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Thayer Academy Headmaster's Welcome

It is my pleasure to welcome students, parents, alumni, and friends of the Academy to Thayer's website. I encourage you to explore its pages and learn more about our community. If you are new to our school, I encourage you to visit our campus. Read our mission statement. It says a lot about who we are, what we do, and what we believe is important. To our parent and alumni communities, I offer a sincere thank you for your involvement and support as, together, we guide a new generation of students towards their future.

Headmaster Koskores: Why Thayer?

Shown below is a series of questions put to Mr. Koskores during a recent interview. Click on each question to see the Headmaster's answer.

Evaluating the options offered by private schools can be overwhelming. Why Choose Thayer?

Headmaster Koskores:  The answer starts with discussing how Thayer Academy possesses the qualities most people associate with all good private schools. Small classes, excellent teachers, top-notch facilities, and very high academic standards stand at the center of our mission. We emphasize the development of strong reading, writing, research, and computational skills, and at the same time, we infuse our students with a passion for learning. In addition, we offer a rich array of extra-curricular pursuits, particularly in the arts, athletics, and community service. But that is only the beginning of the answer.

The qualities you just enumerated seem to provide a strong foundation for making a decision.

Headmaster Koskores: To some extent, yes, but families also understand that every school has its own unique set of qualities, and they are seeking the best possible match. The challenge for families is to understand what distinguishes one school from another and how those distinguishing features might pertain to the needs and aspirations of their student.

So what distinguishes Thayer Academy from its peers?

Headmaster Koskores: First of all, I would cite the strength and nature of the Thayer community. In the most general sense, our community is caring and supportive, qualities that are manifest in our core relationships. For example, students benefit from teachers who work hard and effectively to support them academically and in their extra-curricular pursuits. It is also true that our students are supportive of one another; and they derive additional comfort from the support of their parents and even the parents of their friends. The net effect is that students at Thayer feel accepted and affirmed for who they are, even as they are encouraged to improve themselves in numerous ways. Happily absent from this equation is a negatively charged attitude that affirms only the few and leaves the majority of students feeling they can never measure up.

Certainly all good private schools provide growth opportunities.

Headmaster Koskores: It is what surrounds our core program that adds true depth to the Thayer experience and sets us apart. To be more specific, Thayer places a premium on broad-based involvement in the life of the school. We set student expectations and arrange programs and schedules in such a manner that students can and must do more than simply meet their academic responsibilities. For example, 80-90% of our Upper School students do a sport and participate in the arts program during the academic year. The percentages are even higher in Middle School. Virtually all of our students are involved in service projects, and many of our students participate in our growing international programs in Costa Rica, Canada, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Peru, China, and now India. This balanced experience enriches the opportunities for personal growth and promotes a sense of belonging to the broader community.

What else do you think defines Thayer for its current and prospective families?

Headmaster Koskores:  I think it is clear that our school culture provides access to a wealth of growth opportunities. Yes, there is acceptance and affirmation, but there is also access—access to an extraordinarily broad range of ways for young people to grow.

The words community, acceptance, affirmation, access, and balance all emerge as defining qualities. Anything else?

Headmaster Koskores: I would add that Thayer stands among those independent schools that are very well integrated into the surrounding community. We host many recreational and cultural events that serve the Braintree community, and our relatively new turf fields and performing arts center are frequently used by organizations that advance athletics and the arts for the entire South Shore region. We are very happy to provide this access, as it offers real benefits to the outside community and reminds our students that we are members of a larger community. In addition, one of the most distinctive features of Thayer is its own socio-economic diversity. More than one-third of our students are on financial aid, and the Academy's budget to support these opportunities is one of the most generous among all private schools in the Boston area. We are particularly sensitive to the very real fact that middle class families may require financial assistance, even as we devote impressive levels of support for families that are especially disadvantaged financially. The result is that we have a mix of students that reflects the full spectrum of the world outside our campus.

Any final thoughts on why families should choose Thayer?

Headmaster Koskores: Well... speaking with absolute objectivity... I can say as Headmaster, as an alumnus, and as a parent of two Thayer students... that Thayer is a very special place. Our community is grounded and representative of the larger society of which we are a part. We have a traditional reverence for academics, and we are equally committed to ensuring that our students grow through involvement in the arts, athletics, and service. Our school culture is one that values achievement and aspiration, and we pursue these goals through support and encouragement. In the end, we could not be more proud of the students who graduate from Thayer Academy. And we welcome, in equal measures of pride and anticipation, the new families who join our community each year.

Ted Koskores '70, P'10, '13 became the 8th headmaster of Thayer Academy in July 2003. A 1970 graduate of the Academy, Ted is the first Thayer alumnus to sit in the Headmaster's chair. Ted holds an undergraduate degree in History from Boston University and a master's degree in American Studies from Columbia University. Prior to returning to Thayer, Ted served as Upper School Director at Charlotte (NC) Country Day School. Ted and his wife, Karen, who teaches art and is the Director of the Thayer Gallery, have two children.

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