- Dr. Burton with Jesse Ward Page III.
A New Concept in Education
In 1941, Country Day's founding headmaster, Dr. Thomas Burton, brought
a new concept in education to Charlotte. Considered an original
and progressive educator by his peers, Dr. Burton believed passionately
in the value of independent day schools, and quickly rallied some
of Charlotte's most prominent leaders around his vision. In addition
to running the newly organized school and promoting increased enrollment,
Dr. Burton also taught math and English.
The first Christmas Breakfast, now called the Holiday
Breakfast, is held. The school hosts the event, and
a full meal is served to the entire CCDS community.
During the first year, Dr. Burton and his Board of Trustees faced
several challenges, including lower-than-anticipated enrollment
and logistical problems in finding suitable facilities for the fledgling
school. Country Day survived the setbacks that often derail a start-up
school due in large part to Dr. Burton's hard work and determination.
Dr. Burton set into motion a tradition of academic excellence before
he left the school in 1945 to pursue other educational interests.
His vision of developing a school that emphasizes individualized
learning, diverse experiences, and a close parent-school relationship
was realized, and his early influence is still felt today—more than
60 years later.