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From the head

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The students have traveled back to campus from their Thanksgiving breaks, and we have begun the second of Hyde's trimesters. We have a long-standing tradition of associating each trimester with a theme, and these themes connect in a way that emblematizes our teaching and learning process. These themes that build on each other are Rigor, Synergy, and Conscience:

Rigor - In the fall, we establish rigor by outlining working agreements for community living and setting the standards for learning and living together. Individual rigor is critical to self-discipline, and community rigor sets the tone for individual rigor when it is done right. 

Synergy - In the winter term, the community focuses on creating a more connected community. We have been together for three months and have scaffolded the structure of our Hyde educational family. Now is the time when we work on being more vulnerable, learning both about our differences and what connects us. Whether it is in school meetings, during Hyde's Discovery Process, or when having fun in our dorms, we strive to follow the idea that if we know each other better, we will be better able to support each other and challenge each other to be our best. 

Conscience - This is the theme in the spring term, where we ask each student to build on their rigor and synergy with others to develop a relationship with their own conscience. That inner voice will guide them throughout their life. Seniors work on this during the senior evaluation process, and the underclassmen also have evaluations and goal-setting for the future. We also work on listening to the consciences of those around us and having the humility to learn from others.


It is always exciting for the winter term to start. Some of the school-wide experiences that will take place include:

  • Performing arts auditions
  • Sharing our deeper experiences during school meetings and public speaking
  • Academic group projects
  • A day-long symposium on generative AI
  • Sports tournaments
  • Discovery Group community service
  • The Salvation Army Holiday gathering for local children

Developing character is the foundation for meaningful achievement. To create authentic synergy, one must risk being vulnerable and showing concern. As the equation of Synergy states, 1 + 1 = 3. When we learn how to connect and collaborate, the synergy we create elevates everyone.


Laura D. Gauld '76

Archive: From the Head