Purnell School

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Purnell School
Purnell School is located in Somerset County, New Jersey
Purnell School
Purnell School
Purnell School is located in New Jersey
Purnell School
Purnell School
Purnell School is located in the US
Purnell School
Purnell School
51 Pottersville Road
Pottersville, (Somerset County), NJ 07979
United States
Coordinates 40°42′58″N 74°43′05″W / 40.716°N 74.718°W / 40.716; -74.718Coordinates: 40°42′58″N 74°43′05″W / 40.716°N 74.718°W / 40.716; -74.718
Type Private, All-Girls, Boarding
Motto Fides Et Fidelitas
Established 1963
Faculty 15.0 FTEs[1]
Grades 912 and Post Graduate
Enrollment 63 (as of 2015-16)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 4.2:1[1]
Campus size 83 acres (0.34 km2)
Color(s) Red and Blue         
Team name The Griffins
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Graduates 1,292

The Purnell School is a progressive private all-girls boarding high school located in Pottersville, within Bedminster Township, New Jersey, about an hour and one-half west of New York City, and two hours north of Philadelphia. Purnell School is a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.[3] The school has been accredited since 1973 by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools.[2]

As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 63 students and 15.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 4.2:1. The school's student body was 57.1% White, 25.4% Black, 1.6% Hispanic, 15.9% Asian.[1]


In December 1963, Purnell was established as a not-for-profit corporation by: Lytt Gould, President, Sis Gould, Secretary, Hap Johnson, Treasurer, and Ethel Stringfellow as the corporation's original Vice President. Carroll's contacts within the Bernardsville community led to the purchase of the 83-acre (340,000 m2) Bassett Farm in Pottersville.

After renovations, primarily by the Gould family, the Founders and their friends, began recruiting the first students to Purnell. The new Headmaster hired eight teachers.

In September 1965, Headmaster Lytt Gould and Associate Head Sis Gould greeted the first entering class of 18 student and Purnell celebrated its first graduation in June 1968.

Today Purnell has over 1,375 alumnae.


Graduation requirements include 4 years of English, 3 years of math, science and history, 2 years of foreign language, and classes in performing and studio arts.

In addition to traditional classes, students also participate in the Affinities Program, as an additional class and a set of seminars designed to help students find and use their strengths.

Each February, traditional classes are suspended and the school has Project Exploration, a mini-term during which students choose one class to focus on for the entire three-week period. Recent Project Exploration courses have included trips to France, Mexico, Costa Rica, the school's musical production, Culinary Arts, Mass Media, Equine Studies, Animals and Society, Maritime Studies, Interior Design, and many more.


Purnell offers a variety of competitive and non-competitive sports throughout the year. Competitive sports include soccer, volleyball, tennis, dance synthesis, basketball, lacrosse and softball. Non-competitive sports include horseback riding, circuit training, dance sport, personal conditioning, yoga and golf.

Purnell competes in the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association - Division B


The Johnson Art Center hosts classes in drawing, collage, pastels, ceramics, photography, oil painting and fashion design.

Each spring the school holds E.B. Osborn Artists in Residence weekend in which various artists come to the school and work with students in workshops.

The Carney Center for Performing Arts is a 179-seat theater. Student performing groups include Ad-libbers, Dance Synthesis, Ringers- hand bell choir and Shoots and Strawberries, the choral group.


External links[edit]