Darrow School

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Coordinates: 42°27′10.94″N 73°22′58.49″W / 42.4530389°N 73.3829139°W / 42.4530389; -73.3829139

Darrow School
Darrow School Logo.gif
Address
110 Darrow Road
New Lebanon, New York 12125
Columbia County, United States
Information
School type Independent, Boarding
Denomination Non-denominational
Founded 1932
Oversight Board of Trustees
Chairperson Alexa Seip
Head of school Simon Holzapfel
Staff 52
Teaching staff 31
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 100
Average class size 8-9
Student to teacher ratio 4:1
Language English
Campus size 365 acres (1.48 km2)
Houses Ann Lee Cottage, Brethren's Workshop, Hinckley, Neale House, Meacham
School colour(s) Maroon, White, and Gray
Song Simple Gifts
Athletics Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee
Athletics conference HVAL, NEPSAC
Mascot Darrow Ducks
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Publication 'The Peg Board'
Endowment $3 million
Affiliation NAIS, TABS, NYSAIS, NYBSA
 %Faculty with Advanced Degrees 57%
Average Teaching Experience 10.9 years
Number of States Represented 14
Number of Countries Represented 8
Website

Darrow School is an Independent, co-educational college-preparatory school for boarding and day students in grades 9-12. Its New Lebanon campus is a 365-acre (1.48 km2) property just to the west of the boundary between New York and Massachusetts in the Taconic Mountains and within the Berkshire cultural region.

History[edit]

The school's campus is located on what was once the site of the largest and most industrious Shaker community in the country. [1] Darrow opened in the fall of 1932 as the Lebanon School for Boys. It was renamed "Darrow School" in 1939 in honor of the Darrow family who had first settled the land and provided support and leadership in the early years of the Shaker community. In the later part of the 20th century it began to accept female students.

More than a decade before the last of the Shakers left in 1947, they set in motion plans for a school. In 1931 New Lebanon admiralty lawyer Charles Haight was contacted to make their idea a reality. In 1932, the school opened its doors, utilizing many of the original Shaker buildings as classrooms; meeting, dining, and athletic facilities; and dormitories for both students and teachers. Darrow School’s buildings have been well maintained throughout the School’s 75-year history, and although some accommodations have been made for modern living and learning, all renovations have been conducted in consideration of the Shaker principles of simplicity, function, beauty, and stewardship of both the historic site and the earth.[citation needed]

In the late 1980s the school was forced to sell much of its original Shaker furniture to meet budget deficits. Then, in the spring of 1991 the board of trustees voted to close the school at the end of that term. Parents of the 106 students enrolled in the school and alumni (led by Harve Light) acted quickly to raise over a quarter of a million dollars. Weeks later the board voted unanimously to reverse its decision and Darrow got a second chance.

The school currently enrolls about 100 students and employs 31 teachers. Students come primarily from New York and Massachusetts, however, the school has a sizable population from other states as well as countries such as South Korea, Jamaica, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Angola.

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has recognized Darrow School as a Leading Edge Honoree for its curriculum innovation, specifically in the area of sustainability. The School’s Sustainability Program is an important feature of the academic program and examines the relationship between people and their resources.[citation needed]

Location[edit]

Darrow School is located on Mount Lebanon in the Taconic Mountains, just to the west of the central Berkshires, in New Lebanon, New York. Darrow Road, marked by Darrow School’s sign, turns off of Route 20 seven miles (11 km) west of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and 26 miles (42 km) east of Albany, New York. Darrow is approximately 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City and 150 miles (240 km) west of Boston.

Darrow occupies the 365-acre (1.48 km2) site and buildings of an original Shaker village that has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Darrow has 26 buildings, 4 playing fields, 2 tennis courts, 5 residential dormitories, a 15,000 volume library, a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) arts center, and a three building science facility that includes a Living Machine (natural wastewater treatment and learning center).

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Charles "Pete" Conrad, Apollo 12 commander and third man to walk on the moon. Darrow Class of 1949.
  • Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, Sportscaster and radio personality. Darrow Class of 1979.
  • Sam Harper, Screenplay writer of Cheaper by the Dozen and Cheaper by the Dozen II. Darrow Class of 1979.
  • Jane Feldman, photographer and writer of several children's books including I am a Dancer and I am a Skater.
  • Christopher Lloyd, Actor who appeared in "Taxi" and "Back to the Future".
  • Indianapolis Mayor William H. Hudnut III

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shaker Historic Trail, Mount Lebanon Shaker Society". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 

External links[edit]