Saint Ann's School (New York City)
|Saint Ann's School|
|Headmaster||Vincent J. Tompkins, Jr.|
|Location||The Bosworth Building
129 Pierrepont St.,
New York City (Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn), New York, United States
|Colors||Blue, White and Gold|
|Newspaper||The Saint Ann's Ram|
Saint Ann's School is an independent school in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York City known for its strength in the arts as well as academics. The school is a non-sectarian, co-educational pre-K–12 day school with rigorous programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences. The school has no grading system; its pedagogy places great value on individuality and does not believe in giving numerical values to personal academic journeys. Instead, teachers write full-page anecdotal reports for each student. Saint Ann’s deliberately integrates and highlights the arts—including dance, music, theater, and the visual and recreational arts, as central elements of its academic curriculum. In addition, high school students enroll in a host of other offerings in a unique seminar program taught after hours at the end of the school day. Seminar topics include community service, philosophy, social justice, poetry, extracurricular literary studies, and debate & rhetoric, among others.
The school includes 1,080 students from preschool through 12th grade and 324 faculty, administration, and staff members on an urban campus including:
- A central 13-story building with a 19th-century facade housing the 4th through 12th grade
- A lower school building
- Two adjoining brownstones, one of which houses the school's fine arts department
- A preschool and kindergarten located nearby in Brooklyn Heights
Instruction at Saint Ann's is departmentalized from fourth through twelfth grade. The teaching faculty is made up of scholars, researchers, mathematicians, musicians, artists, and writers.
Saint Ann's School was founded in 1965 with 63 students and seven teachers in the basement of the St. Ann's Episcopal Church under the aegis of the vestry of the church and several interested parents. In 1966, the Church purchased the former Crescent Athletic Club House, a building designed by noted Brooklyn architect Frank Freeman, for the sum of $365,000, which has since served as the school's main building. Stanley Bosworth (1927-2011) became its first headmaster. In 1982, Saint Ann's School formally disaffiliated from the church, having been granted a charter from the Board of Regents of the State of New York. When Bosworth retired in 2004, Larry Weiss, formerly the head of the upper school at The Horace Mann School, began his tenure as head of school at Saint Ann's. In September 2009, it was announced that Weiss would not return to Saint Ann's for the 2010–2011 academic year. In May 2010, Vincent J. Tompkins, Jr., the Deputy Provost at Brown University, was named Weiss's successor. He assumed leadership of Saint Ann's beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year.
Academically, Saint Ann's is extremely strong: the school allows its high school juniors and seniors to essentially design their own curricula. Furthermore, in a 2004 survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal, Saint Ann's was rated the number one high school in the country for having the highest percentage of graduating seniors enroll in Ivy League and several other highly selective colleges. In late 2007, The Wall Street Journal again listed Saint Ann's as one of the country's top 50 high schools for its success in preparing students to enter top American universities. Advanced Placement courses are not offered at Saint Ann's.
The school's visual and performing arts program includes:
- Film, video, & photography
- Playwriting, acting, theater production, & costume design & construction
- Drawing, sculpture, painting, & printmaking
- Puppet construction
- Modern dance, jazz dance, & African dance
- Electronic music, orchestra, jazz band, and an African balafon ensemble in the Lower School
Saint Ann's offers courses in:
The high school seminar program at Saint Ann’s is a unique series of offerings presented by teachers outside the domain of their departments and in addition to their regular teaching load. They are given at odd hours, often at the end of the regular school day, because in the busy schedules of the instructors and the students, no other time is available. The seminars are intense two-hour periods in which students undertake enormous amounts of self-study and/or creative work.
Recent offerings have included: Ancient Greek Literature in Translation; America in the 1920s; The Art of Debate and Rhetoric; Community Service; Enlightenment, Romanticism and Realism; Film Adaptations; High School Literary Magazine; Internship at the Preschool; Mathematical Art; Portuguese; Open Art Studio for students to achieve brilliant paintings or drawings whenever they want; The Middle East; Mock Trial; Modern Social Thought; Nietzsche; Philosophical Problems; Poetry Writing Workshop; Shakespeare in the World; Space Colonies; Technology and Society; True Stories; Go; and Yearbook.
Divisions and demographics
The school is organized into four divisions: preschool, lower, middle and high school. The vast majority of the students are from Brooklyn and Manhattan, although other boroughs are represented. Approximately 22 percent of the student body receive some level of scholarship aid (8.5 percent receive tuition remission; 13.5 percent receive financial aid); nearly 10 percent of Saint Ann's students are faculty children. Approximately 21 percent of the student body are students of color.
The school maintains a list entitled The Growing Shelf which documents all published community members.
Notable faculty include William Everdell.
Notable alumni, sorted by profession, include:
- Gray, Christopher: "129 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights; 1906 Building, Once an Athletic Club, Now a School", The New York Times, 2000-08-13.
- Hager, Emily B.: "Saint Ann’s Chooses New Headmaster", The New York Times, 2010-05-19.
- April 2, 2004 Wall Street Journal, Cover Story (Personal Journal)
- Staff writer (2007-12-28). "How the Schools Stack Up". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Lee, Linda. "A NIGHT OUT AT THE: Paramount Hotel; The Pajama Game", The New York Times, May 27, 2001. Accessed November 3, 2007. "A product of St. Ann's School in Brooklyn, Mr. Abrahams, 23, had invited a batch of friends from high school to join him. He lives in North Park Slope, exactly 41 minutes from here, he said."
- Aleksander, Irina. "Private-School Poppets Welcome Ferrell, Hugh Grant, Reality-Show Cameras", The New York Observer June 16, 2009.
- Kalogerakis, George. "Mind Games", New York, February 18, 2002. Accessed November 15, 2007. "Connelly grew up mostly in Brooklyn Heights, the daughter of a clothing-manufacturer father and antiques-dealer mother. She attended Saint Ann's and started modeling when she was 10."
- Carr, David. "Young Filmmaker’s Search for Her Worth Is Rewarded", The New York Times." "Ms. Dunham grew up in SoHo, went to St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn and graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in creative writing in 2008."
- Levy, Ariel. "The Devil & Saint Ann's", New York." "And certainly, many a bright-eyed youth has passed through the halls of Saint Ann’s and come out the other end an artiste of one sort or another (Zac Posen, Jennifer Connelly, Paz de la Huerta, et al.)"
- Levine, Bettijane. "A Beautiful Journey to Professional Nirvana", Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2002. Accessed October 25, 2010.
- Amdur, Neil. "Friends Reunite for Film, but Actress’s Death Casts Pall on Premiere", The New York Times, April 14, 2007. Accessed November 7, 2007. "Lily Wheelwright and Ry Russo-Young were friends while growing up in the West Village and pursuing their artistic dreams as classmates at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn."
- Ogg, Alex. "The Men behind Def Jam: the Radical Rise of Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin". London: Omnibus, 2002. p. 50." ""The son of an art dealer, Michael Diamond attended St Ann's, an exclusive private school in Brooklyn..."
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