Who We Are
Nestled upon a hill among 550 acres of lush Connecticut countryside, South Kent School stands as a beacon, a place for boys to embark on their Hero’s Journey.
Three fundamental principles were established here on "The Hillside" by our first headmaster, Samuel S. Bartlett, in 1923, and remain foundational to the powerful, transformative South Kent experience today: Simplicity of Life, Self-Reliance, and Directness of Purpose.
"Experience here at South Kent has shown me that a boy will generally produce that which is expected of him. Expect him to be honest, fine and decent and nine times out of ten, HE WILL. "
- Samuel S. Bartlett, Founding Headmaster
The Hero’s Journey
South Kent students not only gain the tools to prepare them for the college that fits them, but also learn to embrace their path to maturity through the lens of the Hero’s Journey.
Inspired by the writings of Joseph Campbell as well as concepts strongly held by former South Kent Headmaster George Bartlett, each South Kent boy is guided along his unique path, from finding a sense of place in the community, to a coming-of-age quest, to responsibility and commitment, to service and moving on. We do not believe that “one size fits all” and our qualified, caring faculty make it their mission to nurture each boy to his unique potential through hands-on, challenge-based educational experiences.
“When I speak with South Kent graduates, they all share similar stories of transformation – of leaving one's community of origin, arriving in a new place, adapting, determining who they are and what their skill set is, learning to thrive, then determining their next step and how they can give back. It’s a process of personal transformation that is essential to true happiness. We help guide our boys through this process while instilling in them the values of academic, athletic, and character excellence.”
Andrew J. Vadnais
Head of School
South Kent School is an independent, college prep school for boys in grades 9-12 and postgraduates, affiliated with the Episcopal Church.
The three defining principles of South Kent have been woven into the fabric of everyday life here.
Simplicity of Life: We offer, by living simply, an uncluttered environment for lively and rigorous learning.
Self-Reliance: We encourage our students to become self-reliant in order to develop competence and self-esteem.
Directness of Purpose: We value directness of purpose: we want each student to welcome the challenge to focus his energies, to set goals, and to work to meet them.
South Kent School fosters these principles in a community, small in numbers, that provides a safe and supportive family structure. We embrace diversity and cherish honesty, courtesy, and compassion. In this energizing atmosphere, we provide leadership opportunities that develop a student’s sense of responsibility and service. We nurture in our students, regardless of belief or religious affiliation, a thoughtful engagement with spirituality.
At South Kent, we’ve been educating boys since 1923. We develop young men who can evolve and adapt, be globally competitive and prepared to meet the challenges of our changing world as problem-solvers and innovators.
This all starts on campus with a series of factors that contribute to a healthy learning environment and community for boys:
- A tribe – a “band of brothers”
- Structure and discipline
- Academic rigor
- Meaningful work and spiritual life
- Physical fitness and appropriate competition
South Kent boys are guided through their Hero’s Journey by caring faculty who are also versed in the latest research on boys’ education through our rigorous professional development programming. Graduates leave South Kent prepared for success at each point in their lives.
South Kent School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and holds memberships in the Cum Laude Society, the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Episcopal Schools, the Secondary School Admission Test Board, the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, The Association of Boarding Schools, the International Coalition of Boys Schools and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.