The Putney School

The Putney School

The Putney School is an independent high school in Putney, Vermont. Founded in 1935 by Carmelita Hinton, it remains a co-educational, college-preparatory boarding school, with a day-student component, situated in the foothills of the Green Mountains 12 miles outside of Brattleboro, Vermont in the southeast corner of the state. Emily Jones joined the school in the summer of 2007 as its ninth Director. In addition to offering its approximately 225 students a strong academic curriculum, including instruction in music and art, the school is distinguished by its 500 acre (2.0 km²) campus, which encompasses classrooms and dormitories together with a dairy farm on which all of its students work before graduating.

The school's progressive program has emphasized the value of labor, art, community, ethics, and scholarship for individual growth since its founding. It started as a summer labor camp in 1935 and opened as a boarding school in the fall following the first summer, with most of the campers staying on to become part of the new student body.

All of the buildings on the school's campus were partially or completely built by Putney students and faculty, with the exception of the most recent addition, the Michael S. Currier Center (also a departure from Putney's customary white colonial-style architecture) for dance, music, movie-making and visual-art presentations. Upon completion of the first dormitory (and the farm's first harvest), an event known as "Harvest Festival" was born. The Harvest Festival is still held annually and attracts over 1,000 people from Putney and other surrounding towns.

The "Boston Globe" wrote of it: "The school's combination of a New England work ethic and a strong academic program, its pioneering of coeducation and community service and its emphasis on music and the arts have made it a model for other independent schools...Putney remains committed to the total community of work and schooling that goes far beyond the more limited pieces of its tradition adopted by other schools."

Notable students and teachers

Students at The Putney School have included:
* David Amram (composer)
* Tim Asch (anthropologist, filmmaker)
* Carlos Buhler (mountaineer)
* Tim Daly (Class of 1974) (actor)
* Mahdi ElMandjra (Moroccan futurist, economist and sociologist)
* Lee Hirsch (filmmaker)
* Felicity Huffman (actor)
* Bill Koch (Olympic cross-country skiing medallist)
* Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (Class of 1969) (former Lieutenant Governor, Maryland)
* Tea Leoni (actor)
* Sally Mann (fine-art photographer)
* Errol Morris (filmmaker)
* Ken Olin (actor, director and TV producer)
* Christopher Smith Reynolds, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company heir, son of Z. Smith Reynolds & actor Libby Holman
* Jonathan Rosenbaum (film critic)
* Wallace Shawn (actor, author)
* David Griffiths (physicist, teacher)
* Carlton Cuse (Television writer/executive- "LOST")
* Tim Weiner (journalist, author)
* Joanna Miles (Class of 1958) ( Original cast member on All My Children in 1970)
*Jeffrey Hollender (CEO Seventh Generation Inc.)
* Alexander Calder (world-renowned mobile sculptor/artist)

A list of notable teachers includes Fernando Gerassi (artist) and
Eric Aho (artist)



* Cohen, Muriel. "Putney - A Vermont School that Dared and Succeeded." "The Boston Globe" January 1, 1995: p. A42.
* Lloyd, Susan McIntosh. "The Putney School: A Progressive Experiment." Yale University Press, 1987. ISBN 0-300-03742-2.
* "Carmelita Chase Hinton and the Putney School." In "Founding Mothers and Others: Women Educational Leaders During the Progressive Era", ed. Alan R. Sadovnik and Susan F. Semel. Palgrave, 2002. ISBN 0-312-29502-2.

External links

* [ Putney School web site]
* [ Putney School mission statement]
* [ Putney School Admissions Video on]

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