During 2013 I visited more than 120 boarding schools from Florida to Victoria British Columbia, from Los Angeles to Maine, and from Toronto to San Antonio. This experience was insightful, exhausting, and invigorating. There were large and small schools, wealthy and modest schools, urban and rural schools. There were sunny warm days and rainy cold days. There were hotel rooms, rental cars, and airports, as well as remarkable chance meetings and frustrating closed doors.Oregon Sunshine Espresso

It was a delight to learn so much about the culture, layout, and tone of each school. The roads and buildings establish a frame for each school as they merge with the grounds and towns where they reside. The people and policy vary widely among schools in both culture and vibe. Some schools are formal while others are casual. Some are restless and others are sleepy.  As I review the year I want to thank the schools I visited for their kindness. Where there was something exceptional I tried to acknowledge it. Below you will find a “Best of Show” from my travels.   

Best Gate Keeper – Pickering College

Best CFO office – Randy Smith, The Putney School

Best Grounds – Shawnigan Lake

Best Greeting – St. Michael’s University School

Best Surprise Meeting – Gow School

Best Winter Snowy Day – Blair Academy

Best Sunny Day – Emma Willard School

Best Arch – Shattuck St. Mary’s

Best Gate –  St. Stephen’s

Best Tour – TIE – Bolles and Brentwood

Best Golf Cart Ride – Deerfield Academy

Best Snack – the apples from Scattergood Friends

Best Lunch – Pomfret (thank you Bobby Fisher)

Best Early Morning Entrance – Northfield Mount Hermon

Best Chapel – St. John’s Prep

Best Cookie – Oregon Sunshine Espresso, near Canyonville Christian

Best Cose By Coffee Shop – The Northwest School

Best Fireplace – St. Georges RI

Best Donuts – Taft

Funniest Meeting – Ashbury College

Most Presence – Karrie Weistock, Branksome Hall

 What’s the “Best of Show” at your boarding school?

 

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