Exploring Boys' Education Podcast

Episode 1

Developing Boys' Hearts: Wellness and Well-Being in Boys' Schools

Join IBSC Director of Membership Engagement Bruce Collins as he hosts conversations about the importance of boys’ wellness with Hal Hannaford, headmaster, Selwyn House School (Canada); Sonia Lupien, director and founder, Centre for Studies on Human Stress; and Ned Hallowell, renowned psychiatrist and New York Times best-selling author.

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Hal Hannaford

Hal Hannaford
Headmaster, Selwyn House School (Canada)

Sonia Lupin
Sonia Lupien
Director and Founder,
Centre for Studies on Human Stress
Ned Hallowell
Ned Hallowell
Renowed Psychiatrist
and New York Times Best Selling author
Bruce CollinsBruce Collins

Director of Membership Engagement

At the 2019 IBSC Annual Conference in Montréal, Hal Hannaford emphasized the vital importance of connecting with other boys’ educators. Now he shares his vision of why all boys’ schools need to create welcoming spaces that focus on wellness. One of the most important roles of boys’ schools is to foster meaningful connections in our communities.

The engaging Sonia Lupien builds on the conversation by explaining on the scientific impact of stress on children and teenagers. She highlights ways schools and teachers can ameliorate the impact of stress in boys’ lives. Lupien speaks about the power of meaningful relationships, recognition of individual talents, the signs of stress responses in students, stress response and gender, and losing mobilized energy.

Ned Hallowell, an expert in treating ADHD and dyslexia, describes what he means when he says, “I don’t treat disabilities, I help unwrap gifts.” The Harvard-trained psychiatrist offers his advice for teacher of boys as they engage with boys who face challenges. He details how to recognize and deal with students who might be struggling with so-called learning disabilities, including navigating prejudicial responses to these. Hallowell also speaks about the power of connectedness to create safe spaces for the boys we teach.

Guest Bios

Hal Hannaford

Hannaford holds degrees from Concordia University, University of Toronto, and INSEAD in France. As a young teacher, he also served as director of Kilcoo Camp, a summer camp for boys. Hannaford has taught elementary and high school in Canada and served on the faculty of international business at the American University in Paris. As a teacher, he survived with his unique brand of energy and creativity. In Toronto, Hannaford was the founding headmaster of Kingsway College School (Canada) in 1989. He joined Royal St. George’s College School (Canada) in 1996 as headmaster, and remained until 2009, when he moved to Montréal and became headmaster of Selwyn House School (Canada). Enthusiastically philanthropic, Hannaford has raised more than CA$30 million for charities as a volunteer auctioneer, most notably for The Children’s Aid Foundation in Toronto.


Sonia Lupien

Sonia Lupien is the founder and director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress, which strives to transfer scientifically validated knowledge on stress to the public. For the last 20 years, Lupien has studied the effects of stress on the human brain from infancy to adulthood and old age. Her studies have shown that children—as vulnerable as adults to stress—can produce high levels of stress hormones as early as age six. Her research in adults demonstrates stress can significantly impair memory performance, as well as the effects of stress on the aging brain.

In her new research projects, Lupien examines differences between men and women in stress reactivity. She created the DeStress for Success Program to teach adolescents ways to control stress as they transition from elementary to high school. She also developed the Stress Inc.© program to help workers recognize and control stress by means of a computer program in the workplace.

As part of her drive to educate the public, Lupien recently published the book Par amour du stress to help us better understand stress as it has been studied for the last 50 years by scientists around the world.


Ned Hallowell

Edward (Ned) Hallowell is a child and adult psychiatrist, devoted to helping people identify and channel their strengths in today’s crazy-busy world. He offers insight into his personal story of growing up with mental illness in the family, his own learning differences, and how he beat the odds to win the race rather than capsize. As he talks about his childhood and his experiences as a person who has dealt successfully with his attention deficit disorder and dyslexia, Hallowell offers concrete and practical ways for boys to overcome their own family struggles, learning differences, and prejudicial behaviors to beat the odds.

Internationally recognized as the “focus doctor,” he founded the Hallowell Centers in Boston Metrowest, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. These centers specialize in his signature “strength-based” approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive and emotional concerns, especially ADHD. A graduate of Harvard College and Tulane Medical School, Hallowell completed his residency in adult and child psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, where he also served as an instructor for 20 years. He has written 20 books, including the 1994 groundbreaking New York Times best-seller on ADHD, Driven to Distraction. In aggregate, his books have sold more than 2 million copies on various psychological topics including how to raise children into happy adults, manage worry, develop focus, forgive ourselves and others, connect on a deeper level, and inspire the best from employees.

Having successfully managed both ADHD and dyslexia himself, he has famously said, “I don’t treat disabilities; I help unwrap gifts!” When “disabilities” are seen instead by their mirror traits, these attributes can be channeled toward turbocharged success. Hallowell implores everyone to tap into this “American Edge,” and into “the other Vitamin C, Vitamin Connect,” for there is no force more powerful or beneficial than human connection.

Internationally recognized for his expertise, humor, passion, and unique ability to touch the hearts of many, Hallowell has appeared as an expert guest on many TV shows, including Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, The View, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, 60 Minutes, and CNN. He hosts the popular Distraction podcast that strategizes how to turn modern problems into newfound strengths. His newsletter reaches thousands each month, and he thoughtfully addresses new issues in each edition. His most recent book, Because I Come from a Crazy Family: The Making of a Psychiatrist, is a moving memoir about crazy families and where they can lead, and about the unending joys and challenges that come with helping people celebrate who they are.


IBSC Exploring Boys’ Education music composed and performed by Tom DiGiovanni.
Music inserts by Molly Johnson and her band were used with permission.