A Week with Mr. Hurd

St. Bernard’s began the spring term with a whirlwind of activity and reconnection.  Our incoming head of school, Joy Hurd, spent the week on 98th Street meeting with students, faculty, staff, parents, and Old Boys.

Mr. Hurd’s days were packed with faculty and staff meetings, but whenever a free moment emerged, Mr. Hurd visited classrooms to chat with the boys.  Mr. Hurd taught seventh grade at St. Bernard’s ten years ago and was happy to see that so much remains unchanged, even the small things like the out-of-print Latin textbooks to the familiar smell of the cleaning products permeating the halls in the morning.  Highlights included lunch with the sixth grade, a kindergarten Mandarin class (taught by Old Boy Jamie Keyte ’02), and a long visit with the eighth grade on Friday.

Three nights of parties gave parents and Old Boys an opportunity to talk to Mr. Hurd and catch up with one another (maskless!) after a dreary pandemic winter.  Parents met in the 7th floor gym and for many of our Junior School parents, it was only their second or third time in the building.  Mr. Hurd shared a funny story from his visit to the kindergarten.  Upon introducing himself, a precocious boy piped up, “So, does this mean that when you start, Mr. Moraitis will no longer be the headmaster?  Well then, I’m going to need a new school.”  “Give me a chance,” encouraged Mr. Hurd.  “Fine, I’ll give you two or three,” answered the boy, feeling a bit more generous.   

Thursday night was the Old Boys Dinner and it was great fun for Mr. Hurd to see so many of his former students.  In his remarks before dinner, Mr. Hurd spoke of his love for St. Bernard’s and how, despite working at many wonderful schools, St. Bernard's is the only school he wishes he could have attended himself.  He talked about how St. Bernard’s strikes the unique balance of being incredibly rigorous without taking itself too seriously. Just as the school pushes each boy to be the best version of himself, no matter what that might be, he hopes that St. Bernard’s will continue to strive to be the best version of itself.   

We are so grateful to Mr. Hurd for spending his spring break with us, and we are looking forward to welcoming him and his young family to New York this summer.  Mr. Hurd’s tenure officially begins July 1.