As soon as Mr. Hall agreed to serve as our next Head of Upper School, he and I started a search for a new 7th and 8th grade U.S. history teacher. We were both pleased with the number of high quality resumes we received for this opening. After initial screening interviews, we invited four candidates to come to campus and teach a demo class. Our students were quick to respond to our invitation to participate in the demo classes, and eagerly and thoughtfully shared their insights with us about each candidate.
Mr. Hall and I continued with reference checks and decided that while all four candidates were excellent possible choices, one, Mr. Michael Klaus, was the best qualified to teach 7th and 8th grade history at Buckley in the upcoming years.
Mr. Klaus graduated from Landon School, an independent school in the Washington D.C. area, and went on to Colby College where he majored in Government. For the next four years, he taught history at Kimball Union Academy, a New Hampshire boarding school. For the next seven years, Mr. Klaus taught history at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, a PreK-12 grade day and boarding school in Virginia. Last year, he completed his Master’s Degree in Private School Leadership at the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University. As a boarding school and camp person (he has over 15 years of sleep-away camp administrative experience), Mr. Klaus also brings invaluable experience in student advising and coaching.
In addition to his superb credentials and glowing references, Mr. Hall and I felt that the topic Mr. Klaus chose for his demo class and his own teaching style engaged students in critical thinking and sophisticated decision-making supported by facts (or in this case, constitutional law). During his class, he asked students to render legal decisions on two landmark Supreme Court cases involving student freedom of speech and the First Amendment: Tinker v. Des Moines and Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier.
One of Mr. Klaus' favorite quotes resonates particularly with our own mission: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." (Marcel Proust).
Needless to say, we are delighted to welcome Michael Klaus to the Buckley community. Mr. Hall will oversee his transition and mentor him through all aspects of our school community and curriculum.