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Cornelia Warren and My Gann Experience

By Aviva Stein '21
When you ask students at Gann Academy “what is special about Gann?” you will get a wide array of answers. One answer you will always get is something along the lines of “my teachers!” This is certainly true for me. The benefit of going to a small school like Gann is that my teachers know who I am. My teachers gave me individualized attention, engaged with me after class when I wanted to talk about the lesson, and remembered my interests, helping me to explore them further. My teachers became my mentors and advocates, pushing me to explore new things and expand my horizons. 

Over the last two years, I have worked on a project to commemorate the late Cornelia Warren (March 1857 – June 1921), in the centennial year of her death. I created a website exploring Cornelia’s life, dedication to the community, and how her legacy lives on 100 years later. 

Cornelia was a Waltham resident who inherited and tended to the land currently housing Gann and the surrounding area. She worked to better Waltham and the greater Boston community, serving on the Board of Trustees of many institutions. Her work not only included immigrants, women, and a variety of charities, but also dedication to education, agriculture, and running her large dairy farm using the latest science. 

What started as a class project in my 11th grade United States History class, turned into a multi-year project with local historians and researchers. The culmination of my four years at Gann has resulted not only in a super cool website, but in life-changing experiences and lifelong connections. 

To learn more about Cornelia Warren, check out my website at

Aviva graduated from Gann Academy in June 2021. Her favorite courses at Gann were her 11th grade U.S. History Class, 10th grade Chemistry and 12th grade Organic and Experimental Chemistry, Jewish Studies, and anything in the CD&F department. Aviva is currently in her first year at UMass Amherst.