Welcome to The Masters School

A Message from Laura Danforth, Head of School

We aim high at Masters – not simply in terms of achievement, though that matters greatly, of course. We aim for the limits of our reach, as individuals and as a community. In 1877, our founder, Eliza Masters, urged her hardworking students to “Do it with thy might,” and we continue to embrace this challenge. Students and faculty at Masters work, learn, play, and collaborate – with their might.

Our students achieve academic excellence not only because of our talented, creative, and caring faculty, but also because the Masters community emphasizes inclusion and belonging.

But what do those things have to do with learning?

The psychologist Abraham Maslow outlined the human “hierarchy of needs” nearly 70 years ago. First come our physiological needs, of course. We have to have enough food, water, shelter, and sleep. Next on the hierarchy are our safety needs: Nothing works well if you don’t feel safe – in your home or in your school.

But when those basic needs are met, we are free to focus on the human needs for love and belonging. At Masters, our job is not simply to educate students about the world, but to help them belong to the world. Alongside the sense of belonging that comes from a loving family, belonging to the world begins by being part of a community. When we help our students experience that sense of belonging to a good thing that is larger than themselves, we are doing the work that allows them to grow, to thrive, to contribute.

It is only through meeting the need for a sense of belonging that we can work on the next set of needs: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, and mutual respect. When those are met, Masters students cannot help but move toward the ultimate human need: “self-actualization” – a state we reach toward but never fully complete. Working toward this ultimate goal gives rise to true morality, creativity, problem solving, and an ever more meaningful existence. It gives rise to our School’s Mission Statement, wonderfully connected to our history: At Masters, “we gather to learn, to strive, to do, to dare – to be a power for good in the world.”

When you step onto the Masters campus, you will see evidence of wonder, achievement, belonging, mutual respect, and the power for good everywhere you look: in the classroom, on the fields, in the hallways, in gatherings large and small.

If you are searching for a community where character, compassionate and courageous action, and belonging have equal billing with unshakable intellectual standards, you have found us. At Masters we are, each and all, learning and growing together, with our might. It is a joyfully shared undertaking. Join us, and belong to something wonderful. You will be nourished for a lifetime by memories of a school that believes in you.

Laura Danforth
Head of School

49 Clinton Avenue
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(914) 479-6400

There's more to a masters mind

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