Distinguished Speakers

Several times each academic year, Boys' Latin hosts speakers to enlighten and inform our school community on a range of subjects, including global warming, trends in higher education and a variety of other topics and issues. These distinguished guests bring new perspectives and powerful insights to help stimulate discussion and action within our community of learners.

At almost 88 years of age, Mr. Rubin Sztajer has a lot to share. He speaks yearly to thousands of school children educating them about the Holocaust and speaking about his own personal experiences as a survivor; on Tuesday, February 11th Mr. Sztajer spoke with Boys’ Latin upper school students and faculty. BL junior Matt Sachs introduced the event noting that this period in time demonstrated “man’s inhumanity to other men. ” Mr. Sztajer began with the comment, “The best way for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.” These thoughts took on deeper meaning for the audience when Sztajer dimensionalized the Holocaust where six million people were slaughtered, which is more than the population of Maryland.

As a young person who grew up in Poland before, during and after World War II, Mr. Sztajer lived in restricted ghettoes during the early 1940’s as an early teen, and then he was separated from his parents at age 14 and imprisoned in a succession of concentration camps.  Directly after the war, Mr. Sztajer was reunited with his sister by fortuitous coincidence.  He eventually made his way to the United States.  In Maryland, he worked his way up in sales with the same company for 43 years.  He retired at age 70 and is now going to Towson University, playing golf, exercising and enjoying his family.  He has been married for 59 years and has three grown, professional children and seven grandchildren. 

Mr. Sztajer concluded his presentation by encouraging BL students to take full advantage of the opportunities they have.  Upper School English Teacher Marcia Flaherty summed up the sentiments of the audience well with gratitude for “an emotional and inspirational glimpse into a personal account of the Holocaust and surviving it.  Well done.  I was deeply moved.”  We would like to thank Mr. Sztajer, Eric Whitehair (BL History Teacher), the BL Jewish Awareness Club and the Center for Jewish Education of Baltimore for collaborating to provide this outstanding opportunity. 

For more information on Mr. Sztajer’s life, click here for a brief summary.  Additional photos are available on SmugMug with a parent login.

Michael Thompson, Ph.D. has been a regular speaker and advisor at Boys’ Latin School for the past two years as resident fellow with BL’s Bauer Institute for Leadership and Personal Growth. In this visit, Dr. Thompson’s focus drew from his book. "The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Achieve Success in School and in Life," which tackles America's performance-driven obsession with the accomplishments of its kids. Over two days, Dr. Thompson consulted with faculty in each division, led a parent discussion that was open to the public, advised our College Counseling Office and met with BL seniors. Dr. Thompson provided the compassionate advice of a grandfather and father and the proven knowledge of an experienced psychologist. His perspective guided adults on how to listen for truth in our children's experience and allow school to be a developmental unfolding rather than a race. His asked seniors if they feel connection, recognition and mastery in school--that's success.

Dr. Thompson is a distinguished author, psychologist and expert on male development. He has worked in more than 500 schools in the US, Central America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. In addition, he has authored nine books. "The Pressured Child" builds from the series of previous topics which drew from his other books: "Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, "Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Raising Sons", "Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Worlds of Children" and "It's a Boy!: Understanding Your Son's Development from Birth to Eighteen. For more on his previous visits, click here to see more including TV news coverage from his April and September visits: http://www.boyslatinmd.com/page.aspx?pid=767.

Mr. Richard Guerry has presented at the National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention, the International Bullying Prevention Association and the National Symposium on Child Abuse.  He has also appeared as an expert on CNN and MTV's Thin Line Campaign, as well as in Parade Magazine and local, regional, and international publications.  After years in corporations, Guerry founded and is the Executive Director of the non-profit Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication (IROC2) which seeks to educate the public about the importance of 21st century digital safety and citizenship. 

Guerry spoke on topics from his book, Public and Permanent, which is a trusted resource for schools across the country to learn and reinforce a powerful and effective method for reducing digital safety risks, cyber-bullying, and more.  Mr. Guerry’s presentation at BL was enlightening for all ages; his fast-paced, humorous, and down-to-earth style was engaging for middle students, teachers and parents. 

Mr. Guerry met with BL middle school students and shared a simple principle which he calls The Golden Rule of the 21st Century – what you say on any digital tool (email, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and new programs that crop up daily) is public and permanent.  Are you willing for everything that you say, show and store on digital platforms to be said in public and be read by your great-grandchildren?  It can.  **BL would like to extend our many thanks to the Parent's Association for sponsoring this speaker.**



In 2012, nationally renowned speaker and comedian, Dr. Matt Bellace, delivered a positive message of empowerment to students and parents at Boys’ Latin.  Dr. Bellace, combines his Ph.D. in neuropsychology with comedy in his book, A Better High, and through his “How to Get High Naturally” program.  Both inspire over a hundred thousand students a year to make healthy choices. 

BL would like to thank Lori Weglein and the Parents’ Association for bringing Dr. Bellace to BL.

The Parents' Association hosted Mr. Ron Shapiro, an expert negotiator, attorney, sports agent, educator, and author.  Mr. Shapiro captivated the audience with a presentation and discussion of his newly published book, Dare to Prepare.  Students in grades 8-12 received copies this book compliments of the Parents' Association to read prior to the presentation.  Mr. Shapiro emphasized that "methodical preparation is that old-school, step by step way of getting all your ducks in a row. It's the secret to getting- and staying - in the winner's circle."  Mr. Shapiro also introduced the audience to his "Preparation Principles Checklist" which includes the Situation Summary, Objectives, Precedents, Alternatives and Strategy/Next Steps to name a few.

Sponsored bythe Middlebury College Alumni Association, Boys' Latin hosted Bill McKibbon in 2009.  Bill Kibbon spoke powerfully about his international climate change work and his organization 350.org.  An American environmentalist and writer, Bill McKibben is the founder of 350.org, an international climate campaign. This October 10, 350.org is organizing the second annual 350 International Day of Climate Action, with thousands of events planned at iconic places around the world. Bill frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy, and the risks associated with human genetic engineering. Beginning in the summer of 2006, he led the organization of the largest demonstrations against global warming in American history. McKibben is active in the Methodist Church, and his writing sometimes has a spiritual bent. Bill grew up in suburban Lexington, Massachusetts. He was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college. Immediately after college he joined the New Yorker magazine as a staff writer, and wrote much of the "Talk of the Town" column from 1982 to early 1987. He quit the magazine when its longtime editor William Shawn was forced out of his job, and soon moved to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.




"As Boys’ Latin parents for the past 9 years, in addition to enjoying the marvelous physical facilities, we have had the pleasure of experiencing the intangible, if not priceless qualities of a nurturing environment, heartfelt friendship, respect, and academic excellence that our son has received since he began kindergarten.  We believe Boys’ Latin School is an environment in which boys can mature into productive, well-rounded young men."
Barb Miller, Mother of Seth Miller, Class of 2015

Independent Day School for Boys Grades K-12

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