Many Providence students have the pleasure of seeing Headmaster, Dr. Todd Flanders, out and about in the hallways at the start of the day. His voice leads morning prayer, but what about the rest of the school day?

Flanders starts his day on campus around 8:00 each morning, when he arrives at school. Once settled, he walks around and visits with faculty members along with students in the hallways; he loves to foster personal relationships. He is almost always available to lead prayer and announcements every morning at 8:30am, beginning with Morning Offering Prayer, followed by Varsity sport games scores, and last but not least, to announce birthdays for the day. 

Wearing protective gear that has been normalized in these strange times, Flanders at his desk, going over email and preparing for the day ahead during another busy morning.

One of Flanders’ favorite parts of his day is teaching Senior Religion: Reason and Revelation. For that 50 minute class period, he is not only headmaster, but also teacher. 

“I enjoy getting to know Dr. Flanders in a different context other than the headmaster,” reflected Mae Monette ‘21, who is enrolled in the course this year. “He has such a vast amount of knowledge about theology and you get a better understanding of his personality in class.”

When the noon bell rings, his schedule almost always allows him to be in his office. He then has the opportunity to open his office window overlooking the Great Room and say the Our Father with the lower school children during lunchtime. 

In the early afternoon, Flanders likes to attend Mass at 2:30, before spending the final hours of his day at his desk, on calls, or in meetings. With fewer evening events during COVID, and restrictions on event attendance, Dr. Flanders will typically depart around five or soon thereafter, often attending to additional things from home.

Though there are some staples and general routine, every day is truly different for Dr. Flanders. Some days, he might have to prepare a welcoming speech to introduce a guest speaker at PA, or have a conference call. This year, the pandemic has required a new level of vigilance regarding public health and community life.  Flanders has worked tirelessly with other administrators and long time PA nurse Maureen Murphy to ensure adherence to the state health guidelines.  These efforts are in addition to normal duties–formal board and administrative meetings, routine office work, or informal meetings with students and colleagues depending on the day.

Flanders pauses his work for a a picture in his office in 2004 (PAW photo courtesy of PA archives).

Dr. Flanders is a very well-liked individual around PA. He is known for his go-getter attitude, his charisma, and range of knowledge on, matters great and small.

 “I love being able to learn how he prioritizes opportunities, goals, and challenges that the school has,” articulated Mr. Josh Anderson, one of Dr. Flanders assistants. “It is so fun to pick his brain about anything from school budgets to theology, to marketing campaigns, and everything in between.”

Though Flanders is undoubtedly busy, he is never too busy to have a quick conversation in the hallway with a colleague or student to ask how their day is going. He is also never too busy to lead morning prayer and announcements, or attend daily Mass. No doubt, he sees these things as integral to the life and mission of PA.

“I love this job, not because it is easy, but because it is very purposeful,” concluded Dr. Flanders.