Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School has received national attention as a model for education and at-risk youth. Many credit the school’s success to the work of its longtime headmaster, Edwin Leahy, better known to many as “Father Ed.” Some 550 young men in grades 7 through 12 attend the school, with about 65 of them living in a residence hall on the property.

In this conversation, Leahy talks at length about his experiences running the school, shares some real-life stories, relates the unique challenges and opportunities of an all-boys school that serves urban communities, and the stresses the importance of “trying to understand people’s reality.”