Peter Hutton - Head of School

Introducing a Man Who Needs No Introduction

At yesterday’s Founders Day assembly, I had the honor of inducting 15 Beaver seniors into the Cum Laude Society and of introducing the speaker, my longtime friend and faculty colleague, Peter Gow. In some circles Peter needs no introduction. My remarks follow:

I am now very pleased to introduce our Cum Laude speaker Peter Gow. You know, I have introduced Peter numerous times over the years. And whenever I do I allude to the many roles he has held here in both the middle and upper schools. But I’m not doing that today because I’ve got to be honest with you. Over the years I’ve come to resent Peter Gow. It’s true. Let me tell you why.

So here’s what happens. I go to a conference and I’m wearing my name tag. It says “Peter Hutton, Head of School, Beaver Country Day School.”

I meet someone for the first time. The person blows by my name, blows by my snazzy title, goes to Beaver Country Day School and says, “Oh, you must know Peter Gow.”

I interview someone at a job fair. The person sits down – I assume kind of excited to meet with me. I ask, “How did you hear about Beaver?” “Well I know about Peter Gow.” “Well how do you know about him?” “Well I’ve had online conversations with him (Peter was leading online conversations before we had personal computers), I’ve listened to his podcasts, I’ve read his articles in Independent School Magazine, Education Week, The Harvard Education Letter, I read his book The Admirable Faculty, and I’ve got his new book The Intentional Teacher.”

And on and on and on.

Go to the National Association of Independent Schools’ website. Type in a search for “Peter Gow.” Ninety items come up. Type in “Peter Hutton” and … well, let’s just say fewer. I don’t even want to talk about what happens when you Google him.

Schools around the country call Peter Gow to ask him to consult on curriculum development, professional development, Board development and more. Some of you may know that Peter Gow and I graduated from the same high school in Buffalo, New York. A couple of years ago they needed someone to come in and consult with their Board and Management Team.

Who did they call?
Peter Hutton?
Nope. Peter Gow.
Who got the splashy spread in the school magazine?
Peter Hutton?
Nope. Peter Gow.

And I suppose all this does have something to do with the fact that Peter Gow is a nationally renowned thought leader in independent schools, and so as we mark the founding of a nationally renowned school and honor our new inductees to the Cum Laude Society, it is with humility and deference that I introduce our Cum Laude speaker, Peter Gow.

Read more about the Cum Laude Society and the Beaver students inducted this year.

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