As we approach the second half of the school year, we wanted to send you a Head of School transition update. Below you'll find two letters: one from Head of School Peter Hutton and the other from Beaver's future Head of School Kim Samson.
FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL PETER HUTTON
Dear Beaver Community,

We are officially into a new decade and are about to celebrate Beaver’s Centennial. In my letter last January announcing my June 2020 departure, I said this wouldn't be a lame duck year, that it would be business as usual at Beaver and that we'd be continuing to push ahead to find ways to expand the nature of school.

How have we been doing that? Lots of ways!

  • We are looking at opportunities to expand Hiatt Center programming as it becomes increasingly integrated into our day-to-day curriculum. Through the Hiatt Center and other avenues we are looking for more partnerships—both on and off campus—that support and enhance the impressive academic work our students are tackling.
  • This fall, Middle School music students partnered with the Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program for six weeks to create kits that would help JQOP students learn the mechanics of their instruments.
  • Upper School Director Kader Adjout is keeping Beaver's mindset and approach to Rethinking Teaching for Learning at the forefront of education as he presented this fall at OEB in Berlin, and recently delivered a keynote address at BETT in London—the largest educational technology conference in the world.
  • In the classroom and with help from additional resources in the R+D Center, we are exploring the role of virtual reality, augmented reality, and Robotics in teaching and learning.
  • With all this at play, we are working hard to build endowment to increase financial aid and support the increasing demand for student-directed projects.

And ... we are working hard to prepare for Kim Samson’s arrival in July!

Kim has visited in September, November, and February and will return again in May. Board President Tomas Bergstrand P’19, ’21 has formed a board transition committee that has been meeting with Kim and will continue to do so in her first year. I meet with her for 2–3 hours each visit in addition to a monthly phone call. It’s a combination of keeping her apprised of what is going on, and having "brain dumps" about all things BVR. You can read more about that in her letter below.

I have really enjoyed getting to know Kim over the last 6 months. She is awesome, and I am excited for the future of Beaver under her leadership!

Peter Hutton
Head of School
Beaver Country Day School
FROM FUTURE HEAD OF SCHOOL KIM SAMSON
Dear Beaver Community, 

What an exciting year 2020 will be!

Each week I grow more excited about kicking off my new role as the Head of School at Beaver. Peter Hutton and I have had frequent phone calls since October and I will have visited the campus five times by the time I move to Chestnut Hill in late June. We started by planning day-long visits in October and November, but quickly realized that staying for two days allowed me to take time to see classes and activities as well as have meetings with Peter, Board President Tomas Bergstrand P’19, ’21, and a variety of other school leaders and board members who will provide critical support in this very important transition.

Each phone call and visit provides another opportunity for me to learn more, and it builds my enthusiasm for this tremendous opportunity. Beaver teachers and students are innovators in education and I am deeply honored to have been chosen to lead the community in this important work. The people I’ve met, the campus I've experienced, the school's events and publications are enormously impressive and refreshingly authentic—expressing a clear mission of expanding the nature of school. 

Beaver is an exciting place with so many things happening at any one time. There is much for me to learn and I want to get up to speed swiftly and thoroughly. My first few months will consist of a 'listening tour' during which I hope to gain a deep understanding of the school’s history and the exciting trajectory it’s on. I have LOTS of questions that require total immersion to answer fully. What are the cornerstones of this forward-looking institution? How do the New Basics translate into student experiences throughout the school? What are the biggest challenges teachers and school leaders face? What role should I play as the next Head of School in nurturing and protecting the start-up culture Peter has so successfully built? Discovering the answers to these questions will occupy most of my time in the first several months.

Beaver's guiding principles and practices in a new era of education correlate with those that have framed my work for the last decade. Re-designing school by staying focused on the core principles upon which Beaver was founded is helping us build the path forward for all schools. This work is inspirational because there is no option to fail. Will we make excellent mistakes? Certainly. But we are morally obligated to use the freedoms of our independent school and its resources in order to move this mission forward. Unfortunately, many similar schools are not doing this work because they are too afraid of change; and change is precisely what is necessary for improving the educational system. I am committed to providing strong and effective leadership as we do great things with our students, ultimately contributing substantively to the dialogue about the future of education.

We are now in the process of planning my May visits. I will continue to meet with a variety of people, learn about signature programs, and think strategically about what lies ahead. My transition will be fully successful if everyone at Beaver is able to continue doing what they do best as they inspire and mentor young people. I look forward to settling into the community this summer, ready to watch and listen carefully. As the year progresses I will understand better how I can merge my educational philosophy and experiences with the responsibilities of this exciting new position.  

I am confident that next year will be terrific and that it will be the first of many wonderful years leading Beaver. We will plan several opportunities for constituent communities to gather with me next fall. I hope you will be able to attend one so that I can hear your voice in my early months on Hammond Street.

Sincerely,

Kim Samson
Future Head of School
Beaver Country Day School