From The Ridge - The McCallie Blog

Our Simple Yet Secret Recipe

Posted by Lee Burns on May 09, 2016

By Headmaster Lee Burns '87

Locked in a vault in Atlanta is the secret formula for Coca-Cola. Kentucky Fried Chicken likewise has its secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices to give their chicken its distinct flavor. From Apple’s code for its operating system to Google’s search algorithm, successful companies have carefully-guarded, proprietary information, processes and products that account for much of their success. In short, they each have a secret formula or recipe.

What’s McCallie’s secret recipe?

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Topics: boys, faculty, First Person, mission, priorities, relationships, Posts from the Ridge, rules, O Captain! My Captain!, teachers, values

A lifetime of education

Posted by Jim Tanner on April 15, 2016

Middle School Head Lynn Goss reflects on his career in education. This piece can be seen in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of McCallie Magazine.

Where has the time gone?

Isn’t this the question we continue to ask ourselves as we grow older?

As our children begin their journey to adulthood, we continue to be amazed how quickly the time passes. One day they are starting school; the next they are graduating.

Retirement? Isn’t that something that we often talk about, but we think that it will never arrive?

We won’t ever be that old, will we? Last year, I heard a quote that rang true for me at this point in my life/career. “The days are long, but the years are short.” This statement from author Gretchen Rubin sums up how I feel at this point in my life.

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Topics: Campus Life, character, duty, administration, First Person, leadership, learning, middle school, retirement, Posts from the Ridge, O Captain! My Captain!, teachers, teaching

The Stories That Shape Us: Christmas 2015 Reflections

Posted by Lee Burns on December 11, 2015


Headmaster Lee Burns '87

Transcript of Chapel talk given by Lee Burns '87, McCallie Headmaster, on December 10, 2015

On July 27th, I happily noticed on my calendar that I had a meeting with sophomore Benjamin Stipanov. I look forward to and enjoy meetings with students, especially ones that students take the initiative to arrange.

Benjamin brought in a large bag. I had no idea why he wanted to meet or what was in the bag, but I was curious.

“Remember what you said during your chapel talk last December?” he began. I did recall my chapel message, and I was delighted that he seemed to as well. I know from personal experience that teenage boys aren’t always apt to enjoy, appreciate and remember formal and sometimes preachy talks by adults, so I was surprised.

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Topics: atari, boys, Campus Life, christmas, First Person, inspiration, mindset, motivation, Posts from the Ridge, O Captain! My Captain!

Taking Aim at Some Biblical Values

Posted by Faculty Contributor on December 04, 2015

By Hank Hopping, Dean of Students at McCallie

From the Book of the Old Testament prophet Micah: What does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

The prophet Micah lived at about the same time in history as his much more famous prophet buddy Isaiah, but today Isaiah gets all the love and is much more frequently quoted. The Book of Micah, by contrast, is a little ol’ book in the OT, the 33rd of 39 Books, and only 7 chapters long. Micah is most well-known among Biblical scholars for a couple of prophesies, one connected to the fate of Judah and one to the birth of Jesus. But don’t underestimate the power of Micah’s words.

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Topics: Campus Life, bible, civil war, First Person, humility, justice, leadership, mercy, micah, old testament, O Captain! My Captain!, Upper School Life

Striving for Honor

Posted by Faculty Contributor on September 01, 2015

The following is a slightly-abridged version of a speech given by math teacher and Senate advisor Jim Carlone '88 to the Upper School student body on August 26, 2015. The Senate is the student body charged with upholding McCallie's Honor Code, adjudicating guilt and recommending punishment.

One of McCallie's students sign The Book of Honor, a tradition going back two decades. More than 1,000 student and faculty signatures have been collected in the book, as they express their intent and aspiration to abide by the Honor Code.


Good morning. Today, I am going to talk to you for a few minutes about the Honor Code and the Senate. When McCallie alumni are asked what they remember most about their time here, they inevitably choose one of three things: their relationships with their teachers, the bonds they form with their fellow students, and the Honor Code.

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Topics: boys, character, cheating, duty, First Person, honor, honor code, lying, mccallie, plagiarism, responsibility, Posts from the Ridge, stealing, O Captain! My Captain!, truth

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