At orientation each year, the first person who talks to the students is me. I tell them of the stress that we place on character. I tell them of the rules of the school. And, most importantly, I tell them about the value of education. It is our task to make it very clear that success is earned through effort and that the rewards are positively life-changing.
Every child wants to be successful. No child ever went off to his or her first day of school determined to be a failure. This simple truth, combined with an emphasis on excellence and academic rigor, is at the heart of my philosophy of education—that students want to succeed and that each student has a right to do so. At York Prep, we provide every opportunity so that, if they work hard, students can realize their unique talents and succeed.
We have been around long enough for us to be able to say that we stand for character values in a traditional sense. We treasure our students and take pride in our community. In our classes we emphasize this, as history teacher Michael Roper does when he brings in a Warsaw Ghetto survivor or a D-Day hero, as the coaches do when they put sportsmanship above winning, as the English department does when its theme of summer reading is justice for outsiders.
We continue to make our school a welcoming place—a place of joy! A community where we value everyone, including our maintenance staff and secretaries, our 6th graders and our seniors. We require that students introspect on how they have helped others. I believe that students who help other students in this school are performing a valuable part of our mission.
I believe that we should help young people face the ethical dilemmas that challenge them. We live in a society where temptations are thrown at us all the time, and knowledge of how others have addressed them in the past is immeasurably valuable. I can hire someone to fix my computer or my boiler, but I cannot hire someone to make life choices and decisions for me. But all the knowledge we have learned until that moment surely helps us make the right ones. And trying to help in giving that knowledge is why we teach what we do. I am delighted that you are considering York Prep. We encourage parents and applicants to
Headmaster, York Prep School