Welcome from the Head of School

What is The Putney School? In spite of our rural exterior, Putney is not a simple place. We are both creative and grounded, visionary and practical. We are a community of people who think for themselves, invent, design, experiment, compose, write, build, and chase down new ideas. Thinking and doing are interwoven at Putney. We are progressive, and so we value experiential education, the idea that people often learn best by doing, rather than by being told. Students here view education as something they are pursuing, rather than something being done to them. We regard education as the creation of intelligence rather than the transmission of information. We are both academically rigorous and culturally informal. We take our intellectual tradition seriously, but do not wrap it up in formalities.

We lead and we work. We value collaboration more than competition, and believe that leadership requires a deep understanding of what it means to work. We share the work at Putney and we share the leadership. Adults here believe that teenagers are capable and trustworthy.

Students play an active role in running the community. Students are part of every decision-making body of the school, including the Board of Trustees. Our school council debates the real issues of the community, from the grading policy and graduation requirements to cell phones and community service. The student-run work program oversees work on the farm, in the kitchen and across the campus.

We value individuality and community, self and others. We take care of ourselves and each other and know what it takes to make a community function effectively. We are not a prep school, meaning that we do not merely prepare you to be somewhere else. We promote presence—at home and in the world—in community, in work, and in self-expression. While our graduates go on to the highest caliber colleges and universities, they do so with a foundation of personal responsibility for their education and commitment to their community.

If these things appeal to you, please come for a visit. Give us a call at 802-387-6219. We hope to see you soon.


Emily H. Jones
Head of School

A.B. Harvard University
M.A. Yale University

About Emily

Emily started her education career at the Maru a Pula school in Gaborone, Botswana. After an interval in the US (studying at Yale and teaching at the Taft School), she and her husband, Gordon, founded the American Pacific International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Immediately prior to coming to Putney, Emily headed the upper school at the Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon.

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