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Welcome

A South Kent School education is about far more than just what happens in the classroom between students and teachers, at SKS attention is given to all aspects of a student’s growth and development. In this space I will share my thoughts on South Kent School, the latest thinking in the field of education, and, because parents are vital to a boy’s growth, information and links to resources that can help you better understand and be more involved in your son’s education.


Lawrence A Smith '73

Head of School

Lawrence A. Smith, SKS class of 1973, became South Kent School’s ninth Head of School in February of 2019. As the son of two former faculty members, Lawrence grew up at and attended South Kent School, and has strong connections and great devotion to the School. Lawrence holds a BA from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in History from the University of New Hampshire.

Lawrence has a long and distinguished career in secondary education as a teacher, coach, mentor and academic administrator. He spent 22 years at Phillips Exeter Academy teaching history, coaching hockey and varsity crew, overseeing the largest boys dormitory and serving as History Department Chair and Associate Dean of Faculty. While at Exeter, Lawrence co-founded the Exeter Humanities Institute, which has become a nationally recognized conference for learner-centered teaching.

He was recruited to St. Paul’s School in 2011, where he again taught history and humanities, coached crew and served as Dean of Teaching and Learning. While at St. Paul’s he co-founded the Independent School Teaching Residency (ISTR) program in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, a groundbreaking approach to training teachers in independent schools. For seven years Lawrence co-directed the program with his wife, Relinde de Greef.

Lawrence now brings his many years of educational experience to South Kent School. Under his leadership SKS embraces a curriculum based on how boys learn best, and capitalizes on the many advantages of being a school that is small by design. As the School approaches its 100 year anniversary in 2023, Lawrence’s leadership ensures that the school adapts and develops so that South Kent School can continue its mission for the next 100 years.

 

  • July Newsletter

    July 9th, 2020


    For some reason I have been waking up recently with hymns in my head that we used to sing when I was a student here: “Onward Christian Soldiers”...

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  • June Newsletter

    June 11th, 2020


    I remain incredibly proud of all of our boys, particularly our graduates. If you did not have a chance to watch Prize Day remotely as it happened, you may...

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  • April Newsletter

    April 15th, 2020


    As we all adjust to distance learning and stay-at-home orders, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all, our extended SKS family, and with all those around the world impacted by COVID-19.

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  • March Newsletter

    March 9th, 2020


    I write this from a very quiet campus as most of the boys have just departed for spring break. Because of the Coronavirus, 21 students have not gone home and remain on campus, taking part in what organizers Phil Darrin and Gonzo Garcia are calling “Camp SKS.”

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  • February Newsletter

    February 1st, 2020


    As an educator, I am a firm believer in posing questions and quandaries to students, complex issues that have multiple options without telling them the “right” answer or trying to force a specific agenda. That is how we learn best.

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  • December Newsletter

    December 6th, 2019


    We did not have a Thanksgiving break for several of the years that I was a student at SKS. Instead, we would all get dressed in our three-piece suits, spend what seemed like hours in chapel, and then join together for a Thanksgiving feast in the dining hall where the kitchen crew outdid themselves. We had classes as usual on the following Friday and Saturday.

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  • November Newsletter

    November 8th, 2019


    The end of October was celebrated in the town of Kent, as it has been for the last nine years, with a “Thriller” dance routine on Main Street, performed by South Kent preppy zombies.

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  • October Newsletter

    October 1st, 2019


    The trees are beginning to turn; we have had our first frost; and fall is certainly on its way. The first month of classes is behind us and athletic teams are well into their seasons. We have had a great start to the year.

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  • September Newsletter

    September 11th, 2019


    It is wonderful to have the boys back on campus, and so good to see so many of you when you dropped them off. We have surpassed our enrollment goals, our new hires have enhanced our teaching faculty, and the campus has been patched, groomed, mowed, painted and refreshed and has never looked better. We are ready to go.

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  • July Newsletter

    July 1st, 2019


    Finishing the school year at SKS has brought a little slower pace to the Hillside in June, though a great deal is still happening. We had a wonderful Alumni Weekend and a fruitful trustees meeting, many campus facilities are getting upgraded, and some of our graduating student-athletes have been recognized. The slower pace of the day has also allowed me to read some of the documents and books that have been sitting on the shelves in my office all year, including “How It Came About” which includes excerpts from the journal/diary Sam Bartlett kept during the opening of the School in 1923, and “Letters to Sam,” guiding correspondences from Fr. Sill, Kent’s founding headmaster and the driving force behind South Kent’s founding. There are many diary entries that I found particularly pertinent to SKS today and my first year as Head of School.

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