Elementary school is a time when children are building a foundation they will stand upon for the rest of their academic careers. Here at Buckley, that foundation comprises a love of learning, tenacity and grit, self-reflection, the ability to embrace other’s perspectives and a growing understanding of oneself as a learner. 

Our talented educators artfully create environments designed to teach children that qualities can be cultivated through effort, with daily opportunities for our boys to explore and discover their successes, ultimately finding joy in learning and satisfaction in the pursuit of excellence.

This is an education rooted in tradition and intention. My favorite moment of the day is looking every boy in the eye, greeting him by his name, shaking his hand and hearing him say, “good morning, Mrs. Hunter.” This simple and routine formality begins each new day with a moment of connection. It is a reminder of the power of intentional beginnings, the power of human connection, and it is the essence of our Lower School community. Walking down our halls, you will note happy, self-aware boys greeting those they pass; you will see them anticipating needs within the community by holding a door and taking the time to express genuine appreciation in response. 

When I was first considering joining the Buckley community, I spoke to a now-retired Head of School at a nearby high school, and he said to me, “Let me tell you why I used to love to admit Buckley boys. They stood out. They were the boys that said please and thank you, they were steady, they had a sense of themselves and consideration for others.” As a mother of two boys, now 13 and 16, I find that this school is the partner I would hope for in parenting. Every school will teach reading, writing, and math, but teaching grit, tenacity, public speaking, confidence, and the habits of mind to take ownership of your learning often falls on us as parents. Here at Buckley we partner with our families in this important effort.

If you stepped into our lunch room, you would see the entire Lower School gathering for a family-style lunch where teachers sit and eat with the boys, deepening relationships that often last a lifetime. As we eat together teachers encourage brave bites, good table manners, and wonderful conversations. We place an emphasis on developing skills that are essential for leaders within today’s global community such as the ability for children to work collaboratively to solve problems, think critically, communicate clearly, and confidently use powerful speech to motivate others. 

And at the heart of what we do are our exquisite teachers committed to reflecting on their practice and innovative learning. When I step into a classroom and see a room where children feel they have ownership of their learning—a room where children are actively engaged, intrinsically motivated, and 110% invested in their learning—I recognize my definition of a cornerstone of our mission, “finding joy in learning and satisfaction in the pursuit of excellence.”

Faith Hunter, Director of the Lower School

Faith Hunter

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  • Click to learn more about our LS Director

    Faith Hunter joined the Buckley community in 2022 as the new Director of the Lower School, following a competitive nationwide search for a successor to the legendary Sonja Robinson, who retired after four decades of service to the School. Faith joined Buckley from LREI, where she served as the Lower School Principal, overseeing Pre-K through fourth grade. Prior to LREI, she was an Assistant Principal for third grade through fifth grade at Ethical Culture Fieldston. On top of her distinguished leadership of lower divisions in the city—including during this challenging pandemic period—Faith also has extensive experience as a teacher at each lower school grade level, possesses a deep expertise in curriculum, and earns high praise from her colleagues past and present for her enthusiastic and steadfast leadership, as well as for her warmth and thoughtfulness.

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  • Ghouls, goblins, ghosts, gourds...

    It's been a busy couple of weeks at Buckley! The Halloween Clean-Up in Carl Schurz Park, led by the Sustainability Committee, drew over 40 families, many costumed, all full of spirit; faculty and staff demonstrated their knife-wielding prowess in a pumpkin-carving competition; Beginners marched in their Halloween parade and sang songs with their Class II buddies to the cheers of a lively, enthusiastic audience; and Lower School boys created masks with their Spanish teacher, Señorita Ortega, and enjoyed her pan de muerto in celebration of Día de los Muertos. 

    Special thanks to the community's support and participation in making these events so successful!