. Toben oversees a group discussion in English class.

Mr. Toben oversees a group discussion in Middle School English.

Meet the Faculty

Nicole Colvard

Titles: Faculty Member, English

Christina Gwin

Titles: Faculty Member, English, Faculty Dean

Laura Hansen

Titles: Faculty Member, English

Megan Hutchin

Titles: Faculty Member, English, 8th Grade Dean

Jennifer Raterman

Titles: Faculty Member, English

Valerie Ross

Titles: Faculty Member, English

Rebecca Sherouse

Titles: Faculty Member, English, Department Head

Bill Smoot

Titles: Faculty Member, English

Holly Thompson

Titles: Faculty Member, English

Graham Toben

Titles: Faculty Member, English

History-Social Science

A deep understanding of the past provides a sophisticated lens to understand the present and to view the future. Students hone their skills in critical thinking, thoughtful reading from a variety of sources, deep research, analytical writing, and both formal and extemporaneous speaking. Course offerings range from world and United States history to area studies, economics, and psychology.

Our students develop a global perspective and a deep appreciation of the role of the humanities to reveal the intricacies of human existence, highlight our common stories, and provide a framework for productive debate and exploration of solutions.

In Ms. Lane's U.S. History class, students gain a hand-on understanding of World War I as they re-enact battles between the various countries with accurately distributed resources.

In Ms. Lane's U.S. History class, students gain a hand-on understanding of World War I as they re-enact battles between the various countries with accurately distributed resources. 

In this signature Castilleja project, 8th grade history students use Bourn Lab equipment such as the laser cutter and the 3D printer to construct prototypes of monuments to notable women in American history.

In this signature Castilleja project, 8th grade history students use Bourn Lab equipment such as the laser cutter and the 3D printer to construct prototypes of monuments to notable women in American history.

Meet the Faculty

Laura Docter

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science, 6th Grade Dean

Margaret Lane

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science, Department Head

Christine Loui

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science, Head Coach, JVA Volleyball, Assistant Coach, JV Volleyball

Jeannine Marston

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science

Joseph Mitchell

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science, Sophomore Class Dean

Eugenie Paick

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science

Heather Pang

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science

Christy Story

Titles: Faculty Member, History/Social Science, Freshman Class Dean

Visual Performing Arts

The visual and performing arts are an integral part of the Castilleja experience, weaving together knowledge, skill development, and self-expression while enriching the cultural life of our community.

Through an exploration of each arts discipline—dance, music, theatre arts, and visual art—students learn to be creators, collaborators, leaders, and risk takers. Students have numerous opportunities to develop abilities, pursue passions, and put their best work on stage or on display.

Meet the Faculty

Ahmed Elgasseir

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, Department Head

Tannis Hanson

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Sara Kerr

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Helen Shanks

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, Junior Class Dean

Georgi Shea

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Josh Thurston-Milgrom

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts

Deborah Trilling

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, Director, Anita Seipp Gallery

Kristin Walter

Titles: Faculty Member, Visual & Performing Arts, 7th Grade Dean

World Languages

At Castilleja, learning a second language (French, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish) is a positive and rewarding experience. Beyond the goal of mastery of the material, our students develop critical thinking skills and effective learning strategies that facilitate second language acquisition and use of the language outside of the school setting. Students develop skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing as they gain an understanding of, appreciation for, and sensitivity to the cultures of the target language. Students gain an appreciation for the benefits and joys of the study of a second language.

Ms. Schryver transforms her classroom into a french market to create a realistic arena for practicing language skills as students play both shopkeep and consumer.

Ms. Schryver transforms her classroom into a French market to create a realistic arena for practicing language skills as students play both shopkeep and consumer.

 

Mandarin students share an authentic cultural experience in celebration of Chinese New Year with the rest of the student body while practicing their own skills in Chinese character writing.

Mandarin students share an authentic cultural experience in celebration of Chinese Spring Festival with the rest of the student body while practicing their own skills in Chinese character writing.

Meet the Faculty

Caroline Brachet

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Rachel Hyland

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Lee Kerk

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Hwai Lin

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Jeff Mayfield

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages, Assistant Coach, Varsity Volleyball

Evelyne Nicolaou

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Shana Nistler

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Rigi Ortega

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Christiane Repellin

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Constance Richardson

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages

Lauren Schryver

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages, Department Head

Shuyuan Wang

Titles: Faculty Member, World Languages