Malcolm Gauld, Family-Based Character Education

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.

In this episode, we speak with Malcolm Gauld, President of the Hyde Schools. At the Hyde Schools, the focus is on attitude over aptitude and effort over ability. Under this “family-based character education” model, Malcolm is preparing students for both college and adulthood. Listen in as he shares his perspective on college counseling and readiness.

About Malcolm Gauld

As President of the Hyde Schools, Malcolm Gauld has overseen Hyde’s two boarding campuses (Bath, ME and Woodstock, CT) and several public school initiatives, including charter schools in The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Orlando. Over 2,000 students are currently enrolled in Hyde Schools. During the past thirty years, Malcolm has served as a history teacher, coach of championship teams in four different sports, and administrator — including twelve years as headmaster at Hyde’s flagship Bath, Maine campus (1987–98). After founding Hyde’s Woodstock, CT campus in 1996, he became President and CEO of the Hyde Schools organization in 1998.

In 1999, Malcolm and his wife Laura established The Biggest Job parenting workshops and have since presented their program to thousands of parents across the United States as well as in Canada, China, and Europe. Their book, The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have — The Hyde School Program for Character-Based Education and Parenting, was published in 2002 and has since been translated into a Mandarin Chinese edition.

Malcolm is also the author of two books on college readiness. College Success Guaranteed — 5 Rules to Make It Happen is a guide for beginning college students. A sequel, College Success Guaranteed 2.0–5 Rules for Parents is a resource for their parents.

A life-long athlete, Gauld continues to play Grand Masters lacrosse and basketball, has completed several marathons, and is an avid surfer. In 2016, he completed Sea Paddle NYC, a stand-up paddle circumnavigation of Manhattan for the cause of autism research. He is passionate about music, especially rock, jazz and blues harmonica. He has been married to Laura Denton Gauld for 38 years. Laura serves as Head of School at Hyde-Bath. They have three children: Mahalia, Scout, and Harrison.

About Hyde Schools

The original Hyde School was founded in 1966 in Bath, Maine by math teacher Joseph Gauld, who had what he calls a “crisis of conscience” and became dedicated to providing education that included character development alongside academic achievement.

In the early 60s, one of his brightest students, who had little curiosity and relied primarily on his innate abilities, received the highest grade in the class. Another student, the classic “plugger,” who struggled with the course materials but who embodied curiosity and a strong work ethic, received a low grade in the class. Distraught that neither student was served by the traditional grading system, Gauld started Hyde School, which operated under a different set of priorities than other schools.

The school began with a focus on Five Words: Courage, Integrity, Leadership, Curiosity, and Concern, and the cardinal principle that every individual has a unique potential that defines a destiny.

Soon after the school was established, it wa discovered that parents and family play the most vital role in the overall education process. Since character is developed primarily by example, Hyde established a revolutionary Family Program involving parents, teachers and students working together. Today, Hyde Schools are known as leaders in family-based character education.

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