New Director Brings Change to Hackley Summer Programs


Credit: Robert Hallock

New Director of Summer Programs Peter Sawkins sits in his office.

By Pat Walker and Hunter Freedman

Are your summer plans not looking great so far? Do you have any interest in learning how music drives social change? How about freshwater fishing? Or maybe you’re looking to earn some quick cash this summer? If so, the summer programs at Hackley, directed by Peter Sawkins, could provide you with several different amazing courses to choose from or a well-paying summer job.

Beginning on June 13th, 2016, Hackley’s summer programs will offer several courses ranging from academics to athletics for rising K-12 students all across the Tri-State area. The programs are taught by Hackley’s faculty and promise to inspire kids through challenging, yet fun work and practice.

Mr. Sawkins, who is in his first year at Hackley, is excited to fulfill his new role as Director of Summer Programs. He has had a lot of experience in school atmospheres, especially ones similar to Hackley. “I came to Hackley from St. Paul Academy (SPA) in St. Paul, Minnesota, which was my high school alma mater. SPA is an independent college prep high school of similar size to Hackley. Prior to coming to SPA, I worked in a number of entrepreneurial business and marketing enterprises in the New York area,” he said.

In the past, Hackley’s summer courses and activities have proven to be a huge success in the community and throughout Westchester. This year, with a new director, the program is looking to surpass the accomplishments of past years.

Mr. Sawkins wants to improve Hackley’s summer activities by offering new courses different from a typical school curriculum that will guide students’ interests while providing college and professional insight. Courses will range from comedy improv to camping and everything in between.

As well as this advancement, Mr. Sawkins has some other ideas up his sleeve. “I also plan to add some new services like lunch for half and full-day participants, as well as morning and afternoon extended care for younger participants,” he said.

Students can not only take the courses that Hackley offers during the summer, but also can be involved in the planning, marketing, and running of Hackley’s summer programs. “There will be a range of jobs available from helping with some of the camp offerings, to supervision of kids as they move around campus, to extended day care, to social media and grassroots marketing,” said Mr. Sawkins.

“I learned a lot about having patience with some of the little kids and at some points I felt like a mom, but overall the kids were definitely fun to work with,” said sophomore Francesca Docters, who worked at in the arts and crafts, sports, and climbing programs this past summer.

In addition to inspiring children, Hackley’s summer programs help out both the Hackley and Tri-State area communities in more ways than one. “Programs can help families with valuable daycare and learning opportunities for younger kids who don’t have summer home care available,” Sawkins said.  

“The summer also provides faculty with a unique opportunity to try new curricula, which is not always feasible during the normal school year, while also allowing them to earn some additional income,” said Mr. Sawkins.

Make sure to check out Hackley’s amazing selection of academic and athletic programs in January on Hackley’s website and email Mr. Sawkins for details on job opportunities with the program. You won’t be disappointed.