Pioneering Character Education

In 1966 Joe Gauld, a seasoned educator in traditional private schools, founded Hyde School after realizing that the singular focus on achievement in American education wouldn’t necessarily lead all students to reach their fullest potential and was even doing a disservice to some students. Gauld saw students with innate ability achieving high marks in classes and athletics but lacking integrity, genuine curiosity, and concern for their peers, and subsequently failing to thrive in life after college. Meanwhile, Gauld worked with other students embodying the effort, grit, honesty and work ethic necessary for success, who were at the time receiving below average marks, but he found were very successful in life after college.

Gauld founded Hyde School and reached out to headmasters at other schools offering to admit students who had the potential to succeed but were not making it in the traditional school setting. Hyde’s mission from the start was to reach students of all abilities, backgrounds and track records. “Over-Achievers,” “Good-to-Great” students, and those needing a life-changing “Turn-Around” would all be supported, challenged, and inspired to commit to excellence in character.

Listen to Gauld’s story (view video, above) about his defining moment that prompted him to open a different kind of school. Read A Bond Well Forged, an in depth story about the founding of Hyde School. And check out one of Hyde’s first official viewbooks, below;

Hyde School Today

Today, Hyde School values effort over achievement and attitude over aptitude. Instead of building a curriculum around five subjects, Hyde focuses on five words: Courage, Integrity, Leadership, Curiosity, and Concern.

Not long after the founding of Hyde School it became clear that in order to inspire students to take a deep look at their character and commit to real academic, athletic, artistic, social and emotional growth, it would be critical to engage parents in that same endeavor. The Family Program started at Hyde in 1974, and Hyde has been helping parents help their kids develop the character they need to succeed ever since.

Hyde has grown from one small school of 16 boys to a private coed boarding school in Bath, Maine, enrolling over 170 students. Hyde opened a second boarding campus in Woodstock, CT that was open from 1997-2017, when it consolidated with the Bath campus, and enrolled on average 190 students. A beautiful 600-acre wilderness campus, Lennox Lodge, in the pristine Bigelow Mountains on Flagstaff Lake in Eustis, Maine opened in 1998. There are two public Hyde Leadership schools in Orlando, FL and Lantham, MD that teach using the Hyde educational philosophy. And finally, keeping to the mission to change American education and serve students and parents from all backgrounds, Hyde has opened public charter schools in inner city New Haven, CT, Washington, DC, Oakland, CA and New York, NY.

The Biggest Job

Parenting: The Biggest Job logo

Hyde’s success with parents and families has led the way to: Parenting – The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have, a collection of inspiring resources including nationally acclaimed parenting workshops, books, and an online parent community www.biggestjob.com. “PBJ” partners with individuals, schools and organizations throughout the country to inspire parents, students, educators and corporate professionals with innovative experiences that build character, confidence and community.

About Founder Joseph W. Gauld

Hyde School Founder Joseph W. Gauld
Hyde School Founder Joseph W. Gauld

Joe Gauld is the founder of the Hyde Organization, a network of public and private schools recognized as the forerunner in character education. His efforts in building support for educational reform and his unique approach to character development have captured the attention of prominent media sources, such as 60 Minutes20/20Today, and The New York Times.

Joe was a key figure in founding two private boarding schools in New England and three award-winning, inner-city public schools in Bronx, New York, Washington DC, and New Haven, Connecticut. His success in motivating teenagers toward pursuing individual excellence in learning through an integrated character development curriculum that includes parental involvement have earned him the reputation as one of the foremost authorities in delivering effective character-building programs in schools across the country. Today, he serves as a consultant to schools and business organizations, while also continuing to mentor parents and families. He founded the Hyde Foundation in 1989, whose mission is to deliver the Hyde Schools character concept to interested schools and communities nationwide.

Joe’s prolific career in education spans nearly six decades and continues to maintain momentum, attracting the attention of publishers and audiences nationally. The author of the books, Character First, Hyde: Preparation for Life,  Nature’s Parenting Process: Five Simple Truths to Empower Children through Parenting Excellence, and What Kids Want and Need from Parents: How to Bond with and Mentor Children, and numerous articles published in periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post , and The Boston Globe , his writing and public speaking draws on both his successful pursuits and challenges in creating an educational model focused on student effort, attitude, and character as opposed to the current model, which he asserts is built upon achievement.

Joe was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on July 25, 1927. He grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and attended high school in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In 1947, Joe was admitted to Bowdoin College after a short stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II. During his college years, he spent one summer hitchhiking across America and another as a camp counselor, where he found his love for teaching. He graduated from Bowdoin in 1950, with a degree in Economics. He later attended Boston University and earned an MA in Mathematics.

Joe currently lives in Bath, Maine, where he founded the first Hyde School, a boarding school, in 1966. A strong believer in sharing his knowledge, he participates in educator trainings and parent workshops at Hyde Schools and many other schools and communities with which Hyde partners. Through this involvement, educators and parents are able to launch and build upon character development efforts.

As the senior member of the Gauld family, Joe has enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren graduate from Hyde Schools. In his leisure time, he is an avid golfer.