Benjamin Mason, Principal
B.A. Harvard College, M.Ed., Harvard University. Certified Educational Planner (CEP).
An educator for thirty-five years, Ben founded and manages one of the largest specialty educational consulting practices in North America. He has worked with thousands of families, here and abroad, since entering the consulting field more than twenty years ago.
Starting as a generalist in 1987, he has evolved into one of very few international experts who focus on finding the best environments for children and young adults whose learning, behavioral, medical or situational needs require placement in boarding schools or specialized therapeutic programs.
Unlike most educational consultants who try to handle a little of everything - college, graduate schools, summer camps, study abroad, gap year, day schools, etc. - Ben and his associates concentrate their time and resources on keeping up with developments only in the mainstream boarding schools as well as in the rapidly changing worlds of adolescent mental and behavioral health, learning differences, special education and the new therapeutic schools.
Most of Ben’s clients are themselves busy, successful, specialized professionals. They highly value obtaining only the most informed and focused advice when the welfare of their child and family is at stake. Ben recognizes that superior client service demands adequate home office staffing as well as almost constant consulting staff travel to visit the hundreds of therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs, residential treatment centers, hospitals and other unique resources that have sprung up since the mid-80’s to help struggling children and their families.
Ben is well-respected within the educational consulting profession for broad personal acquaintance and first-hand knowledge of residential schools and programs throughout North America. Staff also maintain a busy visiting rotation to check in at traditional boarding schools. They also regularly attend and/or present papers at conferences through North America and Europe. Ben and his associates maintain a broad domestic and international referral network of dynamic colleagues in psychiatry, psychology, experiential education, pediatrics, special education, law and all the other subspecialties that often must be brought together when guiding the complicated child and his or her family. Ben is a member of NATSAP, SSATB, SBSA, HECA, NACAC, IECA, IDA, ACA and a number of other professional and civic organizations.
After Exeter, Ben attended Harvard College where he majored in Colonial American History, was a two-sport varsity athlete and performed in college theatricals including two Hasty Pudding shows. After college, he worked on Wall St. and Madison Ave, attended the Columbia Business School, and decided to change his career to education. After returning to Harvard for a Master’s degree in Education in 1975, he became a consultant to schools, charitable foundations and non-traditional learning environments such as museums, zoos, historical and environmental organizations. He also ran a tutoring school which developed the largest Kumon franchise in northern New England before starting in the consulting business in 1987.
Always an adventurer, Ben has sailed trans-Atlantic twice, participated in many of the world’s major ocean races, rounded Cape Horn, hitchhiked overland from Nairobi to Capetown and, while in college, traveled on foot through most of Europe and North America. A skier and boater, Ben has served on the Boards of Vermont Public Radio and the Vermont Land Trust in addition to his ongoing local community volunteer work. In 1985 he was appointed by the Governor of Vermont to be a Founding Member of the State’s Professional Teacher and Educational Standards Review Board.
Ben became a specialist’s specialist in part because of his own unhappy primary and adolescent educational experiences. His uncanny intuition about kids is rooted in his own early pain and academic frustration. An underachiever before anyone knew about ADHD, he was himself expelled from several New England private schools; he knows something of the helplessness felt by floundering students and their families. His passion and effectiveness in helping these kids get back on track by finding them the right school is internationally acknowledged. His wife, Dr. Nan Mason, is a Professor at the University of Vermont Medical School. They have two grown sons.