A Greeting from Sam Schaffer, 12th Head of Roxbury Latin

Dear Roxbury Latin community,

At this time a year ago, at the announcement of my appointment as the next Head of The Roxbury Latin School, I wrote of how honored and humbled and excited I was to be joining this community. In the twelve months since, those feelings have only grown.  As I have visited campus this year, talked with so many of you, and witnessed the school in action, I have been struck again and again by Roxbury Latin’s values and its strength. Whether eating lunch with Class II boys in the Refectory; or witnessing the magic that happens in Mr. Diop’s French class; or chatting with faculty members between blocks in the faculty room; or hearing Mr. Opdycke recount the exhilaration of singing in St. Peter’s Basilica on the spring break trip; or watching the livestream of Exelauno Day declamations; or joining the boys in heartily singing “give an Alpha, Beta, Gamma” in Hall; or meeting proud RL graduates at a Washington, DC, alumni event; or having coffee with Trustees eager to talk about our school; or meeting current parents as I toured schools with my daughter; or following our sports teams’ incredible successes on Instagram; or spending hours absorbing Mr. Brennan’s wisdom about Roxbury Latin, I have seen these values in action. I have seen boys flourishing. I have seen a dedication to excellence and to character and to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. I have seen the importance of a broad access to education. What a remarkable school and what a remarkable community to join. I am so grateful for the opportunity.

And what more fitting place to begin my tenure than where I currently am, at the annual conference of the International Boys’ School Coalition, a group dedicated to the education of boys that was founded some thirty years ago in large part by Tony Jarvis, and of which Kerry Brennan has served as Chair of the Board. It is a group that owes much of its strength and legacy to RL. And so as I begin my time in the Roxbury Latin community, I am not only surrounded by teachers and leaders from boys’ schools all over the world, but I am also spending time with Headmaster Brennan, who is here celebrating his remarkable tenure with friends and colleagues, and visiting workshops and panels with Dr. Dunn and Ms. Salas and Mr. Smith and Mr. Teixera and Sr. Solis, and contemplating how we can make the experiences of our RL boys even richer. It’s invigorating and fulfilling and fitting. So while I am not on campus this first week of my official time at Roxbury Latin, I am with the school in spirit and in purpose and, in part, with its people.

I will close this greeting—for it is indeed a greeting—by reiterating how grateful I am to join the Roxbury Latin community. I am so eager to be a part of the school, to take part in its traditions, to promote its standards, to communicate its uniqueness, to build on the great work of those who have come before me, and to continue to make Roxbury Latin a place where boys can learn and grow and thrive. I am deeply humbled to follow in the footsteps of Kerry Brennan, and I will do my best to serve the school and the boys with thought and care. And I am so excited to begin. I should say that we are so excited—my wife Dana, my daughter Ernie, and I—to begin, to begin this next chapter in our lives and to get to know you all in the days and months and years ahead. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful, restful, and restorative summer. I will see you very soon.