The Putney School
|The Putney School|
418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney,
|Type||Private independent co-educational boarding and day high school|
|Faculty||35 full-time, 24 part-time/adjunct|
|Student to teacher ratio||6:1|
The Putney School is an independent high school located in Putney, Vermont. The school was founded in 1935 by Carmelita Hinton on the principles of the Progressive Education movement and the teachings of its principal exponent, John Dewey. It is a co-educational, college-preparatory boarding school, with a day-student component, located 12 miles (19 km) outside of Brattleboro, Vermont. Emily Jones is the current director. The school enrolls approximately 225 students on a 500 acres (2.0 km2) hilltop campus with classrooms, dormitories, and a dairy farm on which all of its students work before graduating.
The school emphasizes academics, a work program, the arts, and physical activity. The school's curriculum is intended to teach the value of labor, art, community, ethics, and scholarship for individual growth.
Most of the buildings on the school's campus were partially or completely built by Putney students and faculty, with the exception of the most recent additions, the Michael S. Currier Center and the Field House. This Currier Center is a departure from Putney's customary white, colonial-style architecture, instead using stone and concrete walls in an angular design. It is used for dance, music, movie-making and visual-art presentations. The Field House, which opened in October 2009, was designed as a "net zero energy building".
In 1995, the Boston Globe described the school as combining "a New England work ethic and a strong academic program." The school is a member of the Independent Curriculum Group and in 2009 received a 10-year accreditation review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Notable alumni and faculty
According to The Putney School 2008 Alumni Directory, alumni of The Putney School include (graduation date shown, where applicable):
- Sam Amidon, Musician.
- David Amram '48, composer.
- Tim Asch '51, anthropologist, filmmaker.
- Carlos Buhler '72, mountaineer.
- Tim Caldwell Olympic cross-country skier, son of John Caldwell
- Jonathan Crary, art historian
- Dave Cole '96, sculptor
- Carlton Cuse '77, television writer/executive of LOST
- Tim Daly '74, actor
- Lydia Davis '65, writer, Man Booker International Prize recipient
- Thulani Davis '61, Playwright, journalist, librettist, novelist, poet, and screenwriter
- Barnaby Dorfman '86, inventor, technology products
- Mahdi ElMandjra '50, Moroccan futurist, economist and sociologist
- Kai T. Erikson '49, sociologist
- David Griffiths '60, physicist, teacher
- Andrea Gruber, soprano.
- Joan Hinton '39, atomic physicist, farmer in China
- Lee Hirsch '90, filmmaker.
- Jeffrey Hollender '73, CEO Seventh Generation Inc.
- Reid Hoffman '85, web entrepreneur, co-founder of LinkedIn
- Felicity Huffman '81, actor
- Jeffrey Jones '64, actor
- Harper Simon '90, singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer and son of Paul Simon
- Kathleen Kennedy Townsend '69, Lieutenant Governor, Maryland
- Kerry Kennedy '77, lawyer and human rights activist
- Bill Koch '73, Olympic cross-country skiing medalist
- Mike Ladd, hip hop artist
- Jonathan Lash '63, Hampshire College President
- Ellen Hamilton Latzen '99, actor
- Téa Leoni (Pantaleoni) '84, actor
- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, '52, journalist, critic, novelist
- J. Anthony Lukas '51, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author
- Sally Mann '69, fine-art photographer
- Joanna Miles '58, Emmy award-winning actress in The Glass Menagerie
- Adrian Morris, painter
- Errol Morris '65, filmmaker
- Nell Newman '78, co-founder/owner, Newman's Own
- Heather Nova '83, musician and songwriter
- Ken Olin '72 actor, director and TV producer
- Bob Perelman '64, poet, literary critic and professor
- Jonathan Piel '57, science journalist, past editor of Scientific American
- Tyler Rasch '06, television personality
- Noel Rockmore '47, painter, portraitist
- Martha Rockwell '62, Olympic cross-country ski racer
- Jonathan Rosenbaum '61, film critic
- Christopher Rowland '81, journalist
- Demetria Royals, filmmaker
- Jonathan Schell '61, author
- Wallace Shawn '61, actor, playwright
- Lucy Shelton '61, soprano
- Alexis Stewart '83, television host, daughter of Martha Stewart.
- Peter Willcox '72, Greenpeace activist, Arctic Sunrise captain 
- John Bell Young, American concert pianist
Some Putney faculty members (subject taught in parentheses) had careers that extended beyond their teaching.
- Eric Aho (art), American painter
- John H. Caldwell (mathematics), Nordic skier on the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, author and Nordic coach of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team
- Chard deNiord (English, Philosophy), Poet Laureate of Vermont
- Eric Evans (canoeist) (English)
- Fernando Gerassi (art), artist
- Peter C. Goldmark, Jr. (history), environmentalist, publisher, and executive.
In popular culture
- "Putney at a glance". Website. Putney School. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- Cohen, Muriel (January 1, 1995). "Putney - A Vermont School that Dared and Succeeded". The Boston Globe: A42.
- State Board of Education (May 19, 2015), Renewal of approval to The Putney School, Putney, VT to serve students in grades 9-12 (PDF), State of Vermont Agency of Education, retrieved 2015-11-11
- The Putney School 2008 Alumni Directory'. Bloomington, Indiana: University Publishing Corporation. 2008.
- Robidoux, Carol (January 21, 2015). "Olympic Skiing Runs in Lebanon Lawyer's Family". Bar News. New Hampshire Bar Association.
- Poniewozik, James (April 29, 2010). "Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof". The 2010 TIME 100—Artists. TIME. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
- Sherwin, Adam (2013-05-23). "World's most concise short story writer Lydia Davis wins Booker International Prize 2013". Independent. Retrieved 2013-05-23.
- "Felicity Huffman, actress charged in college-admission bribery case, has Vermont ties". Burlington Free Press.
- Aspen (30 August 2016). "Christopher Lehmann-Haupt '52". putneyschool.org.
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Martha Rockwell Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- Walker, Shaun (24 November 2013). "Arctic 30 captain re-evaluates protest methods after Russian jails Veteran Greenpeace skipper Peter Willcox was also captain of Rainbow Warrior – which was bombed by French agents in 1985". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
- Lloyd, Susan McIntosh (1987). The Putney School: A Progressive Experiment. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03742-2.
- Sadovnik, Alan R.; Semel, Susan F., eds. (2002). Carmelita Chase Hinton and the Putney School. Founding Mothers and Others: Women Educational Leaders During the Progressive Era. Palgrave. ISBN 0-312-29502-2.
- Putney School web site
- The Putney School's Fundamental Beliefs
- Independent Curriculum Group web site
- Accreditation report from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
- The Association of Boarding Schools profile