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and postseason appearances in soccer, football, baseball, and lacrosse. Avon’s teams have won more than 30 league and New England championships combined over the last 15 years. For as much as Ken has worked tirelessly to improve the experiences of the students, he is also incredibly dedicated to the faculty and staff, who he cites as the heart and soul of Avon Old Farms School. “The triple threat model of the independent school model flourishes here. The same people who teach our students also coach them, work with them in the arts, advise them in the dormitories, eat with them, chaperone them on weekend activities, greet them in the morning, and say good night to them when they retire. From early in the morning to late at night, our students enjoy a rich array of role models from which to choose. These individuals work 12 and 14 hour days and commit themselves enthusiastically to our students. The relationships that are forged are rich and lasting. “I can honestly say to you that I don’t know of another school that focuses on community more than we do,” Ken notes. “All of our programs are designed to nurture the spirit of community. We are a family and believe that coming together each day is important. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. We all know each other, we have a sense of belonging, we have a sense of pride, and that makes us effective in all that we do.” The sense of community—of togetherness—fostered here in what Ken fondly calls our “village” extends equally to the faculty, the staff, and the many families (and dogs!)

Peter and I have known Ken both as a trusted and hardworking colleague and later as a wonderful headmaster who worked hard to know each student as well as staff and faculty family members. We knew he would be a good headmaster before he took on that job in 1998. We had no idea then, though, what a great headmaster he would prove to be. I remember his first day as headmaster; he got to morning meeting extra early to greet each student and faculty member. I thought to myself, ‘What a great way to set the tone for the school and lead from the front.’ But that habit of Ken’s happened not just at morning meeting on his first day as head but every day thereafter. He often knows not just the boys’ names but also how they are doing and something about their habits—for example, ‘If you are looking for John, he tends to come late!’ It is a supreme juggling act to be a headmaster, and Ken has handled the job with grace, grit, and aplomb. I liken being headmaster to ruling a small country; he must make so many decisions each day! His decisions are based on what is best for the boys, but he also always considers parents, alumni, and faculty and staff. “Ken asks the boys about the Golden Rule when they first arrive on campus at the new boys’ meeting. He lives it himself. One of the qualities I admire most in Ken is his empathy for others. He has always made himself accessible, and he really listens and cares about others. As a faculty member, you know where to find him, and you know he will always listen. “He will be a very hard act to follow!” Sue Evans P’98

Profile for Avon Old Farms School

The Avonian, Spring 2018  

The Avonian, Spring 2018