Hyde-Bronx Graduation #2

Hyde-Bronx Leaders

My 7/11 post pays tribute to the graduates of Hyde-Bronx.  Risking the sin of omission, this post offers thanks to some of the school’s creators.  Clockwise from the upper right:

Herb Fixler receives the school’s first ever Hyde Chair from Head of School Betsy Olney.  From the get-go, Herb, a Hyde-Bath HAPA parent (Paul ‘00) has been the chair of the Hyde-Bronx board of trustees.  From the founding to the construction of our awesome new high school facility in Hunt’s Point to the governance of matters mundane and magnificent, Herb has been tireless in his commitment to the school and its people.  Frankly, his efforts made him an obvious selection for this, Hyde’s highest honor.

Betsy Olney began teaching at Hyde-Bath right out of Cornell almost a decade ago.  As so many of us have, she began as a classic boarding school “triple threat”: teach/coach/dorm.  After receiving her masters at the Harvard Ed School, she moved over to Hyde’s public side, working with then Hyde-Bronx Head of School Joanne Goubourn ’75.  Betsy assumed the reins as Head of School last year.  Suffice it to say that she has poured her life into this school. It was great to see her presiding over such an inspiring commencement.

– If the Hyde Foundation can be said to have a Dynamic Duo, that would be Joe Gauld and Joanne Goubourn.  Since founding Hyde nearly a half-century ago, my father has always wanted to see it transcend its boarding school roots.  Hence, this ceremony was especially meaningful for him… Beginning as a brave leader of the first cohort of girls to attend Hyde, Joanne has played leadership roles at our “beyond the gates” ventures in New Haven, DC, The Bronx, and Brooklyn.  (And those are just the efforts that actually turned into schools!)  As the founding Head of School at Hyde-Bronx, she owned a big piece of what went down on that Columbia University stage that day.

– I am especially proud of the fact that 5 Bowdoin (my alma mater) alums from 5 different decades have made significant contributions to Hyde-Bronx.  L-to-R: Joe Gauld ’51; Jen Burns ’88 has played key roles at both our boarding and charter schools for several years and currently heads up the Foundation’s training and curriculum development efforts; Staci Seeley ’90, Hyde-Bronx Director of Development, has brought lots of professional expertise to her role, having served both schools (e.g., Groton, Lawrence Academy) and colleges (Bowdoin);  Moi ’76.  Missing from the picture is Hyde-Bronx faculty member Kevin Erspamer ’05.  (He was in the lobby celebrating with the graduates when we seized the photo op!)  More than any of us Polar Bears, Kevin lives where the rubber meets the road!

Cliff van Voorhees w/Joe Gauld – Cliff, also a Hyde-Bath HAPA parent (Brad ‘04), made the proverbial trains run on time.  He began by writing/editing/submitting the initial application, a bear of an ordeal – 800+ pages! – one that we often suspected might be designed to scare folks off from applying for charters.  He helped us secure the building, maintain the maze of code compliances, covered HR, served as liaison to a myriad of city departments, etc.  Most importantly, he spent the lion’s share of his time striving to make sure that our kids and families experienced the best of what Hyde has to offer.

– The Roone Arledge Auditorium at Columbia University – site of Hyde-Bronx’ very first high school graduation.

Laura Gauld ’76, Executive Director of Hyde Boarding Schools w/graduate Malika Palmer ‘13.  Since the beginning, Laura has ensured regular interaction between Hyde-Bronx and our boarding schools: from exchanges to wilderness retreats at Eustis to summit gatherings of boarding and charter school students at Woodstock, etc.  (Also, this year for their class gift, our seniors at Hyde-Woodstock raised $6000+ during the year and presented it to Hyde-Bronx.)… Malika spent last summer at Hyde-Woodstock as an intern before returning to Hyde-Bronx for her senior year.  Next fall she heads to Berry University (FL). Congrats, Malika!   And thanks all!

Onward, Malcolm Gauld