The Hyde Compass

Some teenagers have a vague idea of what they want to do when they grow up.  Some don’t have a clue.  Most who “know for sure” will change their minds…..over & over again.  Whatever path you choose, the road to your destiny is long and challenging.  A tried-and-true compass can help you find your way.

For nearly half a century, Hyde has provided thousands of teenagers and their families with their very own compasses.  We call it the Character Compass.  This compass will stand beside you as a life-long guide.  How does it work?

Like any compass it has four points:

1)      True NorthA Clear-Cut Philosophy in the form of Hyde’s 5 Words: Courage, Integrity, Leadership, Curiosity, Concern.

2)      The most dynamic and inspiring peer culture in American education.

3)      The only school that educates the entire family.

4)      A committed faculty that will go to the ends of the earth to help your child, you, and your family discover and realize your deepest potentials.


#1:  The 5 WORDS:  A Clear-cut Philosophy
Character is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days.  We have observed that kids (and many adults) today often lack a certainty about their “Go To” ethics.  We call upon our “Go To” ethics in times of trouble, when we are challenged, or when we want to strive for excellence in any endeavor.  After all, no matter how well we prepare, life must be lived “on the fly.”

Although more than four decades have passed since my Hyde graduation, Hyde’s 5 words continue to form the backbone of my character.  In my soul, I believe that:…..

  • When I’m in a rut or facing a big challenge, I need to muster the COURAGE to risk that first step.
  • My life will not work very well if I do not hold INTEGRITY at its core.
  • I need to prepare for those times when circumstances will call upon me to step up and provide LEADERSHIP.
  • I can only be a life-long learner – a goal that was also drummed into me as a Hyde student – by exhibiting CURIOSITY.
  • As much as I might like to try, I cannot be the person I want to be as an island.  I need to extend CONCERN to others and value those who extend it toward me.


#2:  The Most Dynamic And Inspiring Peer Culture
Most schools function in a classical mold where the students do the learning and the teachers do the teaching.  Too often, this turns into a game of “Cop and Robbers.”  To teach character, a school must “influence the influencers” and there are two critical influencers: 1) the family; 2) the youth culture.

When a distinguished educator recently concluded his campus visit, he appeared in the office of the Head of School with an assessment that was short and to the point:  “Your kids are actually walking around this campus wondering if they’re living up to those 5 words on your shield!  At most schools, the kids might not even know what the words are.”  Hyde’s student peer culture may well need to be seen to be believed.


#3:  A FACULTY that will go to the ends of the earth
Our pledge:  You will never encounter a group of men and women more committed to the deepest potentials and best interests of your son or daughters than the Hyde faculty.

The Hyde faculty get to know and invest in all students – not just the ones they teach — better than any other group of faculty I’ve seen.

Most good schools feature hard-working teachers.  What is unique about the dedication of the Hyde faculty is the extent to which they strive to develop their own character.  When it comes to character, each one of us is a “work in progress.”  The Hyde faculty embody a remarkable balance.  On the one hand they maintain an atmosphere of discipline and structure with their students.  On the other, they are willing to risk the vulnerability that their own journey of character development demands.  The result is a team of professionals that walk their walk.


#4  PARENTS
:  The Home is the PRIMARY CLASSROOM
Hyde brings three powerful forces together in the education of young people:  education, character, and family.  All schools do the first.  Some claim to do the first two.  Hyde is the only school that emphasizes all three.

Strong families result in strong kids who grow up to become productive and fulfilled adults.  With the 10 PRIORITIES (See The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have by Laura and Malcolm Gauld – Scribner, 2001) as a guide, the Hyde Family Education Department serves as a personal “coach” to Hyde’s parents.

It’s a tough road ahead.  Maybe the Hyde compass can help you find your way.

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld