The Batten Leadership Fellows Program at Norfolk Academy encourages highly engaged students to work to understand hard problems and contribute to solving them.
Fellows involve themselves with one of five cohorts: Chesapeake Bay; Engineering, Design, and Innovation; Global Affairs; Global Health; and Literacy. All of these groups traditionally explore complex issues, then go into the community to provide help, often going to different states and countries.
This past year has been different for the program, because travel has been limited by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it has nonetheless demonstrated how its students can dig deep to provide for both the Norfolk Academy community and those beyond the campus. And travel did return in summer 2021, with each of the five programs learning and bonding in their own group projects.
Students enter the Fellows program in 10th grade. New Fellows for the 2022-23 school year, who will graduate in 2025, were recently selected. The Fellows programs continue to draw intense interest from students; 83 excellent students applied, an increase from the previous year, highlighting the program's excitement level and value, said Sean Wetmore, director of the program. The process, which includes essays, recommendations, and interviews, was organized by Wetmore, Dr. Natasha Naujoks, associate director, and Jack Gibson, assistant director; all three directors also serve as history teachers in the Upper School.
2022 Fellows selections
Global Affairs: Aya Musselmani, Cana Fass, Claire Baum, Gabriel Hosu, Jack Poynter, Natalie Martin, Spencer Thompson
Global Health: Alexander Dusa, Genevieve Stone, Kaelin Sutton, Leo Tang, Lucy Staub, Shuchi Vacchani, Travis Carroll
Chesapeake Bay: Adam Fairchilds, Carol Earp, Claudia Tillar, Ellie Fickenscher, Lucy Wilson, Peter Galiotos, Zach Wood
EDI: Addie Peterson, Anna Iacobucci, Brock Becker, Lincoln Hatch, Olivia Reid, Ray Wang
Literacy: Anna Barton, Austin Sorrell, Anne Randolph Staub, David Salter, Iro Catravas, Josie Saffold, Taylor Purcell