St. George’s Names Callen to Lead School

Alixe Callen was named as the 12th head of school at St. George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island. Callen’s family has a long history with the prestigious school and she will be the first female to hold the post.

Callen was chosen from a field of over 150 candidates and she currently serves as the upper school director of Lakeside School in Seattle. After St. George’s Board of Directors made their decision, they presented her to the school community at a special introduction ceremony on Dec. 9th. Alixe Callen is excited about her new position and said, “My entire career has been spent helping teenagers to be kind, to watch out for each other, and to be contributing community members. To now do that work in a school that has such deep roots for my family makes me humble and proud.”

Callen attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Brown University. She later earned another master’s and a Ph.D. from Harvard. She studied and assisted in graduate level courses about school leadership, school reform, and school design.

Callen also served as the Principal at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Massachusetts. Before that, she was an assistant principal of Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts. Callens great-grandfather, grandfather, great-uncle, and uncle were all graduates of St. George’s over a time period spanning 1903 to 1966.

The search committee praised Callen as the best candidate for the job, she was chosen from a field of educational executives, including several deans of colleges. They said she best fits their vision for the school and is the perfect addition to their community. The school’s trustees released a statement, “We are confident that Callen will steer the course boldly for St. George’s, continuing to build on our longstanding strengths while at the same time moving St. George’s confidently into the future. She is fully prepared and eager to build upon our forward-thinking curriculum, to foster our safe and welcoming community, and to support our teachers in continually expanding their expertise in teaching and learning.”

Callen will replace Eric Peterson. Peterson headed the school for the past 13 years and announced he would not seek the position for the upcoming school year. The school began a nationwide search for his replacement.

Boarding Schools Offer Great Opportunity for Students

Many people in the United States never consider sending their child to boarding school; however, statistics are showing that this maybe a good option for keeping a child in a happy and safe environment that promotes education. According to, students at a boarding school spend more time studying, playing music, reading and doing sports than their private school or public school counterparts. In the same respect, seventy-five percent of boarding school students feel their peers are motivated versus forty-nine percent of public school students. These statistics only tell part of the story, though. Boarding schools can open doors for students and create new styles of learners. Here are some great examples, in addition to St. George’s School under the leadership of Eric F. Peterson:
Phillips Exeter Academy, the number one according to, believes in a learning style where the students and the instructor sit round table and freely discuss the subjects at hand. Their school has a nineteen percent acceptance rate and an endowment that is more than most universities.
Shattuck-St.Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota helps students to learn at their own pace. The juniors and seniors there meet twice a week, allowing for the students to pursue their interests outside of the classroom. Pursuing those interests is even easier, as the school has rooms with equipment to learn everything from video editing to fashion design.
Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio boasts small classroom sizes of twelve to one. Many of these students go on to Universities such as Duke, Northwestern, and University of California at Berkeley.
The Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut is an all-girls school that promotes “substance over superficialities”. They have a focus program called WISE that stands for Women in Science and Engineering that sends many of their graduates to MIT and Carnegie Mellon.
Three hundred and fifteen miles away is North Bethesda, Maryland where the oldest Jesuit school Georgetown Prep is. Host to an all-boys boarding school, they focus on opportunities for growth through sports, publications, and extra-curricular activities.
Each of these schools has many things that make their school special. Sending a child away to high school is a tough decision for many parents but giving a child the promise of a great future might make that decision a little easier.


Commercial Real Estate Industry’s Most Prominent Figures in 2016

Commercial real estate is a tough, but rewarding business. In today’s competitive market it can be difficult to make your mark and stand out from the crowd. However, each year there are a few industry leaders that are worthy of recognition. Here are a few of this year’s top figures and their year-to-date accomplishments.

Brian Baker-J.P. Morgan Securities
Brian Baker is the Managing Director of Global Mortgages at J.P. Morgan. Under his leadership, the company has seen origination volumes increase by $1.6 billion and has also been rated second in the industry for commercial mortgage-backed security loans. Baker recently facilitated a $430 million loan to The Pyramid Companies to secure funding for a large shopping and entertainment complex in Syracuse, New York.

Jackie Soffer-Turnberry Associates
Jackie Soffer is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of Turnberry Associates where she oversees the management and development of the company’s hospitality division. Some of her biggest projects include the transformation of Aventura Mall into an upscale shopping oasis and a 100,000 square foot expansion of the popular Destin Commons. Soffer is also philanthropically involved in commercial real estate serving on various non-profit Boards in the South Florida region.

Robert Merck-MetLife
Merck is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Investments at MetLife. In this role, Merck has almost doubled the size of the company’s real estate portfolios and has also expanded to the international scene. He oversees approximately 250 investment professionals and facilitated the $5.4 billion sale of Peter Cooper Village. The sale is touted as one of the largest real estate transactions in the company’s history.

Angela Mago-KeyBank
Angela Mago is Head and Vice President of KeyBank’s Real Estate Capital Group. Under her leadership, the company has seen record growth in loan production and for three consecutive years, the team has been ranked the number one Fannie Mae lender in senior housing development. Mago’s team averages approximately $42 billion in client capital each year and the company recently grew its market share by almost eight percent.

These are a few of the major contributors in today’s competitive real estate market. Each of them has played a huge role in development both domestically and internationally and are expected to be major contenders for many years to come.

Americans to Spread Holiday Cheer by Spending More Money and Shopping on Mobile This Year

The holidays may still seem a distant way out, but Americans are already crossing items off of their shopping lists. In fact, as of end-of-September, one-third (33%) of consumers say they have already started their holiday shopping, up significantly from 25% in 2015, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

When it comes to gifts, Americans expect to spend an average of $908, an 8% increase from last year ($839 in 2015), and among affluent consumers, the expected gift spend increases to an average of $1,513.

Across the board, the most popular gifts to give this year are:

  • Gift cards (52% vs. 57% in 2015)
  • Clothing and accessories (51% vs. 47% in 2015)
  • Toys and games (50% vs. 44% in 2015)

“While consumers are spending more money on gifts this year, they are becoming savvier with how they spend their time shopping,” said Kartik Mani, Executive Vice President of Global Consumer Lending at American Express. “With our constant connection to technology, more Americans than ever before are using their mobile devices to help them make holiday purchases.”

More than 3 in 4 Americans (76%) are turning to their mobile devices for their holiday shopping, whether to browse, compare prices or view deals (vs. 58% in 2015). There has also been a significant increase (62%) in Americans planning to purchase and/or redeem e-gift cards on mobile devices this year (26% vs. 16% in 2015).

Read more here.


Town Square Las Vegas is for Everyone

Town Square in Las Vegas is an oasis of shopping, dining, and entertainment. Developed by Jeffrey and Jackie Soffer of Turnberry Associates, Town Square Las Vegas offers over 1.5 million square feet regional lifestyle center located at the heart of the Vegas strip. Immerse yourself in a village style atmosphere with stunning architecture and plenty of things to do. There is literally something for everyone in the family to do. The children will love the huge outdoor playground. Town Square is also a great place to work providing the opportunity to serve and work with a diverse community. You’re right in the middle of a shopper’s paradise with beautiful walkways and scenery. Visit Town Square on your next vacation and create an impressive to do list.

Town Square for the Kids
Town Square has a children’s park that provides hours of fun for kids of all ages. It sits adjacent to the Square. It is a very popular outdoor park in Town Square that lets you beat the heat of the desert. Parents can watch the kids get drenched or find plenty of other things to do including a Hedge Maze, tree house, princess tower, children’s stage for performance or telling their favorite stories and much more.

Town Square for The Family
Vacationing at Town Square with the entire family is going to be fun and have a full family vacation itinerary. Start with a summer box office hit at the 18 screen theater or everyone can choose a movie The family can shop Saks 5th Avenue or find gadgets for the kids from one of many, many shops. Parents try the Hedge Maze with your kids and don’t be afraid to get a little wet. At the end of the day when the kids are hungry try taking them to the California Kitchen or Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse at Town Square.

Town Square for Couples
Town Square is the perfect play date for adults. Take a romantic stroll through 100 acres of an open-air center. The night lights create a romantic atmosphere for lovers. Couples can get tickets to a popular event or show and then enjoy some specialty cuisine and great tasting wine from one of many restaurants in Town Square including Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant Bar and Grill, and Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Lounge. You have the option of making reservations at many nearby 5 star hotels for vacation options.

Boarding Schools: What Should You Look For?

You’re considering a boarding school for your child, but what exactly are your expectations and priorities? Is it academics, affordable tuition, athletics?

A good academic boarding school will offer a wide variety of AP courses, science, math, technology, arts, and humanities.

1. Deerfield Academy, located in Mass., seems to be among the top schools for AP courses. Here your child will be submerged in engineering, math, science, and technology.
2. Phillips Academy, located in Mass., offers a foundation in the arts, humanities, math, and science and weaves these into an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach.

Tuition can vary from the triple digits to five figures a year.

1. New Mexico Military Institute seems to be the cheapest boarding school with a yearly tuition of $11,732. They do offer grants that top out at $3000.
2. Tallulah Falls School, located in Georgia, is among the top six affordable boarding schools. Tuition here is around $26,000 a year. They also offer financial assistance that varies per student.

A strong focus on athletics can be a priority for some.
1. IMG Academy in Florida employs some of the world’s top coaches. Sports include tennis, golf, soccer, baseball, basketball, football, track, and lacrosse. Here they focus on the development of strength and speed to nutrition and more.
2. Cate School in California is a highly competitive school so if your goal is to play against some of the best high schools in the country, this is the school for you.

You should also be aware that your child will learn important life skills while at boarding school. Independence, time management, accountability and being a responsible citizen are among the life lessons learned. These will be very useful to your child when entering college and the workforce as an adult. Schools like St. Andrew’s School, St. George’s School and Deerfield Academy offer top-notch academic and extracurricular programs.

During your search for the perfect boarding school for your child, look closely into what really matters to you as a parent. That could mean academics, tuition and athletics as a whole, or just one or two of those options. With so many options available in the United States, you are sure to find exactly what you are hoping for.

The Benefits of Individual Education

The most important element of a young person’s life is education. Of the differences between public and private education, there can be no argument that private education is the better of the two, at the present time. The functions of private secondary education, prep schools, military schools and boarding schools are similar to college and university education. Their structures are similar as are their goals. While public education has lowered standards and classes advance through material at the rate of the slowest person in the class, boarding schools function like higher education and present material to be learned which becomes the responsibility of the individual student.
For those public school graduates moving on to colleges and universities, there is another burden. Now away from home a greater sense of independence must be learned and should be considered as a further impediment to their academic success. The boarding school student has already made that adjustment by moving away from home and family for his or her education, and is more accustomed to living independently and is more capable of functioning in school.
The level of educational expertise of the staff at a boarding school is higher and broader, as evidenced by New England boarding schools including St. George’s School and The Putney School. Every student had a favorite teacher who either inspired them to work harder or encouraged them to read the next chapter and answer the study questions. Boarding schools offer a broader choice of significant teachers to inspire students. Today, public schools are more similar to the prison experience than a rewarding educational experience. These difference are surprising, and the distance between the two systems seems to be widening.
There is also the sense of camaraderie which exists at boarding schools where often the parents of the students who are from a high socio-economic status level can identify with each other, while the parents of public school students are diverse and have no interest in one another. While many students in public school form gangs as a way of socially interacting, boarding school students are encouraged to express themselves in clubs and sports. Most importantly the emphasis in public schools is on the whole class of students as a whole, while the boarding school emphasis is on the individual. Often boarding school teachers and administrators are familiar with the entire family of the student. One only has to watch that classic boarding school movie, Goodbye, Mr. Chips to gain insight into the value of family history and the working of boarding schools.

Different Courses for Different Purposes

Learning is something that can be done throughout your entire life. You never actually stop learning, but some things have to be kept under control so that you can actually use cloud-educationthe meanings and understandings behind the concept.

The courses that you can take are numerous, and every one of them can help you much more than you have originally thought. With one single course or class, a person can find a better job or simply get a job; also, they can be better paid, they can learn something that they have always wanted and also find a hobby. The reasons behind this kind of choice are numerous and it’s up to every individual to follow his or her own dreams.

Here are some type of courses that can be done after graduation, and what they can do for you and your life. Some of them are easy while others are more complex, but the essence is the same for all of them – to help you go forward or to make you happy.

free-business-education-1024x857Learn a Second Language

This is a constant choice among people as it’s the easiest course available for most of them. However, this is not a light course, as it involves a lot of study and hard work. Most of the times, this kind of course will allow you to work in different domains apart from the one you already have. You can become proficient enough to be a translator or an interpreter, allowing you to work as a freelancer or to find a job within a bigger company that pays better money. Apart from this, you will have the satisfaction of knowing more than others do.

Learn a Skill

You say this when you learn how to process the wood, becoming a carpenter, or when you free-online-education-4learn how to work with the cars, becoming a mechanic. There are also learning centers like some high schools that teach this to children, but it’s sometimes avoided. Learning a skill will allow you to find a job or to take care of your own needs – for the given examples, you can build a chair or make small repairs to your car. However, it can also allow you to start your own business – no matter how small it is, it can surely help you get more income.

Learn a Hobby

teachers-education-thrust-into-the-limelight_31_63635_0_14099424_770This is also something fascinating. You can learn for example, how to sew your clothes with the sewing machines and how to extract a pattern for a blouse or a skirt; you can learn the secrets of gardening or you can learn pottery. All these are relaxing activities that will help you break the routine of your daily life. There are also other courses that teach you different easy activities that can be seen as a hobby. Make a search for them and see what would fit your personality. Each one of these courses will give you relaxation and some of them have the potential to help you start a business – like the course dedicated to gardening or the course dedicated to sewing.

Self-defense Courses

worst-educational-systemThese represent a different kind of course, as they are based on the need to protect yourself from harm. There are different sports that can teach you how to protect yourself and they are taught in special gyms by coaches or sensei. With this kind of course, you don’t have to become a professional, but you will get the basics of the self-defense rules. It’s adequate for everyone, no matter the age, as these courses can be followed by both children and adults alike. If you don’t feel inclined to follow these, at least make sure that your children can protect themselves, by following such a course.