Winchester Star Article: Beloved headmaster nears retirement at Powhatan

Winchester Star Article: Beloved headmaster nears retirement at Powhatan

June 11, 2011

By Rebecca Layne
The Winchester Star

Headmaster John Lathrop is enveloped in tiny hugs within seconds of opening the classroom door at Powhatan School.

It’s Tuesday, and he’s making an impromptu visit to a class full of second-graders who light up when they see him.

“Hi Mr. Lathrop!” they cry.

Some of the students give him a going-away present – a large drawing of themselves under a rainbow – while others hint of something bigger to come.

“I’m getting some suspicion,” he says, playing along.

To the pint-sized children, the headmaster is kind and attentive, not a 65-year-old suit full of admonishments and reprisals.

“He’s a great person,” says second-grade teacher Jackie Brondstater. “I’m going to miss him. He has high expectations for students, which I admire. He sets a fine example for all of us.”

After 19 years of high standards, Lathrop will retire June 30 as the longest-serving headmaster at Powhatan.

“I love this school,” he says. “It’s certainly the pinnacle of my career to be the headmaster here. I want the best for this school. I want everyone in Winchester to send their kids here.”

A native of New Jersey, Lathrop sits behind his desk at Powhatan – a private coeducational institution with about 250 students in classes ranging from kindergarten to the eighth grade.

Nearby, his yellow Labrador retriever Gussie pants, wiggles and demands attention.

“The kids love him,” he says. “He provides a bit of comfort.”

Two diplomas hang on the wall behind him: an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an advanced degree from Harvard University….  read the entire article here.

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