We wish to make one thing clear: The Tavern is a completely student-run publication. We are a thoughtpaper made by students, for students interested learning outside the boundaries of their own institutions. Yes, we are students: everyday we walk into our classrooms, sit around Harkness tables, and engage in exhilarating discussions with not only our peers, but also our teachers. Although students contribute to the heart of the discussions, teachers are still a crucial presence in any classroom. Whether they are sharing their wisdom or serving as mediators in heated debates, teachers foster our knowledge, passion, and humanity—there is always something we can learn from them.
Panel members conduct “Ten Minute T(ea)” interviews with teachers they deem to be especially beloved and respected by their respective institutions. The interview takes place over a cup of tea in the span of ten minutes. The interview is recorded and later transcribed by the interviewer. We hope that, by reading through these interviews, our readers will be able to gain special insight on money’s impact in boarding school, insight that can only be brewed from experience and age.
Ten Minute T(ea) with Mr. Ben Bailey
Interview conducted by Charmaine Ko
December 26, 2017
Q: What is your role at Concord Academy (CA)?
A: I am part of CA’s development office and head of the fundraising program. I mainly meet with alumnus and parents around the world to fundraise to support the school.
Q: Do you think class and financial status is taboo at CA?
A: We don’t specially talk about it during assemblies or school gathering events, but I do think it comes up in conversation. For example, when students compare their breaks, it is evident that a student who travels to exotic places has more resources than a student that stays here for the holidays.
Q: Does the administration at CA talk about financial status and class in regards to the student body?
A: Financial support is part of our mission statement at CA. Around 25% of the students here receive some financial aid, and we have many offices that work with both faculty and teachers at CA to ensure the kids on financial aid feel supported. There is a section of the admissions team that specifically works with financial aid applicants and students. We (the development office) work with the financial aid office to provide aid. The Financial Aid Office also works with the Community and Equity Office to ensure kids here feel supported.
Q: Do you think the holidays are a stressful time for students at CA?
A: Yes. From a boarding position, transition from school to back home can sometimes be tough. Everyone’s situation back home is different. Sometimes it’s stressful. Hopefully, it does allow for some relaxation and fun with the family.
Q: Does CA offer extra support for students on financial aid during the holidays?
A: To help with transportation, CA provides transportation for a lot of boarders on financial aid. We have busses, free for students on financial aid, that take kids from CA to New York and New Jersey.
Q: What are the benefits of financial aid at CA?
A: We want to provide as many opportunities as we can here at CA. The goal of financial aid is to allow kids to have experiential equity. That’s why you use your bookstore account to pay for everything at CA. If you need a new racket, laptop, or want to go to the French trip you pay through your bookstore account because the bookstore accounts of most financial aid kids at CA are funded by the school, so by creating a rule that everything bought for CA is through the bookstore account, we ensure every student can get the supplies and experiences they want to.
Q: Are there any CA gifting traditions?
A: In the past, we have had a tradition of the Senior Parent Gift. Usually, the senior class donates cumulatively around 1 million dollars. December 31 also happen to be the end of the tax season, so now is a busy time for donations too.
Ben Bailey is the Director of Principal Giving at Concord Academy, a house parent, and an advisor. He has been at CA for 16 years and is a graduate of 1991.