About Hyde

abaaoutbannernew3Hyde Founding Story


The original Hyde School was founded in 1966 in Bath, Maine by math teacher Joseph Gauld, who had what he calls a “crisis of conscience” and became dedicated to providing education that included character development alongside academic achievement.

In the early ’60s, one of his brightest students, who had little curiosity and relied primarily on his innate abilities, received the highest grade in the class.

Another student, the classic “plugger,” who struggled with the course material but who embodied curiosity and a strong work ethic, received a low grade in the class.

Distraught that neither student was served by the traditional grading system, Gauld started Hyde School, which operated under a different set of priorities than other schools.

The school began with a focus on Five Words: Courage, Integrity, Leadership, Curiosity, and Concern, and the cardinal principle that every individual has a unique potential that defines a destiny.

Soon after the school was established, it was discovered that parents and family play the most vital role in the overall education process. Since character is developed primarily by example, Hyde established a revolutionary Family Program involving parents, teachers, and students working together.

Today, Hyde Schools are known as leaders in family-based character education.

Founder Joe Gauld talks with a group in front of the Mansion.

Founder Joe Gauld talks with a group of students in front of the Mansion, circa 1960s.

A Hyde private boarding school education starts with asking students to look at their highest expectations of themselves by answering these questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Where are you going in your life?
  3. What do you need to do to get there?

While many of the aspects of Hyde look very traditional—college preparatory academics, mandatory athletics, community service, strong teacher commitment—the core of Hyde goes much deeper than the traditional model, which focuses on achievement first.

We start with who you are. What do you care about? What are you willing to do in order to go after that highest vision for yourself? In other words, who you are as a person matters just as much as what you can do.

When students walk out through Hyde’s gates after graduation, the most important quality they carry with them is a set of “go-to” principles: Courage, Integrity, Leadership, Curiosity and Concern. Students learn how to test themselves against these principles, having a sense of what they believe and what values are important to them.

We have almost 50 years of experience preparing students for college and life beyond.

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