The Pennington School

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The Pennington School
112 West Delaware Avenue
Pennington, NJ 08534
Type Independent school
Day and Boarding
Motto Honor. Virtue. Humility.
Established 1838
Head of School Dr. William S. Hawkey
Faculty 80.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment 486[1] (2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio 6.1:1[1]
Campus 54 acres (220,000 m2)
Color(s) Black and Red
Affiliation United Methodist Church

Coordinates: 40°19′43.02″N 74°47′39.75″W / 40.3286167°N 74.7943750°W / 40.3286167; -74.7943750The Pennington School is a selective, private (independent), coeducational college preparatory school for day and boarding students in sixth through twelfth grades, located in Pennington, a small community midway between New York City and Philadelphia in the northeastern United States in Mercer County, New Jersey. The Head of School is Dr. William S. Hawkey, who assumed the position in July 2014.[2]

As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 486 students and 80.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 6.1:1.[1]

Pennington is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools,[3] the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools,[4] the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools,[5] and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.[6] The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1930.[7]


The Pennington School was founded in 1838 during the Second Great Awakening as the Methodist Episcopal Male Seminary, a college preparatory school for boys, in order to secure “the education of the physical, the training of the mental, and the grounding of the soul in character.” Pennington officially became a coeducational institution, The Pennington Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute, in the fall of 1854. In March 1910, Pennington would again become a school for boys, reverting to the name Pennington Seminary. Shortly afterward,[8] the school's name evolved to its present form, sometimes with the addition of "for Boys." It was not until 1972 that Pennington once again became a coeducational institution. In 1975, the Center for Learning, one of the nation's leading secondary school programs for bright children with learning disabilities, was created within the school to serve a small number of college-preparatory students.


The Pennington School offers a vigorous curriculum for students with strong academic ability and the desire to build a record of personal achievement appropriate for admission into some of the country's most demanding colleges and universities. Middle school students have their own faculty dedicated to teaching children of this age (sixth through eighth grade). Middle school courses include: Algebra, American History and Government Applications, Art-o-Rama, Computer Skills, Earth Science, English, French, Geometry, German, Global Perspectives, Health, Humanities, Latin, Life Science, Math, Music, Physical Science, Spanish, Technology, Writer's Studio, and many elective offerings. Upper School students are expected to seek personal excellence academically, socially, physically, and artistically. They work closely with their advisors to create a challenging curriculum that helps them to grow as learners. Upper School students are offered a full range of both Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Visual and Performing Arts[edit]

The Arts Department offers rich and varied courses and activities in drama, music, and the visual arts for both Middle School and Upper School students. Students embrace their own creativity and gain a lifelong appreciation for the creativity of others.


Music courses include: Chorus, Composition, Handbell Ensemble, Instrumental Ensemble, Jazz Band, Keyboard, Music History, Music Theory, Orchestra, Pennington Singers, Pit Band, and Vocal Ensemble.


Drama courses include: Acting Shakespeare, Advanced Drama, Foundations in Drama, Public Speaking, Puppetry & Performance, Respect for Acting, Small Group Dynamics, and Stagecrafts.

Visual Art[edit]

Visual Art courses include: Adobe Photoshop, Advanced Black & White Darkroom Skills, Alternative Processes, Ceramics, Digital Photography, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and Video Production.


The Pennington School competes in the Patriot Conference, which includes the Gill St. Bernard's School, the Ranney School, the Purnell School, Stuart Country Day School, Wardlaw-Hartridge School, Timothy Christian School (New Jersey), Princeton Day School, and Saddle River Day School. In addition. Pennington competes regularly against The Peddie School, the Hun School of Princeton, and Lawrenceville School.


The Pennington School is home to one of the country's longest-running (138 years) football programs. Pennington Football competes in the Independence League, which is a league consisting of small schools from Pennsylvania and New Jersey; including Bristol, Academy of the New Church, Lower Moreland, Jenkintown, and Springfield Township.

In recent seasons, The Pennington School has sent multiple players to both Division I FBS and FCS schools; including Boston College, University of Maryland, North Carolina State, Indiana University The College of William and Mary, Towson, and New Hampshire. Currently, Dontae Johnson (Class of 2010) is playing for the San Francisco 49ers.

Varsity hockey[edit]

Pennington's Ice Hockey tradition dates back to 1996–97, when a group of students was successful in starting a team. The Red Raiders play in the competitive Independent Hockey League, in which they were league champions in 2009. Traditions include an annual game against the rival Hopewell Bulldogs, in which fans from both sides come out to support their team. They also hold an annual alumni game during the weekend following Thanksgiving.

Girls' soccer[edit]

Pennington's Girls' Soccer team has established itself as a perennial powerhouse and one of the top high school soccer programs in the nation. In 2008 the Pennington Girls' Soccer Team finished the season with an undefeated record of 18-0, and was ranked as the consensus #1 team in the United States according to ESPN RISE and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. During that season they captured their 6th consecutive NJSIAA Prep A State Title and their 2nd consecutive Mercer County Tournament Championship and won their seventh straight Prep A title in the 2009 season.[9] In 2014, the team won its ninth Mercer County Championship title in a 12-year span.[10]

Boys' soccer[edit]

Captured the 2009 Prep B State tournament. The team competed in the 2010 Prep A State tournament and lost to the top ten nationally ranked team, Saint Benedict's Preparatory School 1-0. The team has sent recent players to Division I and Division III soccer programs.


The boys' team placed 1st at the 2010 N.J. Prep Patriot Championship Meet, 4th at Mercer County Tournament, and won their second NJSIAA “B” State Tournament. The girls' team won the Patriot Championship, placed 2nd at MCT's and won their 9th consecutive NJSIAA “B” State Championship. Recent Pennington swimmers have gone on to compete at Division I and Division III colleges and universities.

Boys' basketball[edit]

The team captured the 2009 and 2010 Mercer County Tournament Championship and the 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Prep B State Championship.

Spring track[edit]

Girls' – 2008 Patriot Conference Champions and 2008 Prep B State Champions

Boys' – 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 Patriot Conference Champions

Recent Pennington track participants have gone on to compete at the Division I and Division III level at The University of Texas, Lafayette, West Point, McDaniel, St. Lawrence, Wheaton, TCNJ, and Dickinson.

Clubs and activities[edit]

"The Penntonian" - School Newspaper[11]

"Penseman" - School Yearbook[12]

Bowling Club (During the Winter (2nd) Trimester)

Pennington Sports News (PSN)

Mock Trial

Model UN

Center for Learning[edit]

The Center for Learning, founded in 1975, provides a program of academic support for bright students with learning disabilities. In addition to preparing students for college-level study, the program has three objectives. A central goal is to identify each student’s educational difficulties and to address them through individually tailored academic supports and accommodations. A second goal is to help the student fully participate in the School’s traditional college preparatory curriculum. The third goal is for most students to transition out of the Center for Learning classes before graduation from Pennington and to achieve the independence and confidence that will assure their success in college.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for The Pennington School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed May 4, 2015.
  2. ^ Stratton, Jean. "Core Values of Honor, Virtue, and Humility Continue to Guide The Pennington School", Town Topics (newspaper). Accessed May 4, 2015. "'I think what attracts most families to private school education is the intimacy of our education,' notes William S. Hawkey, PhD who became headmaster in July."
  3. ^ The Pennington School, National Association of Independent Schools. Accessed June 19, 2011.
  4. ^ School Search, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed June 19, 2011.
  5. ^ Listing of ADVIS member schools, Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools. Accessed June 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Pre-Collegiate Schools, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Accessed June 19, 2011.
  7. ^ Pennington School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 19, 2011.
  8. ^ "The Pennington School", The Independent, July 20, 1914. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  9. ^ O'Gorman, George. "Washington was best among prep stars", The Trentonian, December 8, 2009. Accessed June 19, 2011. "Pennington, the best program in the state for most of this decade, had the five girls who led it to another Mercer County Tournament title and a seventh consecutive Prep A state crown earn first team honors."
  10. ^ O'Gorman, George. "Pennington edges Hightstown to win MCT title", The Trentonian, November 1, 2014. Accessed May 4, 2015. "She scored both Red Raiders' goals — the second after being treated for a knee bruise, to help Pennington reclaim the county title — its ninth in 12 years — with a 2-1 victory over Hightstown in one of the best MCT finals in years."
  11. ^ "Activities & Clubs". Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  12. ^ "Activities & Clubs". Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  13. ^ Rudy Bochwitz, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed May 14, 2007. "BOSCHWITZ, Rudolph Eli (Rudy), a Senator from Minnesota; born in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 1930; attended the public schools in New Rochelle, N.Y., and The Pennington School in Pennington, N.J."
  14. ^ Franklin, Paul (August 31, 2014). "Pennington School junior is football team's first female player in 135-year history". The Times of Trenton. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ Stephen Crane profile,, accessed May 14, 2007. "Crane wrote his first short story, "Uncle Jake and the Bell Handle," in 1885, which was the year he enrolled in Pennington Seminary, where he stayed until 1887."
  16. ^ New Jersey John Franklin Fort, National Governors Association. Accessed September 30, 2007.
  17. ^ Branch, Eric (September 13, 2014). "Dontae Johnson steps up to next level admirably". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  18. ^ Saltzman, Simon. "Playwrighting for a Cause", U.S. 1 Newspaper, October 8, 2003. Accessed May 14, 2007. "A native of the Trenton area, Mastrosimone says he caught the writing bug when he was a student at Pennington Prep."
  19. ^ Lee, Francis Bazley. [1]. Accessed June 30, 2008.
  20. ^ "Core Values of Honor, Virtue, and Humility Continue to Guide The Pennington School". Town Topics. October 8, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 

External links[edit]