Student Leadership Opportunities

At Putney you will practice leadership and learn through experience.  You will help to run work crews, lead dorms and work on committees.  You will find yourself in lengthy debates about how to run a community that seeks to balance individual freedoms with a responsibility to the group.  Students apply for and are elected to over 50 leadership positions all of which lead vital work at the school.  From tending to animals and gardens to cooking food to making decisions about policy on campus, students are trusted to lead their school and learn about leadership in the process.

Student leadership at Putney extends beyond the formal positions that students fill, manifesting in class, community gatherings and special school initiatives. Here is a list of the student leadership positions:

Student Heads of School set the tone for the school community; upholding the “Fundamental Principles” and the core expectations described in the Student Handbook (integrity, respect, participation and stewardship). They run the student council and lead assemblies.

Standards Committee is a committee comprised of students, faculty and deans, which reviews disciplinary cases.

Student Trustees are full voting members of the Board. They bring their understanding and expertise as members of the student body to bear on discussions ranging from building plans to investment policy.

Our Admission Committee: Students & Adults

Students serve on our admission committee and help shape the future Putney School community.


Admission Committee members help to shape the future of the school by reviewing student applications for the upcoming school year and making admission decisions. These seniors read each applicant’s file, meet with the Admission Committee weekly, publish weekly student blog posts, and play a spirited, professional role in sharing the school with prospective families.

Diversity Committee works to educate the school community about the political, social, and social justice issues which arise in a pluralistic society, and to support students for whom life in Vermont may be radically outside their previous experience.

LIME Leaders, Putney’s neurodiversity committee, focuses on improving the lives of neurodivergent students at Putney by providing affinity spaces, advocating for neurodivergent needs, and educating on neurodivergent issues. Neurodivergent people are different from the majority in how their brain works, e.g. ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, and many more. A diagnosis is not necessary. Identifying with neurodivergent struggles is more than enough for inclusion in our definition. All brains are unique, so everyone qualifies as neurodiverse. However, we find that by focusing specifically on those who fall under the neurodivergent umbrella we can make much more meaningful changes for everyone.

Spectrum is Putney’s LGBT+ group. They work to create a safe and welcoming environment on campus and increase awareness of LGBT+ issues. They run weekly meetings, host special events to raise money for charities, and provide space for LGBT+ students to connect with each other and find community.

Sustainability Squad work on projects to improve campus environmental performance, and lead trips off campus to conferences and rallies.

The Putney Outdoor Program encompasses afternoon activities, weekend trips, and our longstanding tradition of all-school trips called Long Fall. Two student leaders co-manage the outdoor program with a faculty member, planning and leading trips during the year.

Student Head of Dorms works closely with the student/adult dorm heads and the dean of students to help implement and maintain the systems that ensure a safe, fun, and educational residential life program.

Student Heads of Weekend Activities create fun and exciting activities for students to participate in during the weekends.

Educational Programs Committee oversees all of the educational programs of the school. The committee discusses curricular changes, approves courses, and reviews proposals for project weeks and independent student work.

Work Committee oversees the entire work program and directly manages the student work crew leaders. The committee provides a setting in which young adults can further their understanding of the relationships between work, sustainability, and community.

International Ambassadors are a group of domestic and international students dedicated to supporting all new international students during orientation and throughout the year. They help bridge the gap between cultures and provide opportunities for the entire community to benefit from cross-cultural experiences.

Sustainability Squad Leaders act as chief proponents of sustainability and environmental affairs on and around the Putney School campus.

Day Student Representatives work closely with the Dean of Students’ office to ensure the needs of the day student population are being met. They are also mentors and a vital resource to the day students and their families.

Student Dorm Heads plan and work closely with faculty dorm heads, help set the tone of the dorm, create fun events to bring the dorm together, mediate disputes within the dorm, and help orchestrate and participate in dorm jobs.

Cabin Dwellers program is a unique element of the Putney program and demands a high degree of leadership, responsibility, and trust.

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