Since 1980, Mr. Beaton has been an essential part of Middlesex. In his time here, he has made an impact on nearly every aspect of the community: aside from teaching English, Mr. Beaton has served as head of the discipline committee, head of Clay House, faculty advisor to the Anvil, coach of boys' cross-country as well as thirds basketball, as well as both the Academic Dean and the Dean of Faculty. In all of these roles, he has contributed to making Middlesex the place that it is, and his retirement at the end of this year marks a bittersweet transition.
In the English classroom, Mr. Beaton has dedicated thirty-five years to teaching, and his students speak highly of his commitment. Bea Crow `16, currently one of Mr. Beaton’s English students, calls him “an amazing teacher” and appreciates his ability to turn class discussions “into something profound and important.” Similarly, Devin Ablow `16 says she has “never had a teacher so dedicated to his work” and feels that having Mr. Beaton as a teacher her sophomore year was “an honor.” Sarah Ong `16 also calls him an “experienced” and “understanding” teacher. Ask any English student, in fact, and you will likely hear something along those lines. As a veteran in the English department, Mr. Beaton holds the Independence Foundation Chair in English. Though Mr. Beaton has found teaching “gratifying,” Mrs. Beaton reveals that he does look forward to “not having classes on Saturdays.”
Middlesex athletics have also been changed by Mr. Beaton’s presence. As the boys' varsity cross-country coach, he has led the team in their numerous victories, including several undefeated seasons, but maintains that the experience has been “uniformly pleasing regardless of wins or losses.” His influence on the sport, which he describes as one of “good friendships and high camaraderie,” can be seen through the team’s impressive record, but is even more profound in the way his athletes applaud his coaching. Viraj Deokar `16 explains, “Mr. Beaton was the soul and spirit of our cross country team with his unparalleled devotion to the sport.” He ends his coaching career with a perfect season and the New England Division III championship title, but more importantly, Mr. Beaton says he has “enjoyed connections with runners and the sheer pleasure of cross-country running.” Deokar `16 is thankful for Mr. Beaton’s influence on the team, saying, “Mr. Beaton taught us not only to run from the heart but also to run for each other, and he has left a truly inspirational legacy for us to follow.”
Most telling of Mr. Beaton’s reputation are his relationships with other faculty and students. Mr. Beaton says he has found that being a part of the Middlesex community gives him “a sense of being able to help.” Sarah Ong `16 explains that Mr. Beaton “knows how to engage students.” Apart from valuing Mr. Beaton as a teacher, Crow `16 says that he is one of her “favorite presences on campus.” Mrs. Beaton is grateful to him for bringing her to Middlesex to begin with and confesses that she “will miss his presence in the school” next year. This presence is exactly what makes Mr. Beaton so valuable to the school, and it is why he will be so missed next year.
Evidently, Mr. Beaton will leave big shoes to fill. His formal contributions are numerous, but people appreciate Mr. Beaton’s character above all, and he leaves behind a community both grateful for his dedication and excited for his future endeavors. He plans to travel in the states and abroad, read, and spend time doing “some exploring.” He too admits that he is especially “looking forward to weekends.”
- Eleanor McCole '16