Avon Old Farms

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Avon Old Farms School
Avon Old Farms Seal.png
Aspirando et Perseverando
Aspiring and Persevering
500 Old Farms Road
Avon, Connecticut
United States
Type Private, boarding
Founded 1927
Headmaster Kenneth H. LaRocque
Faculty 60 teachers
Gender All-boys
Enrollment 406 students (9–12, PG)
81% Boarding
Average class size 11 students
Student to teacher ratio 6:1
Campus 900 acres (3.64 km²)
Color(s) Maroon and Navy Blue
Athletics 15 varsity interscholastic sports teams (36 interscholastic teams total)
Mascot Winged Beaver
Rival Salisbury School
Average SAT scores (2012) 1835
Endowment $47 million
Acceptance Rate 32% (2013)

Avon Old Farms School is a single-sex boarding school for boys located in Avon, Connecticut. It was founded by Theodate Pope Riddle. It opened in 1927 and closed for a period during World War II to serve as a convalescent hospital for blind veterans. The current headmaster is Kenneth H. LaRocque.

Avon Old Farms is in the Founders League.

Avon Old Farms alumni include musician Kristian Bush, Ambassador Stuart Holliday, folk singer Pete Seeger, NHL player Jonathan Quick, former NHL player Brian Leetch, NFL running back Michael Cox, and former MLB player Juan Nieves.


Avon Old Farms School was founded by Theodate Pope Riddle, Connecticut's first licensed female architect. She founded the school in 1927. Influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the ideals of the old New England farm, Riddle designed and supervised the building of the school over a span of 10 years, from 1918–27, which cost her over $7,000,000 to complete.

The original stone and oak architecture is modeled after English Cotswold and Tudor styles using traditional English methods with many of the materials hewn from the school's property. The school sits upon 900 acres, with the Farmington River to the east.

In the founding years, Avon combined English and American secondary school traditions with a radical modern curriculum. Riddle closed the school during World War II when it was converted to Old Farms Convalescent Hospital for blinded Army veterans.

Avon re-opened as a boys' school in 1948.

The school has grown from 48 boys at its opening in 1927 to 400 boys in grades 9-12 and postgraduates. The school mascot is the winged beaver, and the school’s motto is "Aspirando et Perseverando," from the Latin, to aspire and to persevere.


Avon ice hockey teams have won a eight Division 1 New England Championships (four between 2004 and 2008) and produced NHL players such as Hockey Hall of Fame member Brian Leetch, as well as Jonathan Quick, Chris Higgins, Cam Atkinson, and Nick Bonino. Coach John Gardner has a record of 603–178–29.[1] On December 21, 2009, Avon played Taft School in the first hockey game played at Fenway Park.[2] In 2012 Jonathan Quick joined fellow alumni Brian Leetch (1994) as a winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Avon 's lacrosse team was coached by Skip Flanagan.[3] After Coach Flanagan left the school, Ted Garber became head coach.

Football alumni Michael Cox went on to play for the UMass Minutemen. Cox was later drafted by the New York Giants football team on April 27, 2013 during the 2013 NFL Draft. Current Boston Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves was a baseball alumni who played primarily for the Milwaukee Brewers. Other notable football alumni include Chicago Bear Khaseem Greene, Chargers backup quarterback Mike Hermann, and former New York Giants lineman Jack Calcaterra.

The Hartford Whalers held their training facilities at Avon Old Farms from 1991 to 1997 when they relocated to North Carolina.

AOF life 
Inside the Beatson Auditorium 
Village Green 

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Cam Atkinson, NHL forward for the Columbus Blue Jackets
  • David Bigelow '44, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO R.C. Bigelow Tea Company
  • Ted Blaine '84, recognized as one of the "Best Doctors of America" (award); now lectures and teaches internationally
  • Jerry Blakeley '62, former president and owner of Extech Instruments Corporation
  • Nick Bonino, NHL forward for the Vancouver Canucks
  • Kristian Bush, musician, member of Grammy Award winning country music duo Sugarland
  • Jack Calcaterra '63, former New York Giants Offensive Lineman in 1968 and 1969
  • Michael Cercone '75, owner and operator of Scollay Square Investment LLC
  • Erich Cluxton ’61, Chairman of the History Department and Academic Dean (former) of the Christ School (North Carolina) and former headmaster of the Asheville School
  • Michael Cox, NFL running back for the New York Giants
  • Chris Davis ’05, professional ice hockey player for Hershey Bears
  • Jared DeMichiel ’04, ice hockey player for Wheeling Nailers
  • John Garvey '78, Garvey Spacecraft; former NASA rocket scientist
  • Khaseem Greene, NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears
  • Jeff Hamilton '96, played in the NHL, AHL and professional hockey leagues of Europe
  • Mike Hermann, former NFL quarterback for the San Diego Chargers
  • Chris Hetherington, former American football fullback in the NFL who last played for the San Francisco 49ers
  • Chris Higgins, NHL left winger for the Vancouver Canucks
  • Alex Hitz '87, celebrity chef, cookbook author, philanthropist and founder of the luxury gourmet food product line The Beverly Hills Kitchen
  • Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian International Center, former U.S. Ambassador for Special Political Affairs at the United Nations and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush
  • Cal Ingraham '89, All American Honors Hockey Player, currently ranks 6th on University of Maine's list of all-time leading scorers
  • Andre Jones, football player defensive back for the Pittsburgh Power
  • Stephen S. Lash ’58, chairman emeritus of Christie's Americas Art Gallery and president of Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and trustee at Museum of the City of New York
  • Brian Leetch, former NHL defenseman for the New York Rangers, enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Scott MacDonald '74, author, founding partner of Aladdin Capital ($3.7-billion-in-assets hedge fund). Chief strategist and researcher.
  • John Gillespie Magee, author of the aviation poem High Flight
  • Robert Mark '80, chief sales officer at Liberty Medical/Medco Health Solutions
  • Matt Martin '90, former NHL player Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Andrew McCalla '87, founder of Meridian Solar
  • Doug McCollough '01, designer/maker of DMDM
  • Brendan McKernan '89, President and COO, Agencourt Bioscience and Courtagen Life Science
  • Kevin McKernan '91, scientist and entrepreneur, honored at the White House for his part in mapping the human genome
  • Seth F. Mendell '52, educator, historian, community servant
  • Jake Menges '87, nationally recognized republican consultant, worked with Giuliani administration in 1992
  • John Mori ’05, professional ice hockey player for Tulsa Oilers
  • Daniel New, professional ice hockey defenceman[4]
  • Juan Nieves, former MLB pitcher Milwaukee Brewers, currently the Pitching Coach for the Boston Red Sox
  • Bill Norcross '89, Texas-Louisana League All-Star 1996, MLB Scouting Bureau
  • Michael Nouri '64, American television and film actor.
  • Allan J. O'Connor '75, founder of "Opportunity for All" organization
  • Donald R. Pete '36, humanitarian and member of National Defense Executive Reserve
  • Jonathan Quick, NHL goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings
  • David Roberts '89, former NHL player St. Louis Blues
  • Andrew Schorr '67, former local and national television reporter; producer of PM Magazine
  • Pete Seeger, Grammy Award winning folk singer, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1996)
  • Bud Siegel '61, former president and CEO of Russel Metals
  • Austin Sperry '96, American sailor and winner of the 2007 U.S. Olympic Trials
  • George Springer, outfielder for the Houston Astros[5]
  • Christopher Woodrow, movie producer
  • Richard Yates, novelist, author of Revolutionary Road, ghostwriter for Robert F. Kennedy


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°46′43″N 72°50′24″W / 41.7785°N 72.84°W / 41.7785; -72.84