Don McMillan, M.A., M.F.A.


Don brings over 30 years’ experience as a passionate educator to his work overseeing McMillan Education’s leadership team and the counselors working in traditional and international school and college planning. In close collaboration with his leadership team, Don enjoys staying out ahead of admission trends and continually enhancing the best guidance practices of the group by developing and delivering regular in-house supervision and professional development trainings. In addition to the leadership of his group of highly experienced educational counselors, Don is considered a leader in the field. Frequently quoted in national outlets like The New York Times and The Boston Globe, Don has spoken about trends in American college admissions and American boarding schools to audiences of educators at national conferences, independent school Boards of Trustees, and international schools on several continents, bringing to his presentations the same commitment to students that he brought to his years teaching and leading in independent schools.

Don has also served on executive boards for The Association of Boarding Schools and the Enrollment Management Association (formerly SSATB); he is a past Vice President of the Independent Educational Consultants’ Association, the industry’s governing body and provider of professional development, training, and guidelines for ethical practices.
His independent school career began at Kimball Union Academy in NH in the late 80s, then brought him to St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Mass. in the 90s, and finally to the Bancroft School in Worcester, Mass 1997-2010. As a teacher, Don taught freshmen through Advanced Placement French and English students. As an administrator, he served as College Counselor, Academic Dean, Curriculum Director, and English Department Chair, and trained faculties at several schools in learning differences as a facilitator for All Kinds of Minds.

Outside of the classroom, Don was head coach of Varsity teams in football, ice hockey and tennis. He ran several dorms with his wife, Dr. Sarah McMillan, who manages McMillan Education’s therapeutic and learning differences practices. Their own two sons attended boarding school and went on to study in college in Boston. Noah played Division I football and studied at Holy Cross and Tufts, and currently serves as McMillan Education’s Director of Outreach and Communication, while Cameron worked at Wolfeboro School and Holderness School and is currently serving as a second lieutenant in the Army National Guard, having completed his ROTC program at Boston University.

The roots of Don’s school career trace back to the late 70s; when, at the age of 14, he went to St. George’s School in Newport, RI as a boarding student. He went on to Colby College, graduating with degrees in French and English, and captaining the men’s tennis team. He later went on to earn a Master’s in French from Middlebury College and Université de Nanterre Paris X, writing his thesis in French on Albert Camus’ role in the Résistance. Having lived and studied abroad, Don speaks French fluently, and understands the complexities of presenting applications for international students and domestic students with goals of studying abroad.

Don also earned a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Goddard College. His Goddard thesis was chosen as a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Contest, and his short stories won several other awards. Don also worked as a journalist in Maine right after college. This lifelong commitment to letters as both a writer and a teacher of writing informs his hands-on guidance with McMillan Education students as they navigate the essay writing process in their applications.

Don enjoys playing tennis and golf and following the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins. His now adult sons gave Don a first-hand appreciation of the recruiting process for a collegiate student-athlete and the ROTC experience for a cadet who went on to commission as a field artillery officer in the US Army. Along with Sarah and their canine companions Crash and Socrates, Don splits his time between their homes and offices in Boston and southern Maine (SoMe), especially loving the chance to blend in as a local Mainer whenever he can pull it off. Don has also dusted off his beret to volunteer to teach French each spring to a wonderful group of inspirational under-resourced young adolescents at Beacon Academy in Boston.

Don's Insights

Amidst the distracted haze which served as my 9th grade, I remember religiously taking notes about the House of Tudor for Mr. Topka’s History class since he would run out with us...
McMillan Education is hosting 3 more Boarding School Fairs this month involving over 40 top schools in the Northeast. Write for more info. Thursday, June 18 Mid-Atlantic/NY Boarding School Fair 6:30-8:00Blair,...
Suzie’s C in sophomore English and so-so essay led to each admissions officer’s right hand going up after hearing the proposed “Deny?” But Alfonzo’s compelling first-generation essay and transcript full of As...