Admissions & Financial Aid

At Putney, we look for driven, creative students who want to and are able to take advantage of the intellectual freedom and autonomy afforded students both in the classroom and across their experience of our school.

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Please feel free to ask as many questions as you need (it’s how we’ll know you are a good fit)!

To contact our admissions office: (802) 387-6201; [email protected].

Our team is an eclectic group with divergent backgrounds and histories. We all believe deeply in the value of progressive education and enjoy seeing its positive impact for Putney students every day. To learn more about why we love Putney, read on!

John Barrengos

Director of Admission and Financial Aid

B.A. Tufts University
M.A. Columbia University Teachers College
Ed.M. Columbia University Teachers College
Ed.D. Columbia University Teachers College

Why do you love working at Putney?

I have had a professional crush on Putney’s confident embrace of progressive education since I was in graduate school in the 1990s. I’ve always loved admission and seen it as an intersection of the present and future tense of a school community. The caliber of our students and parents and the mesh and match of our families with our aspirations defines the potential of our school.

Helping a family to choose the right educational community for their child’s next chapter asks that we carefully come to understand kids and their families, share our lenses with the family, and imagine a child’s learning journey through our school.





Amara Cunningham

Admission Office Manager

Why do you love working at Putney?

My job at Putney puts me in a front-row seat for transformative educational experiences. Not only do I get to introduce visitors to the school for the first time, I also am afforded opportunities to see students progress throughout the course of their time here. It’s pretty affirming to see all of the beautiful things that happen here: shy students finding their voices; artists finding their medium; activists finding their causes, just to name a few. And to think it all starts in the Admission Office!

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

I’m a musician, so I’m always learning new music and technique. It’s hard for me to believe that I would still be growing and changing so much if I hadn’t found my place at Putney. Existing in this community has helped me realize that there are always opportunities for me if I’m willing to push and better myself, so I keep striving.




Jessa Harger

Admission Counselor

M.A. SIT Graduate Institute, World Learning
B.A. Cornell College

Why do you love working at Putney?

I love showing families a learning environment that empowers students and keeps the love of learning alive. Being in a community that encourages all parts of the process allows for so much creativity. Watching students discover and hone new talents reminds me that it’s never too late to learn a new skill or pursue a new interest.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

The past few years I have been playing around with drawing and painting.  This summer I started sculling with the Putney Rowing Club and have loved learning a new sport! I was fortunate to take a group of students to France last spring and had a great time learning to speak French.





Libby Holmes

Director of International Programs

B.A. Miami University
M.A.T. School for International Training

Why do you love working at Putney?

Putney creates and recreates a remarkable and compelling community each year, comprised of energetic new students from all over the world, seasoned returning students prepared to lead and contribute, and a generous-hearted, committed faculty and staff of able adults, some of whom are long-time friends and others who are more recent arrivals offering new ways to understand education and fresh camaraderie.  Together, we make Putney more than just a school.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

Far from my earlier studies in literature and language teaching, I’m now learning about native plants, natural gardening, and other horticultural matters.






Brian Quarrier ’05

Admission Counselor

B.S. Bates College

Why do you love working at Putney?

After graduating from Putney in 2005, I have thought a lot about coming back to work here. It’s special when you find a spot that allows you to grow up and be who you want to be without pressure to conform to social norms. Being a student at Putney allowed me to follow my passions and pushed me to excel, and that is true for me as an adult now. I am very excited to help students find a place that will push them to be their best selves.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

I have stayed in education my whole life because of all of the opportunities to continue to learn. Currently, I am on a creation kick. I love making things: wooden boats, bamboo bikes, leather shoes, sewing fleeces, blacksmithing, woodturning, ceramics, weaving, hide tanning, you name it I am excited to try. Making things forces me to think creatively and problem solve. Every medium has its own challenge and strength, figuring out what they are and how to use them to build something beautiful and functional is a joy.






Michael Sardinas

Admission Counselor and Associate Director of Financial Aid 

B.A. Marlboro College
M.S. Marlboro Graduate Center

Why do you love working at Putney?

I have spent twelve years at The Putney School in various capacities, from working as a dorm parent and in the technology department to teaching wilderness skills and as Dean of Students. I strive to work at an organization I believe in, and I cannot think of a more perfect fit than Putney. Putney teaches work ethic; the cows need to be fed and milked, the firewood needs to be split for our wood fired bread oven and the snow must be shoveled. Seniors who graduate have the ability to look around, see what needs to be done and do it. Putney encourages curiosity. Project Week is a perfect example of this. Students are in control of their education, and because of this learning isn’t a box to check, but becomes a fulfilling endeavor. Putney builds lifelong friendships. Watching the alumni come back, it doesn’t matter if they graduated in 1945, 1985 or 2005, the friendships and community built at Putney are rock solid. I love working at Putney because I believe in Putney.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

I enjoy reading. When I started at Putney many years ago a colleague would sit with me at lunch and ask “what are you reading?” This led me to re-learn my love of reading, and from that point on I’ve tried to always be reading at least one book. On the other side of the spectrum, I like to know how things work, and I enjoy being self-sufficient. Carpentry, home electrical and how to properly paint a room are all skills I’ve learned by doing, sometimes with the help of a friend, and always with trial and error. Finally, I enjoy talking with people and learning about them. Everybody has their own unique story, and I have always appreciated hearing what events in a person’s life make them who they are.


Meet John Barrengos

Putney's Director of Admissions & Financial Aid talks about making the school search process work for your family.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Since our founding in 1935, The Putney School has been committed to socioeconomic diversity. Putney works to remain accessible through its need-based financial aid program and through endowed funds which support all Putney students. Learn more.

Numbers based on 2019-20 academic year.


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