My 1-Pager

Hyde Family

I often run into people who want a quick-and-easy explanation on our work at Hyde.  While Hyde and quick-and-easy probably seems oxymoronic to any and all Hyde folks, here’s my take on it:

Hyde on 1 Page – Family-Based Character Education….. Only @ Hyde

An AP Calculus teacher in the 50’s and 60’s, Joseph Gauld once found himself giving his highest grade to a very bright student with a poor learning attitude and his lowest to a classic “plugger” with genuine curiosity who embodied and upheld those qualities the school claimed to value.  Finding his priorities in conflict with the status quo, he founded Hyde School (1966) in Bath, ME to test a new approach, one that values attitude over aptitude, effort over ability, and character over talent.  He identified five words – Courage, Integrity, Leadership, Curiosity and Concern – and a cardinal principle: Every individual has a unique potential that defines a destiny.  He then began to experiment with these founding concepts in trial-and-error fashion.

Nearly a half-century later, the Hyde of today continues to uphold these principles as core values in a growing number of schools and communities.  The program has evolved to effectively focus on three emphases:

1.   A fully integrated program of character development.
Character is not an “add-on” at Hyde.  It permeates everything we do.  In our view, character is inspired rather than imparted.  Each one of us – students, teachers, and parents – must regard our own character development as a lifelong pursuit.  We like to say, “Use it or lose it.”

2.   Family renewal resulting from real parent participation.
While parents begin Hyde with an enrolled child, we are determined that they will depart with a stronger family than they ever could have imagined.  We like to say, “School is for kids; Hyde is for families.”

3.   College Preparation – over 95% of Hyde’s graduates attend four-year colleges.
Hyde graduates are currently studying at such schools as Bowdoin, Catholic U, The Citadel, Clark, Colorado College, Dickinson, Elon, George Washington U, Gettysburg, Goucher, Hampden-Sydney, Hampshire, Kenyon, Lake Forest, Lehigh, McGill, Mt. Holyoke, Northeastern U, NYU, Occidental, Skidmore, SMU, Stanford, Syracuse, Tulane, Union, Virginia Tech, Villanova, Washington College, Wheaton; and the Universities of Arizona, California (Irvine, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Santa Cruz), Colorado, Denver, Indiana, Massachusetts,  Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Redlands, Richmond, San Francisco, and Washington.

Although some schools might excel with one of these emphases singularly, Hyde is the only choice for prospective families who seek to accept the challenge of all of them collectively.

Television and radio shows such as 20-20, 60 Minutes, Today, and NPR’s “All Thing’s Considered” have done full segments on Hyde.  This recognition led to the founding of a second boarding school in Woodstock, CT (1996) as well as the establishment of Hyde public school models in New Haven (1993), The Bronx (2006) and Brooklyn, NY (2009).  Affiliated programs operate in Colorado Springs, Halifax (PA), Orlando, and Prince George’s County, MD.

My wife Laura and I co-authored The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have – The Hyde Program of Character-based Education and Parenting (Scribner, 2002).  The Biggest Job Workshops, a parenting program, are offered to audiences nationwide.

Additional information can be obtained on the Hyde website:

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld