Hyde School Welcomes Families and Guest Speaker Catch Me If You Can’s Frank Abagnale to Campus

This past weekend Hyde School welcomed over 130 families to the campus for its annual Fall Family Weekend.  Additionally the school was excited to welcome Friday night’s special guest speaker, Frank Abagnale.  From Thursday night through Sunday morning, parents, siblings and other family members of Hyde students, some coming from as far as Mexico and France, participated in class rotations, community meetings, parenting workshops, watched Hyde athletic competitions, and engaged in the family component of a Hyde School education.

The Hyde School family education program provides guidance and support to parents and their students, and focuses on helping every individual discover his or her full potential. The program’s messages are straightforward: the way adults live their lives must be consistent with the way they raise and teach children; principles are the most powerful force in influencing children in a positive way; and parents need to focus on personal growth to allow their best parenting instincts to emerge.

“Our family program is based on a simple premise: If you focus on your own growth, you will create a ripple effect that will inspire the family,” shared the executive director of Hyde’s boarding schools, Laura Gauld.

The Hyde community gathered on Friday night in the Hyde Theatre for a special presentation by Frank Abagnale.  Between the ages of 16 and 21, Frank Abagnale successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician, in addition to cashing $2.5 million in fraudulent checks. After being apprehended, he served five years in prison. Upon his release, Abagnale assisted the federal government by teaching and aiding law enforcement agencies. He is now one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. Abagnale’s rare blend of knowledge and expertise is depicted in the best-selling book, film and musical “Catch Me If You Can.”

Mr. Abagnale spoke to a riveted audience of over 300, relating his life story and his dedication to his own personal redemption. With both humor and seriousness, he discussed his criminal past and the valuable work he has done for the FBI for over 30 years.  While taking great pride in the work he has done to assist in thwarting, among others, embezzlers and forgers, Mr. Abagnale stated that his illegal actions as a youth were a “burden that I live with every single day of my life.”  Mr. Abagnale addressed special remarks to the Hyde students regarding their use of Facebook, warning them to be mindful about what they share on the social media site as it could very well follow them throughout the rest of their lives.  He also discussed the importance of family and the responsibility of parents to instill a sense of ethics and morality in their children as well as aiding them in the growth of their character.  Said Don MacMillan, Head of School, “We are honored that Mr. Abagnale has found his way to Hyde, volunteering his time and travel to share with our families his fascinating story and message concerning the vital importance of nurturing character development in our children.”

The weekend also welcomed the release of Hyde’s Founder, Joseph Gauld’s new book, What Kids Want – and Need – From Parents: How to Bond With and Mentor Children.  In this, Gauld’s fourth book, he outlines a powerful parenting process that has inspired thousands of families.  Gauld’s work is founded in the belief that the deepest motivation in children compels them to bond with parents who serve as mentors and who work with their children to prepare them for life.  Free copies of Gauld’s book were distributed to the families in attendance.  The book is available from the Hyde web site  and other major retailers.