What a great story of the most unlikely leader! Frank Boyden became headmaster at Deerfield Academy in 1902, fresh out of Amherst at 22 yrs. old and the town of Deerfield thought he wouldn't last a day. Of the 14 boys enrolled as students at Deerfield Academy, a school on its last legs and which the board of directors was seriously closing, several the town were very afraid of, and Mr. Boyden was a slight man, standing at 5' 4" and they thought he didn't stand a chance. He might not have been large in stature, but he was in character and heart. His dedication to the school and his students elevated the school from oblivion to being internationally known for turning out exemplary young men. His devotion to all thing regarding his school was well known, and there was nothing he wouldn't do for it-- in the early years, when the sports teams were short of players, he played with them. In an effort to get boys from the community to go to school, many of them from farms that could little afford to have the boys gone-- he would pay for farm labor out of his pocket so the boy could get educated. A large proportion of the enrollment was on scholarship because he could not bear the thought of turning one away, and the scholarship recipients never were allowed to know that they were on scholarship because he did not want those students to feel there was any difference between them and the regular boys. The scholarship students did not have extra duties either, as is common in many educational institutions, for the same reason. In his 62 years as headmaster, he only had to expel 6 boys as he was famous for "extra chances" and determined that the offender would amount to something, and the boys for all those decades, in spite of his willingness to give extra chances, never saw him as a pushover. He commanded respect, and many of his students went on to greatness, and remembered with fondness their headmaster who took a deep interest in each of their educations. He wanted to be constantly aware of what was going on with the students and in the school that he didn't even have a separate office-- his desk was set in the middle of the entrance to the school so he could talk to boys in passing to their classes. It was a family affair as well-- his wife was the chemistry teacher and renowned in her own right for her brilliance in teaching the subject. The couple were so committed to the school, that every evening, their living room was packed, many times with over 50 present, with faculty for after dinner coffee and talk, or other times with the students themselves after a game. As well as running the school, he often taught some of the subjects and for 60 years coached the baseball, basketball and football teams himself, even at 87 when he was still headmaster. The man was amazing and an inspiration as too what vision, passion, and concern of one person can accomplish if the desire and persistence are there.