My dear Sam:
96 Years of SKS
September 26th, 2019
In honor of South Kent School’s founding on this day 96 years ago, Father Schell, the Headmaster of Kent School, joined us in St. Michael’s Chapel. Father Schell discussed the role of Reverend Frederick Herbert Sill, founder and former headmaster of Kent School, and two Kent alumni, Samuel Slater Bartlett and Richard M. Cuyler, in the founding of South Kent School. Of note to Father Schell was the importance in his own early years as a headmaster, of Reverend Sill’s “Letters to Sam”, a collection of words of advice from Sill to Bartlett as “Sam” navigated his early time as founder and headmaster of South Kent School.
My dear Sam:
In a few weeks now you will be greeting your charter scholars, holding your first assembly and be Headmaster of a new school. I both envy you and feel sorry for you. The life of a Headmaster is never a tame one. If he is on his job, he must be in the thick of things from the start. I have read about Headmasters who are aloof from their boys, who seemed to be living in a different atmosphere. I do not see how they managed it. I could not be here and be remote and solitary. The greatest joy in my life comes from the mixing up and in every department of the School’s life and activities.
You are starting out under favorable conditions. You know much more about your job than I did when I began Kent seventeen years ago. As I listened to your interviews with Dan, making up your list of what you will need in the way of equipment, of canned goods to be in stock for the whole year, a carload of coal in the cellar et al, I could not but smile as I thought of how I staggered into my work.
-Reverend Frederick Herbert Sill (1923)
Many thanks to Reverend Schell for joining us as we honor South Kent School’s founders!