Cheshire Academy

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Cheshire Academy
Cheshire, Connecticut
School type Private
Religious affiliation(s) none
Established 1794
Headmaster John D. Nozell
Faculty ~70
Grades 8-12, postgraduate
Gender co-ed
Enrollment ~360
Campus Suburban
Campus size 105 acres
Color(s) Blue and white
Mascot Fighting Cats
Yearbook The Rolling Stone

Cheshire Academy is a selective, co-educational college preparatory school located in Cheshire, Connecticut, USA. Founded in 1794 as the Episcopal Academy of Connecticut, it was the tenth private school founded in the United States.[1] In 1917, the school was renamed The Roxbury School, and trained young men exclusively for the purpose of attending nearby Yale University.[2] Later known as Cheshire Academy, the school is one of the first private academic institutions to accept international students dating back to the 1850s,[3] and is currently the only independent school to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the state of Connecticut.[4]

The school has students from approximately 29 countries and 42 states, and a total student body of 360 students. Cheshire Academy offers grade 8 to both boarding and day students, and the Upper School offers grades 9 through 12 plus a postgraduate year.


Bowden Hall, the oldest schoolhouse in continuous use in the state of Connecticut

The campus of 104 acres (0.42 km2) is located in the center of the town of Cheshire. The campus includes five residential dormitories and state-of-the-art facilities including the John J. White '38 Science & Technology Center and the Humanities Building. All areas of campus are equipped with wireless access and fiber optic network with 30 mb access to the internet.[5] The campus includes a private ropes challenge course,[6] and in the fall of 2011, Cheshire Academy saw the dedication of the new Simosa track and field.[7]


Cheshire Academy is a student-centered institution emphasizing both academic and character development. All students are required to take classes across the academic disciplines, including English, history, mathematics, science, foreign language and the visual arts. Students are also fostered to develop trait characteristics such as respect, honesty and tolerance while abiding by the school's Eight Pillars of Bowden.[8]


The town of Cheshire, established in 1780, was originally known for its lighting industry, copper mining, and agricultural productivity. Samuel Seabury, the first Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, established the Episcopal Academy in 1794, which would later endure several incarnations as The Cheshire School (in the early 1900s), The Roxbury School in 1917, and finally, Cheshire Academy in 1937.[9]

Under the first headmaster, Rev. John Bowden, the school became renowned not only for training young men for the clergy, but also for educating students in the fields of English, Latin and Greek, philosophy, mathematics, and the sciences taught by leading colleges in the country at the time. Erected in 1796, Bowden Hall, the oldest schoolhouse still in continuous use in the state of Connecticut and tenth oldest schoolhouse in the United States, became an all-Cheshire community project, with funds to erect the school donated by both churches and local proprietors.[10]

In 1806, Dr. Tillotson Bronson was elected as headmaster. During his twenty-year term at the school, Bronson deemed that young women would be admitted to this once all-male institution, a rare allowance for women at the time. For this reason, many young women were sent to attend the school from distant townships in order to take advantage of such a unique educational opportunity.[11]

Another liberal tenant of the school at this time, as drafted in the school's constitution, was that students were allowed the freedom to practice the religion of their family's choice, regardless of the school's Episcopal affiliation. As stated in the ninth article of the constitution of the Episcopal Academy, "No Bye Laws of the Academy shall compel the Students to attend Public worship, but at such place or places as their respective Parents or Guardians shall direct."[11]

In 1917 the school was purchased by the Roxbury Training Center, and the institution was no longer open to both men and women. The Roxbury School operated with the sole purpose of training young men to enter Yale University. An existing military aspect of the school was abolished, and the school focused now on rigorous academic preparation.[2]

Under long-standing headmaster Arthur Sheriff, the school became Cheshire Academy in 1937, maintaining small, academically challenging classes. It was not until 1969 that the school returned to its co-ed beginnings, allowing both young men and women to attend classes together.[1]

Recent awards and achievements[edit]

  • High School Mathematical Modeling Contest - In 2007-08, Cheshire Academy entered a team in the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications[12] annual math modeling contest. The CA team's 60-page model was judged to be in the top 4 out of the 270 teams competing and they were awarded the designation of National Outstanding.[13]
  • Software award - In 2008, five students were awarded Ars Technica's Best Indie Software Award after exhibiting in the Macworld expo.[14][15][16]
  • NEPSAC Bowl Championship - In 2011, the Cheshire Academy boys varsity football team finished off an undefeated season, taking both the Colonial League and NEPSAC championship titles.[17][18]

Signature programs[edit]

Roxbury Academic Support Program - An optional, fee-based program for students in need of additional academic assistance with a trained member of the faculty.[19]

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme - Cheshire Academy began to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme during the 2011-2012 academic year.[20]


The Goizueta Foundation Scholars Fund, created by Roberto Goizueta '49, provides an annual scholarship for a student of Hispanic background.[21][22]

The Town Scholar Program, established in 1937, provides a full, four-year scholarship to a resident of Cheshire entering the ninth grade.[23]

Accreditation and memberships[edit]

The school is accredited by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools,[24] New England Association of Schools and Colleges,[25] and The Association of Boarding Schools.[26] Additionally it holds memberships in the National Association of Independent Schools,[27] the Secondary School Admission Test Board.[28] and the IB Diploma Programme[29]

Notable alumni[edit]


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  20. ^ Cheshire Magazine Fall 2010 p 2
  21. ^ Cheshire Magazine Fall 2010 p 8
  22. ^ a b Cheshire Academy brochure, page 3. Accessed January 17, 2011.
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  32. ^ "Young Author Launches New Book". Retrieved June 04 12, 2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°30′03″N 72°54′03″W / 41.50095°N 72.9009°W / 41.50095; -72.9009