Brewster Academy Blogs



Cultivating Cultural Competency

I asked a few students to share their takeaways from Friday’s Cooper Series guest lecture. And, as if to support the speaker’s “thesis,” if you will, the students’ reflections are indicators of how their individual experiences and involvement within the Brewster community help form their own identities. Here the students share their impressions and takeaways of Dr. Derrick Gay’s message.
– Marcia Eldredge, Communications Director

Senior Evan Edmonds shared the following: one standout about Dr. Derrick Gay’s presentation this morning was the emphasis on our society and how it will look when we move on from Brewster. On a campus like ours, it’s easy to forget that there is a world outside of high school, but it’s there, waiting for us. Dr. Gay touched on many varying aspects of society that we may encounter in the coming future and the biggest connection to one of those changing factors we can make as Brewster students is the transition from the ‘cubical’ style of work toward collaborative and cooperative workplaces. Dr. Gay mentioned huge companies like Google and Yahoo have already switched to this method, and I believe the reason for that put simply is that it is more effective. Communicating with people and sharing ideas is a much more productive way of problem solving because there are multiple brains all working in their own unique ways for a solution. Because there is such high value in mastering collaboration, cooperation, communication, etc. it is important that we are learning these skills, which is why group-based skills are so emphasized in our everyday learning environment at Brewster. There is more reasoning to why we do STAD (Student Team Achievement Divisions) reviews than just giving teachers a break; it is absolutely crucial in today’s world to learn these skills, and I believe Dr. Gay wanted to punctuate that.
Continue reading “Cultivating Cultural Competency”

Navigating Family Weekend

By Nancy Hughes
English Teacher

I can only conjure two memories from my Parents’ Weekends when I was in high school. The first is more vague than the second. My parents had arranged a dinner in Hartford, close to where we lived, for my friend and her parents who were from South Carolina. Two other girls whose parents were unable to attend the weekend joined us as well. I remember feeling happy that my parents were close and thus could be with me and proud that my parents were able to host a family from South Carolina, a place that seemed to me – someone who had never been to the South – almost a foreign land. (I also remember my mother’s commenting to me quietly after the meal about how awkwardly my friend held her fork.) Continue reading “Navigating Family Weekend”

Setting iPhone/iPad Lock Screen

Every iPhone screen can be locked and depending on what iPhone you have, there are several methods for securing and unlocking your phone. Continue reading “Setting iPhone/iPad Lock Screen”


By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

After a day of rain and snow on campus, the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) met at Lord House on Monday evening. Sitting in the comfortable bay window looking out on Main Street, students and faculty talked about fostering an inclusive school climate. Tuesday’s senior Lobster Bake, a tradition sponsored by Alexis Pappas ’88, brought successful tech entrepreneur Nate Drouin ‘10 back to campus. Nate talked to students with tremendous legitimacy about the virtue of finding a passion and figuring out how to learn what is needed in its pursuit. Wednesday night was a double bill: a faculty discussion about inclusion after dinner followed by a meeting just south of campus, at All-Saints’ Church, to hear about plans for a homeless shelter in Wolfeboro. All interesting and provocative topics. Many viewpoints, ideologies, agendas, stories, realities. I listened intently.

Continue reading “Listening”

Rites of Spring

By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

Winter’s snow only a memory, excepting the residual white fingers slowly retreating up the slopes of Gunstock Ski Area across the lake. Early yesterday morning Lamb Green was frosty, and I left footprints in the grass, yet temps had soared to the mid-seventies by the time sailors and rowers made their way to the docks in the afternoon. Seniors cluster in eddies of conversation on their patio; I wore shorts last night after the school day had ended. Culminating and celebratory events fill the calendar, prom-posals are happening at a frenzied rate (Jake and Casey are going together if you haven’t gotten the memo), and the project period approaches quickly. Spring is here in all its mayhem.

Continue reading “Rites of Spring”

Preview the Web Address of a Link in Safari

Have you ever received an email with a link and you were unsure whether to click it or not for fear of being a victim of a “phishing attack“?  Or, while browsing a website you come across a link within an article and wonder, “Where will this link take me?”    Before clicking on that link, take a sneak peak of where you will be re-directed.  Safari users have a tool, that when enabled, will provide a view of the URL in the bottom left corner of your window, prior to clicking on it. This is a security tool that can prevent you from clicking on a potentially harmful website.

Continue reading “Preview the Web Address of a Link in Safari”

The Real Work

By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

It’s Friday: the final two days of a seven-day boarding school week stretch before me. I’ve been scrambling because members of Brewster’s Board of Trustees are driving and flying from points near and far for a stretch of weekend meetings.

I’ve pored over the budget for weeks, prepared hours of content to shape the meetings and worried over details. I know I should be fretful. I won’t be able to answer every question perfectly and sweat my way through the challenging stretches. But I’m not all that wound up about the meetings because tonight we’re honoring the legacy of Bob and Shirley Richardson and I’m distracted. Though Bob passed away in 2014, Shirley will be with us.

I want to do right by them and have thought much about what they mean to this place — and in the process my thinking has spiraled from Bob and Shirley to Brewster to the very act of teaching and, ultimately, to the really big questions.
Continue reading “The Real Work”



a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.


By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

Last week: I mostly walked from appointment to appointment, my leather-soled shoes radiating cold; drafts from leaky-doored coffee shops never let me warm up despite umpteen hot drinks through the week, but the chill was somehow exhilarating.

I was in the city to talk to parents and alumni in my first year at Brewster. Over breakfast, coffee, lunch, and dinner in restaurants, apartments, and offices, I talked, listened, and asked question after question. What made your family look at Brewster? What was school like before coming to Brewster? How has Brewster worked?

Anyone eavesdropping on these serial conversations would have thought I was a broken record and that there was some internal coherence to the superficially-varied responses.

Continue reading “com·mu·ni·ty”


By Craig Gemmell
Head of School

Tuesday was a day of emotion here on campus. Exams started. Kids seemed quieter at lunch, more focused, tired. All of us who spend time with kids in this little hive seemed weary, too. In all of our dronings we were buoyed by the imminent break. Family. Food. Rest. All coming.

Continue reading “Gratitude”

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