Thayer Academy

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Thayer Academy
Thayer logo.jpg
Braintree, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°12′30″N 71°0′20″W / 42.20833°N 71.00556°W / 42.20833; -71.00556Coordinates: 42°12′30″N 71°0′20″W / 42.20833°N 71.00556°W / 42.20833; -71.00556
Type Private
Established 1877
Headmaster Ted Koskores
Grades 6–12
Gender co-educational
Number of students 670
Student to teacher ratio 6.5:1
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Black & Orange ‹See Tfm›    ‹See Tfm›    
Athletics conference ISL
Team name Tigers
Accreditation NEASC
Endowment 850 million

Thayer Academy (TA) is a private, co-educational, college-preparatory day school located in Braintree, Massachusetts, United States. The academy, conceived in 1871 at the bequest of General Sylvanus Thayer, the father of the United States Military Academy, and founder of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, was established in 1877. Thayer annually enrolls approximately 470 students in the Upper School (grades 9–12) and an additional 220 students in the Middle School (grades 6–8). The 34-acre (14 ha) campus is situated in the heart of Braintree and consists of eight buildings and 54 classrooms. Students are drawn primarily from Boston's MetroWest and South Shore communities.


General Thayer, born in Braintree, Massachusetts, graduated as valedictorian from both Dartmouth College and the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. General Thayer was dedicated to hard work, and at the age of 17, he taught in the local schools of Hanover, New Hampshire to earn money to pay for college – an early sign of the importance he attached to teaching and education. He was Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point from 1817–1833. General Thayer's 1871 will provided for the creation of Thayer Academy, and on September 12, 1877, the Academy opened its doors to 30 students in what is now Main Building. Glover opened sometime later in 1894. The junior school (grades 5-8), Thayerlands, opened in 1924 and quickly grew to include eight grades as well as kindergarten and nursery school. Beginning in 1969, the lower grades were gradually eliminated, and Thayerlands became Thayer Academy Middle School. Thayer has been a co-educational institution since its founding.

Academic program, students and faculty[edit]

Thayer recently completed two state-of-the-art biology labs, a two-story strength and conditioning facility, a new Middle School Resource Center, and four synthetic grass playing fields. In addition, a new Center for the Arts opened its doors in the fall of 2008 and includes a 550-seat theater, dance studios, and art classrooms. Tuition is $35,125 (2011–2012). The school provides $4.9 million in financial aid and is easily accessible from the major surrounding highways: routes 3, I-93, and I-95, and is within walking distance of the Braintree MBTA Red Line rapid transit station.

Total combined enrollment at Thayer Upper and Middle Schools is approximately 690. The Thayer faculty consists of over 100 teachers, and the average class size is between 13 and 16 students.

100% of Thayer graduates matriculate to 4-year colleges and universities. Over 90% of students taking AP exams earn scores of 3 or better and over 60% of Thayer graduates attend colleges and universities listed as "more selective" or "most selective" by Peterson's Guide.

Academic highlights[edit]


Thayers Traveling Mathlete Team is consistently successful. Often, they win their division, are invited to the regional play-offs, and then continue on to the Massachusetts State Competition. The math team consists of 15 students of all grade levels who meet for practice and travel to area high schools for competitions.


Thayer Academy’s student magazine Voice, published four times per year, was named best scholastic magazine for a school of any size in all of New England by the New England Scholastic Press Association (NEPSA).[citation needed]

In addition, eight Thayer students won Individual Achievement (IA) awards. Over 1,300 entries were received for various IA categories and typically, 10% or fewer entries in any category win recognition.[1]

Voice has two faculty advisors who help students with production questions and ideas. Students are encouraged and expected to display professional journalistic standards and make decisions on their own regarding writing, editing and publishing.

The basic guideline for Voice is that no topic is off-limits. The school administration doesn’t censor the content and all content and editorials are written by students. There is a staff of 18-20 and no single editor.

Green Projects: Grease Lightning[edit]

In 2007, with the support of faculty, parents, trustees, and local restaurants, the Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES) class converted a 1981 Mercedes Benz 300D (diesel) to an environmentally friendly 'green car' that runs on filtered waste vegetable oil.

The class spent a semester installing the conversion kit from Greasecar. The students were divided into teams, some focusing on the build and install, others focusing on the wiring and still another group in charge of the marketing and advertising. "...when Mr. Schneider asked us all if we were interested in making a grease car, ...we thought it would be really, really fun," said Liz Tillotson, a student from Milton, Massachusetts. "We eventually decided to do something that would really stand out and make an impact in the community," said Skip Schneider, the science teacher who supervised the project.[2]


Thayer's athletic teams participate in the competitive Independent School League (ISL), the oldest independent school athletic association in the United States. Thayer has long had a reputation as an ice hockey powerhouse,[3] and additionally offers these interscholastic sports at the High School varsity level:

  • Fall
    • Boys': Intramural Crew, Soccer, Football, Cross Country
    • Girls': Intramural Crew, Soccer, Field Hockey, Cross Country
  • Winter
    • Boys': Basketball, Ice Hockey, Swimming and Diving, Skiing, Wrestling
    • Girls': Basketball, Ice Hockey, Swimming and Diving, Skiing, Wrestling, Gymnastics
  • Spring
    • Girls': Lacrosse, Crew, Track and Field, Tennis, Golf, Softball
    • Boys': Lacrosse, Crew, Track and Field, Tennis, Golf, Baseball

Thayer also offers interscholastic sports in the Middle School.

As a general rule, Middle School Students are required to participate in interscholastic activities or Health and Wellness (a program consisting of intramural and fitness activities), year-round. High School students are required to participate in 11 terms of interscholastic sports or Health and Wellness classes in order to graduate.

The Thayer Academy campus is equipped with facilities that foster athletic training and performance.[4] On campus, Thayer has ten athletic venues in addition to two gyms and an athletic training room. The Sawyer Athletic center is located in Thayer’s campus center and is home to the athletic department offices, Alumni Gym, Memorial Gym and the hall of fame lobby. The athletic training room is also located in the campus center in the Fish Center for Physical Fitness.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Dr. Donna M. Ambrosino '70, doctor, scientist, and researcher, first woman to be named executive director of the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratory; recipient of Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for excellence in public service
  • Tony Amonte '89, professional athlete, former NHL and Olympic athlete; member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Charles Castleman '57, concert violinist, recognized for outstanding career as teacher and soloist with symphony orchestras around the world
  • John Cheever, Pulitzer Prize winning author (did not graduate) [5]
  • Suzanne Ciani '65, musician, five-time Grammy award nominee and INDIE Award winner recognized for her work as new age musician
  • Michael J. Connor '76, Rear Admiral in the US Navy, recognized for commanding a number of operations in support of the global war on terrorism
  • Charlie Coyle, San Jose Shark First Round Draft Pick-2010, hockey
  • Dr. Mary E. Costanza '54, physician, recognized for her pioneering role in breast cancer research
  • Terrence P. Currier '53, actor, director, and writer, acted in Broadway shows, numerous feature films and TV series
  • William D. Delahunt '59, U.S. Representative, 10th District (MA-D)
  • CDR. Stephen R. Foley '80, flight leader and commander of the Blue Angels, decorated with several naval and marine achievement medals for his leadership
  • Phyllis Papani Godwin '44, business owner, Chair, CEO & Treasurer of Granite City Electric Supply, recognized as the area’s largest business led by a woman
  • John Curtis Gowan, psychologist
  • David Grossack '73, attorney
  • David P. Hemery '62, Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medalist, recognized for contribution to sports in the roles of athlete, coach, and author
  • Kelly Amonte Hiller '92, head lacrosse coach at Northwestern University
  • Mike Jones '03, basketball player, University of Maryland Terrapins
  • Amanda Kelly '04, Miss Massachusetts 2009
  • Tiffany Kelly '05, Miss Massachusetts USA 2006
  • Asa S. Knowles, educator and president of Northeastern University from 1959–1975
  • Dr. Deborah Pavan Langston '57, physician and professor, professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear
  • Mike Mottau '96, hockey player, Hobey Baker Award winner
  • Frank N. Newman '59, international banking executive; served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department
  • Brooks Orpik '98, hockey player, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Richard F. Prince '67, artist, recognized for his work in photographic art
  • Dr. Joel M. Rappeport '57, physician and professor, known as a pioneer in the field of bone marrow transplants
  • Martha A. Reardon '58, entrepreneur, recognized for her role in developing the Hingham-Boston ferry system
  • Randy K. Repass '62, entrepreneur, ounder and Chairman of the Board, West Marine Inc.
  • Enders A. Robinson '47, geophysicist, recognized for his outstanding career in geophysics and for his appointment to the National Academy of Engineers
  • Jeremy Roenick '88, professional athlete, former NHL and Olympic athlete, member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Michael J. Sheehan '78, advertising executive, CEO, Hill Holiday, earned several awards for excellence including the Grand Clio, One Show Gold, Cannes Lion, and the Best of Show at Hatch
  • Dave Silk '76, professional athlete and Olympic gold medalist, recognized for his contribution to sports in the roles of athlete and coach
  • General Gordon R. Sullivan '55, four star Army general, recognized for outstanding military career culminating in appointment as Army Chief of Staff
  • Lonni J. Tanner '76, humanitarian – recognized for her role in launching the Boston-based CityYear program and for her work at the Robin Hood Foundation
  • Leif Tilden '83, actor/director, most noted for his work playing Donatello in the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle movies.
  • Kelly J. Tuthill '88, journalist, award-winning reporter and member of Team 5 Investigates, WCVB-TV, Boston
  • Ryan Whitney '01, hockey player, Anaheim Ducks


  1. ^ [1] Gatehouse News Service, May 29, 2007]
  2. ^ Trust, Dick (2007-06-15), "A Wesson Lesson: Thayer students convert Mercedes into a model of energy efficiency", The Patriot Ledger, Quincy MA, retrieved 2007-02-21 
  3. ^ "It was another fine year for South Shore hockey", The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, MA (available via ProQuest, document id 824511771, or from Highbeam), 2005-04-16 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Wentworth, Lillian, Thayer Academy archivist. Interview with Patriot Ledger, Braintree, MA (26 January 2009), accessed 12 February 2009

External links[edit]