One of my first teachers recently died — yet another; I wrote here about Emmett Jarrett a while back — and this one was my teacher early and late, for better and worse, as my problematic relationship with him grew more problematic. Stanley Bosworth was the founding head of Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York. I was his student in the late 1960’s and early ’70’s, and he was my boss from the late ’70’s to the late ’80’s, when I left the school and left teaching.
But I kept on knowing him, and all of my connections to Stanley were always, in complex and sometimes weird ways, at least as familial as intellectual, and the familial is always fraught with contradictions, sometimes very rough ones. By way of giving these remarks context I’ll say I was at times, I think, a kind of friend to him (to the extent that he had friends), and I’ll acknowledge that I also had occasion to be his enemy.
But what I want to say about him here is not in that sense personal.
Try this: Love him or hate him (many did both; few were on the fence), Stanley Bosworth was the only persistently radical head-of-school educator of the post-War era. Continue reading