A Message from Headmaster Jim Neill

Welcome to Landon School, a school that since its founding in 1929 has stood apart from other schools in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

Landon School's Headmaster, Jim Neill, laughs as he walks along with two smartly dressed students

When I think of the traits that are central to the Landon experience, two terms come to mind: excellence and character. Landon is a place where we encourage the boys to strive, to reach, to endeavor towards becoming their best selves. It is a place with a highly challenging and dynamic academic program that prepares the boys for the finest colleges and universities in the country. And it is a place with a robust co-curricular program that helps the boys to live fully into their potential and become accomplished in myriad ways, from the arts to athletics to service to leadership. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see a Landon boy running across campus from an English class to a football practice toting a cello on his back. This is how Landon boys live. For here we seek not just excellence, but balanced excellence.

Landon Ice Hockey team celebrate a goal

Our approach is one that is unique in today’s independent school world as our educators recognize that our boys are not just one-dimensional academic beings, but instead multidimensional young men whose intellectual, emotional, ethical, physical, and social identities all merit time and attention. We call our approach the teacher-coach-mentor model, as our teachers seek to educate the boys for life ahead both inside and outside the classroom. Our teachers work with the students to help them develop as whole persons. This teacher-coach-mentor model is one of the central ways in which we live out our mission of developing boys who will lead productive lives as accomplished, responsible and caring men. Indeed, educators at Landon are uniquely committed to the boys, the place, and the mission; they are, to coin a phrase, all in.

At Landon, we also care about one another and about our school. There is an authentic and longstanding sense of community here that is at once hard to define but absolutely real. And a defining attribute of Landon is the brotherhood that exists among the students, a brotherhood that develops over years spent on campus together and then continues into the decades ahead as our graduates live into their lives as Landon alumni — where they remain, to quote Shakespeare, “a band of brothers.” It is a genuine and lasting kinship that is borne of the shared life-shaping experience that is the Landon education.

A smartly dressed group of Landon Alumnus stand together at an event

Above all, Landon is a place where character matters. It always has and it always will. We are a place where the importance of traits such as honor and character and civility are at the core of what we do. Here, we emphasize core values of perseverance, teamwork, honor, and fair play — all principles that are central to our invitation to the students to do and be different from the rest. This is highlighted in our Latin motto, “Virtute et non vi” — a phrase that highlights the importance of leading virtuous lives. It is a phrase that calls on members of the Landon community to speak and behave in ways that are ethical and upstanding. It is a phrase that calls on us to act with respect, honesty, and integrity; to do the right thing at all times. This is a high bar, and the truth is that no one gets it right all the time. But here it matters profoundly that one’s aspirations are directed towards striving for this high bar at all times. Indeed, at Landon we challenge the boys to strive, to lead, and to achieve all in ways that will make others take notice and, in the end, say: “Yes, here was a good man. Yes, here was a Landon man.”

Our goals at Landon are high, for we are seeking to prepare the boys for more than the next class, test, game, or performance; we are, instead, preparing them to lead lives well lived. It is hard work. It is good work. And we would not want it any other way.

Landon boy work together to make music

Please click here for information about the admissions process and click on the following links to learn about our teacher-coach-mentor model of instruction, to take a tour of our beautiful 75-acre campus, and to read about our dynamic academics, arts and athletics programs.

We are committed to high-minded goals and to our mission here at Landon, and we look forward to showing you how we live these principles each and every day.

Jim Neill


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