Leadership Blog

Disrupt the Everyday

Post date February 17th, 2017
If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumber'd here While these visions did appear. On a morning when the entire community came together to celebrate fifth grade and their Shakespeare mash-up, One Midsummer Night , the closing monologue of Robin Goodfellow Puck has given me pause as we move towards break. Too often in schools—especially by the time February rolls around—the routine of the day-to-day, week-to-week experience of our children has a distinct rhythm to it: wake-up, get ready for school, breakfast, out the door, off to school, return...read more

The Barn and Program

Post date February 10th, 2017
It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I provide this update to you. It is the upshot of a tremendous amount of work by faculty and countless other members of our community. As many of you already know, the board of trustees voted to approve an enrollment growth initiative last year that would add up to forty-five students in total to our sixth, seventh, and eighth grades over the course of the next four to five years, with approximately fifteen more students in each grade than are currently enrolled today. We would also add faculty to support this enrollment growth. As with every...read more

Lessons from Fandom

Post date February 3rd, 2017
For those of you who are not inclined towards professional sports fandom, forgive me. I don’t know how many more times I will have the opportunity to write an article like this one, and every now and then, you just have to scratch that itch. Our eighth grade students were born in 2002-2003. That means—if they are rooting for their Boston-based home teams—that they have witnessed eight local professional sports championships in their fourteen years of life. Sports, I have come to realize, defined the better part of my childhood. I grew up in Connecticut on the front lines of the Red Sox/...read more

The Power of Windows and Mirrors

Post date January 20th, 2017
Windows and mirrors. I first learned of them through the National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) and the work of Dr. Peggy McIntosh years ago. But this morning, as we welcomed parents for lower school visiting day, I found myself thinking about the difference between, and the value of, windows and mirrors. Through a window, we are granted access to a world that may be very different from our own—filled with experiences and ideas that perhaps we haven’t seen before. In a mirror, we see ourselves reflected—similar experiences, the comfort of what we know, and security...read more

Raising [My] Voice

Post date January 13th, 2017
Raising [My] Voice On Thursday, January 5, Belmont Day hosted the last of six capital campaign events in our neighboring towns. The well-orchestrated ‘speed dating’ format of the evening highlighted the three pillars of the school—academics, athletics, and arts—and the impact we expect the Barn to have on the future of education at Belmont Day. I want to take the opportunity provided by this space to thank parents Margaret Wade and Brad Lewis for their continued leadership as campaign co-chairs and director of development Mary Merrill for a very well planned, informative, and engaging event...read more

A New Year’s Resolution

Post date January 6th, 2017
A New Year's Resolution A freshly sharpened pencil. A song I haven’t heard before. The stillness of daybreak. A baby’s first cry. I am a sucker for anything new. The unspoiled potential of it all. That may be why I believe so deeply in the power of the New Year’s Resolution. January 1 brings with it an iterative opportunity for reinvention, growth, and learning. For those that don’t know, the Roman god, Janus, whose name serves as the root of the month, January, is the god of gateways, transitions, beginnings and endings, passages and doorways. He is a two-faced god—not in deceit, but to look...read more

Lenny and Lino’s Tree

Post date December 9th, 2016
Lenny and Lino’s Tree At the end of my two-day interview to become Belmont Day’s next head of school, I met with the search committee in the BDS Bungalow for one last round of questions. As the hour with the committee ended, so, I thought, had the interview process. However, as we left the building, one of the committee members stopped me in the parking lot. She grabbed me by the arm, and brought me to the beautiful fir tree that stands beside the Bungalow between the Archery and Far Fields and explained: “This tree, Brendan, has a story to it. It’s Lenny and Lino’s tree. If you end up as...read more

A Love of Reading

Post date December 2nd, 2016
A Love of Reading Thanksgiving break always seems to arrive just in time—Labor Day to Thanksgiving provides the longest stretch of uninterrupted school days we will have all year long and everyone is ready for some down time, family time, turkey time or, as is the case in my house: curl-up-with-a-good-book time. Annually, the quiet that comes with that tryptophan-induced sleepy Thursday afternoon offers an ideal time for our family to reacquaint ourselves with the magic of literature. This year, before finding my book-du-jour, I was drawn to articles reinforcing and rearticulating the value...read more


Post date November 18th, 2016
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” - Cicero As we approach Thanksgiving, I figured now would be as good a time as any to articulate that for which I would like to give thanks. Forgive me for writing in a list this week, but then, good writing often changes syntax (at least, that’s my intellectualized excuse)… On this Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for... The welcome my family has received. This was a big move for me and my family, and each of us have processed it differently. In every way, the Belmont Day community has made us feel right at home...read more

The Seventh Core Value

Post date November 11th, 2016
First, a heartfelt thank you to all of our service men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. I get to write the article that follows here because of the work you have done and continue to do to defend our freedoms as a nation. Thank you. Second, I have been giving those freedoms a great deal of consideration this week. This has been a difficult week for our community. On Wednesday, my day began with the following: a 5:45 a.m. wake up to walk my dogs that begins with a quick look at my phone for any news that may have broken overnight. Normally, that news involves the...read more