June 2, 2022
Dr. Beth Reaves – Head of School, Washington School for Girls (WSG)
Washington School for Girls is a co-sponsored ministry of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.
Mistress of Ceremonies of Washington School for Girls 25th Anniversary Gala, Kami Simmons is a WSG 2009 graduate who earned a B.A. from Kalamazoo College and a M.S. from Columbia University. Kami has an extensive background in multimedia productions, including working as a television personality, media personality, content creator, and more.
The Founding Spirits Award given at the Gala recognizes significant contributions to WSG, embodying the spirits of our Founders: Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, the Venerable Cornelia Connelly, and St. Claudine Thévenet. Each honoree is a visible testament to those values that daily inspire our school: Catholic social teaching, trust and reverence for every human being, and civic engagement.
The following are the honorees and role models for the entire WSG community.
Sister Eileen McDevitt, SHCJ
Sister Eileen McDevitt has been a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus since 1965. With a passion for education, she initially served as a teacher and administrator, sharing SHCJ’s mission to help students grow in faith and commitment to service. Sister Eileen currently serves as Director of the Holy Child School Network in the United States, also working with leadership in Holy Child Schools in Europe and Africa. Sister Eileen has served as a WSG trustee since its beginning and continues to remain active in WSG’s growth.
Sister Mary Bourdon, RJM
Sister Mary Bourdon earned a B.S. in Sociology from American University and an M.S. in Counseling from Loyola College of Maryland. Before co-founding WSG, she held teaching, counseling, and administrative roles at Regina High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, Jesus and Mary Academy in El Paso, Texas, and Catholic Charities. Additionally, she supported RJM initiatives in Haiti. Sister Mary has served on the boards of Thevenet Montessori School and Georgetown Preparatory School. Since “retiring” as WSG’s Head of School for 20 years, she has remained active in her RJM community, continuing her commitment to service.
Jennifer Gibbs Phillips (NCNW)
Jennifer Gibbs Phillips earned her B.A. from Howard University and her M.Ed. from the University of the District of Columbia. She spent more than 25 years as a teacher and administrator in the D.C. Public School system. Of special note, she was the first female principal in Calvin Coolidge High School’s history. An integral part of the founding of WSG during its early years, Ms. Gibbs-Phillips served in several capacities, including Head of School from 2000-2006. Ms. Gibbs-Phillips remains a committed community advocate and member of the National Council of Negro Women.