Berwick Academy, Maine

Berwick Academy, Maine

Coed Day School, Grades: Pre-K – PG - Head of School: James Hamilton, Associate Head for External Affairs, Brooks School, North Andover, MA

School Profile

31 Academy Street
South Berwick, ME 03908
Co-ed Day school
595 students, Grades Pre-K – PG
Head of School for July 1, 2018

Founded in 1791, Berwick Academy is the oldest educational institution in Maine and one of the oldest private schools in North America. The School’s 72-acre, 15-building Berwick Academy, MEcampus is pristine and located just one hour north of Boston and one hour south of Portland, ME. Skiing, beautiful lakes, and the renowned Maine and New Hampshire coastlines are all within a short drive. Included on campus is the Hayes House, a fully renovated home listed on the Historic Registry and serving as the residence for the Head of School and family. Approximately 595 students in grades Pre-K through Grade 12 (and Postgraduate) attend this coeducational day school that draws from over 60 communities in the surrounding regions of southern Maine, southeastern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts. Approximately 35% of students receive financial aid.

Now entering its 226th year, Berwick is proud of its history and traditions but steadfast in its determination to be a forward-looking educational institution. Its original charter, signed by John Hancock, cited the purpose of “promoting virtue and useful knowledge among the rising generation,” and that ethos remains at the center of Berwick’s mission today. While, in former times, Berwick’s identity changed from fundamentally a comprehensive public high school to a boys’ boarding school, it is now firmly established as a day school serving boys and girls in three divisions: Lower School (Pre-K-4); Middle School (5-8): and Upper School (9-12).

At the heart of the Berwick experience is an unwavering dedication to academic excellence. An 8:1 student to faculty ratio and an average class size of 14 enable Berwick’s dedicated faculty to ensure each student nourishes his/her personal talents and passions while, at the same time, gaining a critical foundation to a life of learning. Guiding the path for Berwick’s academic program is Curriculum 2020 which lays out five focus areas for curricular planning with student-directed learning and a decision to eliminate AP classes as two critical aspects of this initiative.

Further evidence of the School’s look to the future is the Berwick Innovation Center. This state of the art facility enables students the opportunity to follow their own intrinsic path to discovery. These resources, combined with a curriculum that supports independent study with faculty mentors, has gained national recognition and serves as an example for other institutions committed to integrating innovation within a robust academic experience.

With core values focused on developing the whole student, Berwick recently opened a wellness center complete with a test kitchen, yoga studio, and mediation spaces. A Director of Wellness was recently hired to fully incorporate this initiative across divisions. With comprehensive offerings in arts, athletics, and student life, Berwick Academy fields teams in ten interscholastic sports each for boys and girls. Students gain exposure to Visual and Performing Arts through the curricular offerings and have opportunities to further pursue their talents and interests in extra-curricular opportunities.

A variety of special events, co-curricular activities, and student support programs help to enhance the sense of community shared by Berwick students, faculty, staff, and parents. Believing that cultural competency is an essential element of “useful knowledge” in the 21st Century, Berwick integrates themes of multiculturalism, inclusion, and diversity into all divisions and subject areas and provides further enrichment to the Berwick experience. As part of this important and central initiative, the School will launch a limited residence program in 2018, expanding its opportunity to attract mission appropriate students globally.

Offering a stable environment, the School is coming off two of its longest tenured heads, with the most recent Head of School enjoying an11-year tenure and his predecessor a 20-year tenure. The Head of School leads an administrative team of twelve members, who have broad responsibilities for the strategic and operational initiatives of the School. The Head reports to a Board of Trustees comprised of 22 members, most of whom are current or past parents and/or alumni.

For its next Head of School, the Board seeks an inspirational leader who is committed to continued national excellence while honoring the values of this vibrant seacoast community. This individual should be committed to the best interests of students at all grade levels, skilled at community building, and eager to represent the school externally. Successful candidates should have a comprehensive understanding of financial disciplines as well as endowment initiatives that will ensure the long-term sustainability of this highly regarded institution.

Preliminary Search Schedule:

  • September 15, 2017 – Deadline for applications
  • Late September 2017 – Preliminary/confidential candidate interviews
  • Early October 2017 – Finalist interviews
  • Mid October 2017 – New Head of School announced
  • July 1, 2018 – New Head of School assumes responsibilities

Candidates interested in this position are asked to submit the following materials:

  • EC Candidate Summary Sheet (contact Deirdre Ling or John Mackenzie for that document)
  • Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee
  • Current résumé
  • Statement of educational philosophy
  • A list of five or more references with contact information (including phone numbers and email addresses)
  • Up to three letters of reference (optional)

Please address any inquiries or expressions of interest to:


Search for

  • Head of School
  • July 1 2018