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Moral Compass by Danielle Steel Read Online (FREE)

Moral Compass by Danielle Steel Read Online

Read Moral Compass by Danielle Steel full novel online for free here

Chapter 1

It was the day after Labor Day, one of those perfect, golden September mornings in Massachusetts, as the students of Saint Ambrose Preparatory School began to arrive. The school was over a hundred and twenty years old, and its imposing stone buildings looked as distinguished as the colleges where most of the students would be accepted once they graduated. Many illustrious men had attended Saint Ambrose and gone on to make their marks on the world.

It was a historic day for Saint Ambrose. After ten years of heated debate, and two years of preparation, a hundred and forty female students were about to arrive and join the eight hundred male students. It was part of a three-year program that would ultimately add four hundred young women to the student body, bringing it to a total of twelve hundred students. This first year, they had accepted sixty female freshmen, forty sophomores, thirty-two juniors, and eight seniors, who had either recently moved to the East Coast, or had some valid reason to want to change schools as a senior and not graduate with the class they’d gone through high school with until then. Each of the female applicants had been carefully vetted to make sure she was up to the standards, morally and academically, of Saint Ambrose.

Two dorms had been built to accommodate the new female students. A third would be finished within a year, with a fourth scheduled to be built the year after that. So far, all the new additions and changes had gone smoothly. There had been lengthy seminars for the past year to assist the existing faculty with the transition from teaching at an all-male school to co-ed classes. Its advocates had insisted that it would improve the academic standing of the school, as girls tended to be more dedicated to their studies at the same age, and settled down to academics earlier. Others said it would make the students better rounded, learning to live and work, collaborate, cooperate, and compete with members of the opposite sex, which was after all more representative of the “real world” they would be entering in college and thereafter.

The school’s enrollment had diminished slightly in recent years, with most of their competitors having already gone co-ed, which most students preferred. They couldn’t stay current and compete if they didn’t go co-ed. But the battle had been hard won, and the headmaster, Taylor Houghton IV, was one of the last to be convinced of its benefits. He could see endless complications as a result, including student romances, which they didn’t have to deal with as an all-male school. Lawrence Gray, head of the English department, had asked if they would be renaming the school Saint Sodom and Gomorrah. After thirty-seven years at Saint Ambrose, he had been the most vehement voice against the change. Traditional, conservative, and privately a bitter person, his objections were eventually overruled by those who wanted the school to keep up with the times, no matter how challenging. Larry Gray’s sour attitude stemmed from the fact that ten years into his tenure at Saint Ambrose, his wife had left him for the father of a tenth-grade boy. He had never fully recovered, and never remarried. He had stayed for another twenty-seven years since, but was an unhappy person though an excellent teacher. He wrung the best academic performance possible out of each of the boys, and sent them off to college well prepared to shine at the university of their choice.