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Ken has made every effort to maintain the close relationships between students and the faculty, who teach, coach, and run the dormitories. In that way, the faculty are able to get to know the students so well, which helps instill what I called ‘school spirit’ and what Ken now refers to as ‘brotherhood.’ The faculty become incredible role models and mentors for the students, and that’s how schools become successful—and Ken fully supports that. The fact is, the school wouldn’t have been able to thrive without his leadership as headmaster. He is thoughtful and intelligent and has a mental toughness unlike anyone else.” George Trautman ’98H, P’75, ’81, GP ’01, Major Gifts Officer, Former Headmaster, Avon Old Farms School

Ken is the quintessential headmaster, and that is not a label I generously offer. His moral compass is always properly calibrated, and he governs without fail by asking the question, ‘Is it mission appropriate?’ His close relationship with the students, their families, our alumni, and our employees is truly beyond comprehension. While his shoes will be very large to fill, Ken leaves the school in an incredibly strong place, and his legacy will live on for a long time to come. It has been an honor to work with Ken, even when he chastises me almost daily for enjoying too many of the famous Avon Old Farms cookies!” Robert Orenstein, Chief Financial Officer

“I love the school. And I think that is the essence of why I want to be headmaster,” he said at the time of his investiture in 1998. “I understand our mission and our school culture. I understand our core principles and values and they are very much in line with my own, so it’s a match. I believe very strongly in single-sex education and I know that the culture of this school really serves boys developing into men. “We have always talked about teachers being role models for students,” he continued. “And I think that is absolutely true, and it’s one of the benefits that we have because of our small size and the rapport that exists between students and teachers. But I think, conversely, students also have been role models for teachers and for administrators. And every single faculty member here, I’m sure, can look back over his or her years of service and point to some boys who just were really inspiring figures for them. I certainly can. Every single year, there are those young men you see every single day stretching themselves, putting themselves at risk in the classroom, on the playing fields, in the dormitories, standing up for what’s right, speaking out when it’s not popular, and that’s really inspiring. And you look at yourself and you say, OK, well if they’re putting themselves out on the line, certainly I ought to be able to do that.” The give and take relationship between students and faculty has guided Ken throughout his career, particularly during his years as headmaster. “I really see myself in terms of a leader empowering the faculty, other administrators, and the students,” he explains. It’s his job to figure out how best to empower them. He starts, of The Avonian Spring 2018


Profile for Avon Old Farms School

The Avonian, Spring 2018  

The Avonian, Spring 2018