Landmark middle school student Fall

Giving the Advantage of Quality Education

by Brittany Kenney

Six years ago, Alan Dachs sat in the waiting area in the Drake Administration Building, preparing to begin his training to become a member of the Board of Trustees at Landmark School. Alan noticed a mother and son waiting for their admissions interview. The boy was about 9 years old. He was dressed nicely and very well mannered, but there was a sadness about him. As his name was called for his interview and he left the room, the boy lowered his head and soberly walked away. Alan could tell this was a child who had been through a lot; he seemed disheartened in a way that no child should. After he left, Alan struck up a conversation with the boy’s mother. The mother had been searching for a school that would teach her son in a way he could understand and learn and looked to Landmark for a new start. “Hopefully this will work out,” she said with tears in her eyes, “and hopefully we can afford it.”

A Beacon of Hope

At that moment, Alan understood that Landmark is more than a school—it’s a life-saving beacon of hope for families who have nowhere else to turn in their quest to find help for their children. From that moment on, Alan has supported financial aid at Landmark School. He believes that children, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, need the advantage of quality education. Not only does it help the individual, but it also helps their family and community. Alan is happy to help provide that help for students in need of financial assistance. 

As a seasoned philanthropist, Alan has a rule that any organization he becomes involved with must have three key factors: a mission that is important, competence to manage and achieve their goals, and a desire to make a difference. It became clear to Alan very early on that Landmark embodied all three. He believes that Landmark’s 50-year history of success comes down to two things: Landmark is clear and committed to its mission and Landmark has the passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable faculty and staff to fulfill that mission. During his six years as a Landmark Trustee, Alan has supported the school financially and helped guide it through many pivotal moments, including a global pandemic. When considering his gift to the 50 Forward Campaign, Alan remembered that first encounter he had at Landmark. He remembered the little boy whose mother worried about whether or not she could afford to send him to a place that she knew had the potential to change his life. He knew that thousands of other families had been in the exact same situation. He knew he needed to help create a path for those children to get to Landmark, and he knew a gift to a financial aid fund was the best way to make a difference. 

Alan Dachs

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