The Putney School


The Putney School is an independent high school in Putney, Vermont. The school was founded in 1935 by Carmelita Hinton on the principles of the Progressive Education movement and the teachings of its principal exponent, John Dewey. It is a co-educational, college-preparatory boarding school, with a day-student component, 12 miles (19 km) outside Brattleboro, Vermont. Danny O'Brien became head of school in 2022.[1] The school enrolls approximately 225 students on a 500 acres (2.0 km2) hilltop campus with classrooms, dormitories, and a dairy farm on which its students work before graduating.[2]

The Putney School
418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney
TypePrivate independent co-educational boarding and day high school
FounderCarmelita Hinton
Head of SchoolDaniel O'Brien
Faculty35 full-time, 24 part-time/adjunct
Average class size11
Student to teacher ratio6:1
Hours in school day12:50
Campus size500 acres (200 ha)
Campus typeRural
Color(s)Green, White
SongPutney, My Putney
MascotElm Tree
Feeder schoolsThe Grammar School

Putney emphasizes academics, a work program, the arts, and physical activity. Its curriculum is intended to teach the value of labor, art, community, ethics, and scholarship for individual growth.


Animated panorama from the center of the quadrangle on the Putney campus.

Most of the buildings on Putney's campus were partially or completely built by Putney students and faculty, with the exception of the most recent additions, the Michael S. Currier Center and the Field House. The Currier Center is a departure from Putney's customary white, colonial-style architecture, instead using stone and concrete walls in an angular design. It is used for dance, music, movie-making and visual-art presentations. The Field House, which opened in October 2009, was designed as a "net zero-energy building".[3]

Academic programEdit

Then-Director Brian Morgan addresses the graduating Class of 2004.

In 1995, the Boston Globe described Putney as combining "a New England work ethic and a strong academic program."[4] It is a member of the Independent Curriculum Group and in 2009 received a 10-year accreditation review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.[5]

Notable alumni and facultyEdit


According to The Putney School 2008 Alumni Directory, alumni of The Putney School include (graduation date shown, where applicable):[6]


Some Putney faculty members (subject taught in parentheses) had careers that extended beyond their teaching.


  1. ^ "Putney to Welcome New Head of School". The Putney School. Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  2. ^ "Putney at a glance". Website. Putney School. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  3. ^ "Our Field House's Green Features". The Putney School. 2018-07-04. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  4. ^ Cohen, Muriel (January 1, 1995). "Putney - A Vermont School that Dared and Succeeded". The Boston Globe: A42.
  5. ^ State Board of Education (May 19, 2015), Renewal of approval to The Putney School, Putney, VT to serve students in grades 9-12 (PDF), State of Vermont Agency of Education, retrieved 2015-11-11
  6. ^ The Putney School 2008 Alumni Directory. Bloomington, Indiana: University Publishing Corporation. 2008.
  7. ^ Robidoux, Carol (January 21, 2015). "Olympic Skiing Runs in Lebanon Lawyer's Family". Bar News. New Hampshire Bar Association.
  8. ^ Poniewozik, James (April 29, 2010). "Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof". The 2010 TIME 100—Artists. TIME. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  9. ^ Sherwin, Adam (2013-05-23). "World's most concise short story writer Lydia Davis wins Booker International Prize 2013". Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-06-18. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
  10. ^ "Class of 1964 Obituaries: William Barton Gray". HR Cambridge, MA: Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1964. 1994. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "Felicity Huffman, actress charged in college-admission bribery case, has Vermont ties". Burlington Free Press.
  12. ^ Aspen (30 August 2016). "Christopher Lehmann-Haupt '52".
  13. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Martha Rockwell Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  14. ^ Walker, Shaun (24 November 2013). "Arctic 30 captain re-evaluates protest methods after Russian jails Veteran Greenpeace skipper Peter Willcox was also captain of Rainbow Warrior – which was bombed by French agents in 1985". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  15. ^ Cuerdon, Don (Fall 2015). "Putney Post". Putney Post. p. 23. Retrieved 2021-04-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Bloom, Paul (2018-09-06). "What We Know About Art and the Mind". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-04-05.

Further readingEdit

  • Lloyd, Susan McIntosh (1987). The Putney School: A Progressive Experiment. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03742-2.
  • Sadovnik, Alan R.; Semel, Susan F., eds. (2002). Carmelita Chase Hinton and the Putney School. Founding Mothers and Others: Women Educational Leaders During the Progressive Era. Palgrave. ISBN 0-312-29502-2.

External linksEdit

  • Putney School web site
  • The Association of Boarding Schools profile
42°59′14″N 72°33′14″W / 42.9873°N 72.5540°W / 42.9873; -72.5540