Saint Ann's School (New York City)
|Saint Ann's School|
|The Bosworth Building
129 Pierrepont St.
Brooklyn, New York
|Motto||Altiora Peto (I seek higher things)|
|Headmaster||Vincent J. Tompkins, Jr., Ph.D.|
|Associate Headmaster||Jason Asbury, D.S.M.|
|Enrollment||about 1080 students (PK-12)|
|Color(s)||Blue, White and Gold|
|Athletics||Saint Ann's Steamers|
|Mascot||Owl on Athenian Coin|
|Average SAT scores||730 Verbal
710 Writing 
|Newspaper||Saint Ann's Ram|
Saint Ann's School is an arts-oriented private school with an independent legal structure in the Brooklyn Heights section of Brooklyn, New York City, known for its strength in both arts and academics. Annual tuition as of 2015 is between $34,000 and $41,000 depending on grade level. The school is a non-sectarian, co-educational pre-K–12 day school with rigorous programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences (its high school offers 200+ yearly, of which over 70 are in the arts).
The school includes 1,080 students from preschool through 12th grade, as well as 324 faculty, administration, and staff members. The campus includes a central 15-story building with a 19th-century facade housing the 4th through 12th grades; a lower school building for the first through third grades; two adjoining brownstones, one of which houses the school's fine arts department; and a preschool and kindergarten located near the main campus.
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, American University scholar, and president at Friends World College, 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, and formerly associate dean of academic affairs at Harvard University, was named Weiss's successor. A graduate of Brown, he received his PhD from Harvard, and taught American history there before entering academic administration. He assumed leadership of Saint Ann's beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year.
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 curriculum emphasizes education in the arts including dance, music, theater, and the visual and recreational arts, as central elements of its academic curriculum, while high school students also attend a 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. 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.
The school allows its high school juniors and seniors to essentially design their own curriculum. 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. In 2012, the New York Observer ranked Saint Ann's as the number one high school in New York City.
The school's visual and performing arts program includes:
- Film, Animation, video, & photography
- Playwriting, acting, theater production, & costume design & construction
- Mathematical Art
- Drawing, sculpture, painting, conceptual art & printmaking
- Puppet construction
- Modern dance, jazz dance, & African dance
- Mathematics of Music, Electronic music, Brass Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Consort, Chorus, chamber music, jazz band, Bach Ensemble, music theory, modern music, Jazz Techniques, Jazz Guitar, Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Music Theory and Composition, Music and Computers, The Broadway Musical, Jazz History, Opera, and an African balafon ensemble in the Lower School
- Performance Art
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; Artificial Intelligence; Community Service; Enlightenment, Romanticism and Realism; Film Adaptations; High School Literary Magazine; Internship at the Preschool; Kite Making; 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; “It Ain't Over ‘Till The Fat Lady Sings!” Art, Politics and the Philosophy of Richard Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelung; Radicalism and Feminism in Art; AIDS, Art & Activism: The Plague Years; Cut, Dye, Resist: Graphic Art on Fabric; Fire Works; Spain's Artistic Legacy; True Stories; 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 called The Growing Shelf, which documents all published community members.
Notable faculty include:
- Tazewell Thompson (theater director)
- William Everdell (historian)
- Adam Gidwitz (author)
- Cara Hoffman (writer)
- Dave Schramm, (musician)
- Willard Midgette (artist)
- Staceyann Chin (poet and LGBT activist)
- Leon Reid, IV (artist)
- Paul Lockhart, a mathematician and author of A Mathematician's Lament and Measurement
- Jonathan Hafetz (lawyer)
- Mark Denbeaux (lawyer)
- Melissa James Gibson (playwright)
- Pearl Abraham (novelist)
- Greg Smith (artist)
- Oskar Eustis (artistic director of Public Theater)
- Jonathan Elliott (composer)
- Laura Gilbert (Grammy Award-winning flutist)
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.
- Rauma Ann. "Friends College Gets a Bill", The New York Times, December 13, 1981. "When Dr. Larry Weiss, a 31-year-old China scholar, became president of the college a year and a half ago, the institution was struggling with a growing deficit, a 65 percent dropout rate and a falling enrollment."
- 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.
- New York Observer: "The Observer's Ranking of New York's Top 160 Schools: 2012"
- Midgette, Anne. , Washington Post." "He’s also a committed and inspiring teacher, including an early stint at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn where, full disclosure, he directed me in the high school musical."
- Del Signore, John. "Playwright Melissa James Gibson Discusses What Rhymes With America", Gothamist, December 26, 2012. "I was a college counselor for many years at a private school in Brooklyn, St. Ann's. It's a wonderful school, really cool school. I was there pretty much since graduate school, other than two fellowship years."
- Abraham, Pearl. "teacher's Notebook Leaving Her Mark", The Washington Post, November 5, 1995. "Pearl Abraham, author of the recent novel "The Romance Reader," taught English at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn."
- Green, Adam. "Inside the High-Drama Life of Hamilton Impresario Oskar Eustis" Vogue, February 24, 2016
- "Jonathan Elliott", Vox Novus
- "About", Laura Gilbert
- Rosen, Marjorie. "Sisterly Newcomer Joie Lee: Spiked Hair and Maybe Spike's Heir", People.com, August 27, 2001. Accessed September 17, 2016. "Raised in a household where their father, Bill, was a jazz trumpeter and their mother, Jackie, the first black teacher at St. Ann's (a tony, mostly white private school in Brooklyn Heights), the Lee children were exposed early to the arts and ideas of black culture—everything from Broadway musical theater to the writings of the abolitionist Harriet Tubman."
- "Features". Film Review. Orpheus (643-647).
- 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.)"
- Kaufman, Sarah. "Lucas Hedges, Born and Raised in Brooklyn Heights, Gets Buzz for Role in 'Manchester by the Sea'", Patch Media, December 30, 2016. Accessed December 31, 2016. "Hedges was born and raised in Brooklyn and grew up in Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. He graduated from Saint Ann's School, a private, arts-based school on Pierrepont Street."
- 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."
- Joshua Stecker, "SXSW: Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers Cause Millennial Mayhem in Indie Comedy ‘Fort Tilden’," "Script"
- 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..."
- Goldfein, Josh. "Brooklyn Zoo", Village Voice, May 16, 2006.
- "Mixtapes: Simone's Dinnerstein's Teenage Turning Points from Stravinsky to Hendrix", WQXRWQXR-FM, June 10, 2015. "I was going to St. Ann's School at the time and taking an English class called "Towards Modernism" and I wrote a term paper on the quartet which I still have!"
- Frere-Jones, Sasha, "Peace, Adam", The New Yorker, May 4, 2012. Accessed November 25, 2016. "I was sitting on the red steps in the lobby of St. Ann’s, where I was a sophomore in high school."
- Moseder, David K. Brooklyn Voices - March 2016, Brooklyn Roads, February 29, 2016.
- Straub, Emma. "Dear Stanley", The Paris Review, November 3, 2011. "When I was a senior at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights, I was one of the editors of our school yearbook."
- "Lookout", People.com, June 14, 1982. "[Healy,] the eighth grader at St. Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights has resumed training with Gelsey Kirkland's former coach, David Howard."
- Gambaccini, Peter. "Home Run", New York Magazine, June 17, 1991. "After high school at St. Ann's in Brooklyn, Rainey went to Harvard."
- Gudrais, Elizabeth, "Playing With Health," Harvard Magazine, May–June 2012. "He [Bosworth] attended Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, where his father, Stanley, was the inaugural headmaster."
- "Vito Schnabel on His Days as a 16-Year-Old Curator...", February 2013, Lauren Cristensen, VF Culture
- Phoebe Hoban, "One Artist Imitating Another," The New York Times
- Arthur C. Danto, "Flyboy in the Buttermilk," "The Nation"
- Lisa J. Curtis, "Homecoming: Fort Greene's poet-painter Basquiat is fondly remembered," "Brooklyn Paper"
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