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Education Exchange

A special message from Catherine Wayland,
Editor and Co-Founder of International Family Magazine


Education Exchange and
The Doane Stuart School

Dear World Family and Alums,

I am writing to return a favor. When I was sixteen years old, the Doane Stuart School ( in Albany, New York saved my life. I hear it is now fighting to save itself. Please help. Let me tell you why it is so worth your time and efforts. Please sit a moment and give me your ears.

As a teenager, I was like most teenagers – lost. I was a boarding school student (I understand they have since closed the residential facility although they currently have an international exchange program with Belfast, Northern Ireland). It was my second boarding school after the first school told my parents that I did not “fit” in their strict, Catholic setting. The truth is that as most teenagers, I didn’t “fit” in many places.

Doane Stuart is an interfaith school that when I attended back in 1982 the handbook finished with a line that roughly stated, “these rules are meant as guidelines, we are only 10 years old as an institution and take each day as a new learning experience.” I liked that line of “flexibility” when I read it. In return, Doane Stuart liked my undefined self very much as well.

One day, I was late for school. The headmistress at the time was Lucy Nordman. She left her “principal” duties to come personally to my room. “Oh no, I thought….this is my second chance and now I am going to get kicked out of this school…” Sister Nordman knocked on my door, and asked to come in. Sister Nordman asked me some questions to which I had very vague responses. Handing me a small blue book, she said, “maybe you could use a journal to write in sometimes.”

I still have that blue journal. There have been twenty more journals since that first one. I have gone on to make a first career in corporate communications and a second career as a mother, an editor and a middle school teacher. Doane Stuart School is unique in every way that a child is unique. It looks to support the individual in each student and give him or her tools to not only survive but thrive in their very own magic!

I hear that Doane Stuart is trying to raise money to buy their leased building. Please help them. You will be saving a child. It is an extraordinary school. Please go to their website and read about it ( And Doane Stuart if I never said so, “thank you.” You gave me respect at a time when I didn’t think there was anyone who didn’t roll their eyes at me. I was able to translate this into self-respect.
Thank you, again.

Catherine Wayland,
Editor and Co-Founder of International Family Magazine

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