When I got word of Arch Smith’s retirement announcement a few days back, I thought, “He’s been there forever. How can he leave?”
An incongruous set of questions, I know, but Arch has been at T-P…almost forever. Thirty-nine years so far and, next year, Arch and Gay will conclude forty years on one school campus. (I think I got the math right.)
Imagine that. Imagine living, working, and dedicating forty years of your life to single school?
To be exact, it was a Friday, the 27th of January when we first set foot on the Trinity-Pawling campus…I was offered a job which I quickly took because I got a $2500 raise. That was 50% of my previous salary! We had no plan to stay forever; I was just happy to have a job…
Mrs. Smith and I feel very fortunate to serve you for all these years. It has been the greatest challenge, reward, and honor of my life to serve all of you and take part in the growth of so many students and faculty. Thank you for that opportunity.
Interestingly this is second time, recently, I’ve gotten to talk about a boarding school lifer. Hyde School’s Paul Hurd being the other.
Back to Arch, I recommend his retirement announcement as required reading for all of us connected to boarding schools. He captures the dedication, the triumphs, the pitfalls, and, most of all, the relationships that provide boarding schools their strength.
Arch talks about the growth that he’s seen, and sees, around him. Equally interesting, I think, is the growth of one teacher- through one school’s faculty ranks, to headmaster.
It’s rare in so many ways.