Profiles of Courage

People are the lifeblood of The Governor’s Academy experience, and we are known for our family-like atmosphere that cultivates lifelong relationships. Dedicated faculty members mentor students in all areas of school life: academic, arts, athletics, service, and residential community. Students thrive under their guidance as they take risks, try new things with no certainty they will succeed, and solve problems for which there are no easy solutions. All of these actions take courage.

Carl Youngman ‘60

Carl Youngman ‘60 was raised as an only child in Newburyport, Massachusetts. His father worked in a shoe factory, and his mother was a housewife.

“Newburyport in those days was more of a blue collar town than it is today,” Youngman remembers. “It was fairly obvious that if I had gone to Newburyport High School, I would be lucky if I could get to a very good liberal arts college. Not an ivy league school.”

Still, Youngman believed he could do anything as long as he worked hard enough. He credits this in part to the growth of mass communication.

“My grandfather had the seventh television that was ever bought in the city of Newburyport,” Youngman says. “By the time the fifties came, when you had lots of broadcasts, we were able to understand that a college education was the key to the future, if you could get there.”

Luckily there was a preparatory school in Youngman’s backyard. But coming up with the tuition to attend Governor’s Academy would not be possible without outside help.

“At fourteen I walked into the president of the local bank and asked if I could borrow some money,” Youngman remembers. “He was very polite and said OK, we know your family. If you come back in a week with your parents, we’ll review it and give you an answer.”

The money came through, and Youngman set out on a new and ambitious path.

“It turned out to be a great opportunity for me to learn about subjects I just wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn very much about,” he says. “My whole career, to me, got its foundation and values by the study habits that were ingrained at the academy.”

When reflecting on the With True Courage campaign, Youngman remembers his own visit to the local bank, and hopes the school can continue to thrive through investment in potential students.

“In terms of the private school world in general, you’re going to have fewer total students who can afford to go this route. It’s getting more and more expensive,” Youngman says. “Those who survive, are those who are going to be able to make the investments both physically, and in their students. And I’m certainly very supportive of the fact that The Governor’s Academy needs to be one.”

Bert McLain P’07, ‘09

When Bert McLain P’07, ’09 graduated boarding school, she never imagined she would spend her adulthood living on a campus.

“If you had told me when I was in high school that I was going to be a boarding school teacher I would have laughed in your face,” McLain says. “There’s no way I would have expected this for our future.”

In fact, McLain and her husband were both working towards graduate degrees with other career goals when changes of heart steered them to a life of pedagogy. It’s a sense of self-awareness  she hopes to impart to the students with whom she works at Governor’s, whether as a biology teacher, as a lacrosse coach, or in her role living as a dorm parent along with her husband, a history teacher at Governor’s.

“So many of the lessons that kids can learn are learned in the afternoon program, or in the dorm. You get to know kids when you are essentially living with them,” she says. It’s a familiarity that helps when advising on a student’s future.

“I really enjoy helping kids navigate the college process, helping kids choose based on all the right reasons, as opposed to just who has the best soccer program or the best lacrosse program,” she says.

Pursuing personal satisfaction is a lesson McLain continues to model by example. She most recently took her own advice when she made the decision to leave her administrative role as Director of Athletics and Afternoon Programs and return to teaching and coaching full time.

“I fell in love with this profession because of the relationships with kids, and I really wanted to be able to have that again, before I was too old to enjoy it,” McLain says.

With the variety of roles McLain has served in her nineteen year tenure at Governor’s, she has a unique perspective when it comes to the three aspects of the With True Courage campaign.

“I really understand the importance and the balance of all three, the endowment, building projects, and the annual fund,” she says. But for her, the focus remains on the students, and continuing the work she says leaves her smiling from ear to ear.

“This isn’t a job, it’s a life,” she says. “A very fulfilling life.”

 

 

Archie Seale ’93

For Archie Seale ‘93, The Governor’s Academy was the first place he gained courage in his abilities outside the sports arena. It is a confidence he still taps today in his role managing strategic partnerships at technology company, Ricoh USA.

“I never saw myself as an academic. I guess I still don’t,” he says, laughing. “But Govs was the first place that I tried to do something that wasn’t just sports focused. I went out for student council and got a position. It was the first time I said, oh yeah, I can do these types of things!”

Thanks to football coach Paul Sullivan, Seale also realized how far his athletic abilities could take him.

“He got on the phone and called coaches and let people know I was out there,” Seale says. “And ultimately I got a full scholarship to college in large part because of the leg work that he did.”

As someone who attended The Governor’s Academy with the help of financial aid, Seale holds the ongoing health of the endowment as key to the school’s overall success, and an integral part of the With True Courage campaign.

“It is critical in my eyes to make sure the school is a place that is able to allow kids who want to be there, to be there,” he says.

Now helping to plan his 25-year class reunion, Seale also gives back as a part of the Alumni Council and a Board of Trustees member.

“It’s given me a good view of all the things that go into making the school this magical place that it was for me. There is so much intent behind all that happens on a day to day basis,” he says. “In a lot of ways it has made it feel even more special because now I know how hard people worked to make it the way that it was, and is, today.”