Monday and Tuesday of this week, Hyde welcomed a group of nine public school educators from East Pennsboro, Pennsylvania – Justin Newkam, Amy Rehmeyer, Aaron Leota, Sara Clarke, Kyle Atkinson, Aimee Downing, April Scott, Meredith Savage, and Adam Downing.
The relationship between the schools began over twenty years ago when Robert Hassinger, former superintendent of schools in Halifax, PA, heard Hyde Founder Joseph Gauld speak on character education. At the time, he had been distraught at the actions of students in his district, and was impressed at the difference Joe Gauld was making in his school community through emphasizing character education. Hassinger visited the Bath campus to learn how to implement these practices at his school, and today three schools in his district use the Hyde methods.
Since implementing the Hyde methods, they have seen an increase in student self-confidence and motivation, an increase in students’ feeling of safety at their school, a dramatic decrease in instances of bullying, and a strengthening of their school community. This is shown best by a recent survey in which 90% of their students said they believed that people at their school were friendly towards them.
View the “Hyde Public School Solution” brochure to see more survey results;
The visit included many of the signature Hyde experiences. Monday morning Community Meeting included Faculty Evaluations and a presentation on the recent Nashville Songwriters’ Workshop. The teachers then met with a group of seniors for an hour and were impressed with their honesty and openness. During the afternoon, they joined the Discovery Groups where everyone shared on the Five Words and Five Principles. The next day they met with leadership students and attended a Senior Evaluation session led by Mary Moore and Jacob Sargent on the importance of family and transitioning into an adult-to-adult relationship.
At the conclusion of the visit, one teacher summed up the experience by saying, “This trip has changed the way I teach, parent and live. You all may think the stuff you talk about is stupid or weird and that’s fine because I am sure that it feels that way sometimes. The fact that you are even thinking about the questions we asked in Discovery Group, whether you are answering them out loud truthfully and with vulnerability or just taking it in, this makes you all better people and steps ahead of others who aren’t thinking about the answers.”
Three fellow Pennsylvania educators are currently working on creating a manual to help other public schools implement the Hyde methods that have worked so well for them. We look forward to our continued partnership, and hope they know that they inspired us in turn with their dedication and positive commitment to their students and families.