• June

    1791 | June 2017

    Hap Ridgway told me when I took over as head of school a decade ago that graduation was the moment when heads of school were paid back for all of the challenging aspects of the job. This was sage counsel from a good friend and mentor, and I can now vouch with confidence that he was right. Having a chance to be a part of Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School graduations each spring reminds me so clearly of why we do what we do. We are privileged to play some small part of moving these amazing children on their collective journey toward becoming such accomplished adults.
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  • May

    1791 | May 2017

    A few weeks ago, the trustees invited David Greene, President of Colby College, to speak at our annual retreat. President Greene will be our graduation speaker as well, so we have been grateful for the time he has taken this year to come to know our school. He is clearly someone who is committed to improving his institution anyway he can. By this point, David and I have had a number of offline conversations about one of the fundamental leadership challenges school leaders all face: to save or to spend. Whatever the history or resources of an institution, there is rarely a strategic conversation that does not have to address this conscience-like specter.

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  • April

    1791 | April 2017

    Given all of the amazing options and programs Berwick Academy now offers in 2017, it can be easy to lose sight of academic excellence as the primary focus in all that we do. With the announcement of Curriculum 2020, including a bold commitment to cultural competency and wellness work, I have certainly had a few parents express concern about this issue over the past few years. This is an understandable concern, and I hope I can assuage some of these worries in this month’s Letter.

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  • February

    1791 | February 2017

    It has been quite an interesting few weeks here on the Hilltop. I seemingly can’t catch a break from snow days and delays. The political landscape remains challenging, and we are all suffering from the grind of February in general. Surely this is the time of year when a school earns its stripes, as we are suddenly far from the excitement of either the school year beginning or ending. As I turn my attention to this month’s 1791, I find myself torn between what I should write about and what I want to write about. Perhaps this is a reflection of the tension that vexes all leaders about the difference between personal desires and the responsibility that this role demands. I think I will ultimately write about both: addressing the complicated political landscape and celebrating our beloved Patriots. First I need to start by stepping back and stating that things are likely never as rosy nor as dire as they may seem.
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  • January

    1791 | January 2017

    While perseverating over the inevitable complexity of my January calendar a few weeks ago, I found myself multitasking by opening my paper mail as well. I came upon a particularly sterile looking envelope with a return address from Alfred, ME. After ten years as a resident in the State of Maine, my number had come up for jury duty. My heart sank, realizing the date was during the week of the upcoming January board meeting. What if I got stuck on a trial? It also happened to be the date that I was scheduled to be in Waterville to meet with the president of Colby College. I turned immediately to the “excuses” section of the mailing, recalling my success fifteen years ago in New York talking my way out of a courtroom. Undoubtedly I could pull it off once again.
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< 2017

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy is Maine's oldest, independent Pre-K through Post Graduate private school. Our community is dynamic, offering challenging academics, competitive athletics, and creative arts programs. Members of the community operate within a context of caring and respect as we pursue our quest for "useful knowledge" as "one school with three divisions." Students and faculty are encouraged to expand their horizons by balancing academics with athletic, dramatic, and musical options.