This January, I had the pleasure to spend three days at the Landon School, a boys school in D.C., with David Armstrong ‘70. This Cottage Club alumnus and fellow History concentrator welcomed me to his sprawling campus in Bethesda, offering me a packed schedule. I spent a day in each school division – lower (3-5th), middle (6-8th), and upper (9-12th). Each day meant the opportunity to sit in on a class or two, which Mr. Armstrong’s assistant Patti generously arranged to be of the historical persuasion. I got to observe what it means to “know boys” the way only a top-notch school like Landon can. Hoping to maximize the value of the experience, I kept a notebook with me – a sizeable portion of which is now filled with observations and “notes to self” about working at an educational institution.
Not only was I able to see the teachers in action, but I also got to sit down with them and hear about their career paths. Many took surprising turns, but all of them concluded with satisfaction at Landon. The boys I met shared this same positive attitude. Those I met were well dressed, well mannered, and respectful. At the request of a teacher, a fourth grade boy walked me to class. On the way, he gallantly asked, “How has your experience at Landon been so far?” The maturity and sincerity of the question completely caught me off guard, but I assured him that I was very pleased with everything and everyone.
I spent a part of each day with the music department. My father grew up in D.C., so I had heard of Landon before – generally as a strong competitor in athletics. I did not expect to find the real gem of the school to be its music program, but at the end of the first afternoon, it was unmistakable. Run by the veteran musician Earl Jackson and his crew of geniuses, the band, orchestra, choir, and hand bell classes were beyond impressive. I found myself envying even the lower school boys for their luck in studying music at Landon.
Mr. Armstrong took me to important meetings which fell during my visit, including a calendar meeting, a development meeting, and a big picture meeting for division heads. By the end of my three days, I felt I had an insider’s view into the individual parts of a quality independent school – as well as their sum. I learned so much about the private school environment. I can now actually picture applying for jobs in education and eventually taking one, an idea which before seemed hopelessly abstract. If this Princeternship comes up again, I wholeheartedly recommend it. I could not have had a warmer reception or a more useful set of experiences. Mr. Armstrong and his crew were fabulous hosts, and I could not be more pleased with my Intercession.