Key's 50th Anniversary

For fifty years, The Key School has been Inspiring Ideas and Engaging Minds. Throughout the 2008-2009 school year, we explored and treasured this gift as we celebrated our 50th anniversary.

50th Anniversary News

  • Order Key's History Book Online

    Don't miss your chance to own Through Many Eyes, The Evolution of a School, Key's official history book. It's a great summer read!

    Click here to place your order and the book will be shipped directly to you.
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  • Looking Back on Key's 50th Anniversary Year

    A Message from Marcella Yedid
    Capturing the essence of Key School’s 50th year is difficult. Throughout last year, we, of course, offered our students the typically stimulating activities that have shaped life on campus since 1958. We engaged minds, and, in the process, inspired ideas. Whether in classrooms, athletic fields or performance spaces, we remained mindful of individual curiosity, talent and creativity, honoring and encouraging them. The quotidian of 2008-2009, though, did not overshadow the School’s milestone anniversary, with its due retrospection, celebration and aspiration.
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  • 50th Anniversary Seminar Series

    Gathering in seminar groups

    The seminar series, a centerpiece of Key’s 50th Anniversary celebration, explored the idea of “community” through various lenses and reinforced the centrality of this idea to the entire Key School experience. Planning for the seminar series started well in advance of the 2008-2009 academic year with co-chairs Dan Schoos and Harry Ivrey ’71 gathering Middle and Upper School faculty members Wendy Braithwaite, Karen Graff, Babette Leshinsky, Bob McCarthy, Brian Michaels, Lisa Paddock, Carol Reed, Lee Schreitz ‘70, and Pilar Wyman to plan and shepherd the seminars. This creative and diligent planning committee established the theme and developed the seminars, designed to expand our understanding of community—from a small setting, such as a town or school, to the community of our nation, to the community humans make with nature.

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  • Founder Tom Simpson Speaks to the Future of Key

    Tom Simpson, October 2008
    An excerpt from the History of Key School Panel
    I met with a representative group of the Upper School and had a wonderful conversation on the question of “then” and “now,” and I came out of it totally convinced that their vision of the School was very close to the vision we had at the outset, and that the right formulation of that is: “then is now.” That is, the spirit of the School at the outset is the very spirit of the School that I was seeing—not just attested to in words, but with students jumping up around the table to say, “Yes, that’s it! This is just where we are. It’s a school we love, we love learning, we want to be here, to do this.” And, I thought, well, with a platform like this, it’s serious business to think what the next fifty years might entail.
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  • The Passing of Two Key Legends

    William A. Darkey
    Key Bids Farewell to Founder William Darkey

    William A. Darkey, one of the founders of The Key School, died at the age of eighty-eight on June 22, 2009. While serving as a tutor at St. John’s College, he and his wife, Constance, along with Thomas and Marcia Simpson and Clarence and Rozanne Kramer conceived the idea of starting a school during a dinner party in the fall of 1957. One year later, their idea of a school that would encourage a child’s innate curiosity was a reality—The Key School was born.

    Peter Kellogg-Smith, First Headmaster of the Key School,

    Ogden W. "Peter" Kellogg-Smith, the venerable first headmaster and teacher of The Key School, died May 28, 2008, in Chestertown, Maryland, at the age of 88. Mr. Kellogg-Smith, hired by the founders of Key School in the spring of 1958 to direct the School as it opened its doors, guided the School through its critical formative years. Mr. Kellogg-Smith described the first day of Key School, "It was a great emotional event for all of us. When my first graders and I faced each other around a table, they were not a bit sure that they were going to like what was about to happen. I didn't know what it was going to be like either, but I did know that the children were wonderful and that everything would turn out well, which it did."

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Visit the Media Gallery to watch more videos from Key School's 50th Anniversary.