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Admission Overview

Lead your own journey.

Do you believe in the power of girls? We do.

People who know Walker’s will tell you that when girls in grades 6–12 first arrive here, they fall in love with the all-girls environment, the serene beauty of our campus, and the power of learning in our classrooms that elevates academic performance.

Walker’s has a strong reputation in three areas: high academic standards that stretch students and motivate them to direct their own learning, the spirit of our all-girls community, and the individual attention we focus on our students. At Walker’s, girls in our Middle School, high school, plus our postgraduate year pursue their passions, find their voice, take risks, try new things, and make lifelong friends.

We are often asked what we look for in an applicant and, frankly, there is no one type of girl. Rather, we look for girls who can both be academically successful and contribute to our community through their passions and co-curricular activities. We seek students who want to push themselves to explore new opportunities and enrich the lives of others in their own unique ways.

Connect with us

Meet with a member of our Admission Team to go over any initial questions and the application process.

Meet the Team

Ethel Walker

Pamela Safford '81

Assistant Head for Admission and Enrollment

Pamela Safford '81

B.A., Carleton College
M.S., University of Pennsylvania

Pamela holds a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Carleton College and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was the Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid at The Country School in New Canaan. Pamela has also been employed as Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Deerfield Academy; Associate Head for Communications, Enrollment and Planning at Concord Academy; and Director of Admission at Northfield Mount Hermon School. Pamela is a founding trustee and former chair of the board for the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) and she currently serves on the board of the Enrollment Management Association (EMA). Committed to supporting professional development among her peers, Pamela regularly presents at various national conferences including IECA, NAIS, SSATB, and TABS.

Carolyn Jean Cunningham

Admission Office Manager

Carolyn Jean Cunningham

 860-408-4206

B.A., Keene State College

Carolyn joined the Walker’s community in the fall of 2022, and she now holds the position of Admission Office Manager. Prior to Walker’s, Carolyn lived in Jordan, where she taught instrumental music at King’s Academy and performed as a professional violist. After living abroad for five years, Carolyn is grateful to be back in her home region of New England and to share her return with her husband, Chris.

Elizabeth Wilde Foody

Associate Director of Admission

Elizabeth Wilde Foody

 860-408-4203

B.A., Skidmore College
M.Mus.Ed., The Hartt School, University of Hartford

Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance and a Master’s of Music Education from the Hartt School. Previously, she was the Admissions Coordinator at The University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts. Elizabeth has also been employed as Associate Director of Admission and Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Westminster School, Director of Operations at Westminster School, and Associate Director of Alumni Relations at Trinity College. Elizabeth began her career as an elementary music educator, currently sings in two local choirs, and is a certified fitness instructor. Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have five children and reside in Simsbury.

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Colin R. Griggs

Assistant Director of Admission

Colin R. Griggs

 860-408-4204

B.A., Franklin & Marshall College
M.A., Ohio University

Colin R. Griggs joined the Walker’s community during the summer of 2022, and he comes to Simsbury with more than 15 years of experience working in the New England boarding school community. After spending the first four years of his professional life in Connecticut at Indian Mountain School and Marianapolis, Colin moved to Maine where he spent nine years at Hebron Academy. While at Hebron, Colin coached over 400 athletic contests in soccer, basketball, and tennis and earned more than 200 victories as a head varsity coach. Colin also spent time in the Alumni and Development Office, Dean of Students Office, and as an Assistant Athletic Director among many other positions. During 2019, Colin moved again with his family to High Mowing School where was was both the Director of Athletics and Residential Life and the head coach of the girls’ team for the Black Rock FC Residential Academy. Colin lives in Granby with his wife, Sarah, and their two sons, Raleigh and Henry.

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Amy Paul

Amy Paul P'16, '18

Associate Director of Admission

Amy Paul P'16, '18

 860-408-4207

B.A., Syracuse University
J.D., Boston University

Amy received her Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and her Juris Doctor from Boston University. She worked as an attorney in a general practice in Hartford for several years before taking a position as a full-time parent caring for her three children. She is committed to volunteering in her community, served as co-board chair of Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, is involved in local politics, and serves on a mental health board. Amy was the president of The Ethel Walker School Parent Association and served on the School’s board of trustees when her daughters Georgia ’16, and Holly ’18 were students at Walker’s. Her work in the Admission Office has been a seamless transition due to her deep affection for Walker’s and her involvement over the years. Amy lives in Avon with her family.

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Begin Your Story at Walker's

UPPER SCHOOL

Our grades nine through 12 high school serves not only as preparation for college, but for life itself in this century of constant change. Walker’s graduates, whatever field they pursue, are societal engineers, reworking and rewiring the mechanisms of our world.

Upper School Viewbook

MIDDLE SCHOOL

As the only private all-girls middle school in central Connecticut, Walker’s Middle School offers a day program for girls in grades six through eight along with a boarding program for girls in grades seven and eight and daily bus service from Greater Hartford.

Middle School Viewbook

Our Application Process

Applying to a school should be as easy as possible, and we have a step-by-step checklist to help guide you through the application process. Walker’s accepts applications through Standard Application Online (SAO) and Gateway to Prep Schools. See below to navigate our application requirements and instructions.

We ask all prospective families to complete our online inquiry form which helps us tailor the admission experience to match each student’s situation and unique interests. Submitting the form also prompts one of our admission counselors to reach out to connect and let you know the different next steps to help you get to know Walker’s.

Inquiry form

Please call +1-860-408-4200 or email admission@ethelwalker.org to schedule a campus tour and interview. Prospective students and families will explore our campus with a student tour guide. After that, prospective students will have a conversational interview with a member of the Admission team, and the visit will conclude with an opportunity for parents to speak with the Admission team member. Your personalized visit is expected to last approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

SSAT
We require the SSAT score report (Secondary School Admission Test) or the PSAT score report (Preliminary SAT) if appropriate. We also accept the following state testing in place of the SSAT: IOWA, ERB’s, or Neuropsychological testing. Please visit the SSAT website for more up-to-date testing information.

TOEFL
If English is not your first language, you will need to take a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or Duolingo Test for English proficiency and send the score as part of your application.

Candidates for admission to The Ethel Walker School should apply online using the Standard Application Online (SAO) or Gateway to Prep Schools application. The choice of platform has no bearing on admission decisions. The completed application is due by January 15 to ensure a March 10 decision and is comprised of the following:

  • Biographic Information
  • Transcript: Submitted directly by school (including current Fall term or semester grades)
  • Recommendations: Submitted online by current teachers (Required: School Administrator, English Teacher, and Math Teacher; Optional: Personal and Special Interest)
  • Parent Statement
  • Student Essays/Candidate Statement
  • Graded Writing Sample
  • Standardized Tests: See Step 3 above for more information
  • Application Fee: $60 Domestic, $125 International

Once decisions are sent March 10, you may log in to the Veracross portal to check on your application status. Veracross login is required and is provided to you at the time of your inquiry or application. A reminder is also sent to all applicants one week prior to the release of decisions.

Congratulations on your acceptance to Walker’s! All accepted students should plan to join us for Revisit Day. All information regarding Revisit Day is contained in your decision letter. Your enrollment contract is located in the Veracross Admission Portal and is due by April 10.

*Applications received after January 15 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Inquire Apply

Visit Campus

There are many ways for prospective students and parents to experience our campus, including open houses, our full campus experience, and virtual visits.

Plan a Visit Admission events

Our Community is Remarkable

Chris Semk teaching

Faculty

One of the most wonderful things about language teaching is improvisation. Almost anything can become a reason to communicate.

Meet Dr. Chris Semk
Meera with students

Head of School

Walker’s beckoned me in a way that few schools have ever done. I found its ethos, energy, and devotion to learning irresistible.

Meet Ms. Vis
AvaS+horse

Students

Being a member of the riding team has been a completely different experience than any other team that I have been apart of.

Meet Ava S. '21
Lauren Nicholson

Alumnae

Walker’s is a community that inspires boldness by regularly providing opportunities for its students to step beyond their comfort zones.

Learn more about Alumnae