No. 111 | People

Q.D. Thompson

Q.D. Thompson was a remarkable administrator who inspired a faculty of “distinct personalities” to work as a team, and who expected students to do their best, respect rules, and honor those around them.

In 1953, Quinton Donald (Q.D.) Thompson was recruited and hired by Headmaster Bob Lamborn to be the first Head of Middle School at a time when, according to Lamborn, the middle school structure did not exist in American education. Q.D. remained in this pioneering position until 1985. 

Throughout his tenure, Q.D. assembled a faculty of distinct personalities who worked well as a team. His character, disposition, and understanding of early adolescents made him a remarkably successful administrator. He expected students to do their best, respect rules, and honor those around them.

Q.D. had the reputation of “running a tight ship,” but his own door was always open. He welcomed any student, teacher, or parent who wanted a word with him. As noted in the spring 2004 issue of McDonogh Magazine celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Middle School, “For 32 years, the Middle School operated like a close-knit family with Q.D. as the benevolent but strict father figure.”

Although Q.D. truly loved his Middle School students, his greatest joy and fulfillment came from working with their parents. He believed that children in this age group sometimes needed an advocate when dealing with their parents. He explained, “When playing the role of the advocate for the child, if I can in some small way help change a perspective, open a door, shift a responsibility, heal a bruise, create an atmosphere of mutual respect, establish an alternate route, and cry and laugh with (the parents), then, I feel I have served a purpose in the development of the child. A child has only one childhood and he (or she) is entitled to enjoy it.”

Learn more about McDonogh School's rich history by visiting the archives online.

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