Vermont, known as the Green Mountain State is located in New England, USA, and has a population of 647,064; it is famous for its gorgeous forests and natural beauty. The 4 oldest schools in Vermont are ancient and have played a significant role in educating our youth. Besides that, during the autumn season, the leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow, red, and orange. Many tourists drive to Vermont to go hiking, skiing, kayaking, snowboarding, and exploring the local boutiques and fabulous restaurants, and they are welcomed by the friendly community.
The state is well known for its organic farming, and craft breweries such as Hill Farmstead Brewery, Beer Naked Brewery, and 14th Star Brewing Co., as well as popular cheese makers. However, Vermont is also well known for its rich educational history and historic landmarks. In this article, we are going to discover the 4 oldest schools in Vermont and see if they still exist today.
Burr and Burton Academy
57 Seminary Avenue, P.O.Box 498 Manchester, VT 05254
Founded in 1829 by local business Joseph Burr. Burr and Burton Academy is a co-educational private high school, boarding school, day school, and non-profit organization serving approximately 775 students from sending towns, non-sending towns, and international students in grades 9-12. The school offers a wide range of programs and extracurricular activities.
Free education is available to high school students who live in the following sending towns:
- Mt. Tabor
Moreover, Burr and Burton offer an international program to approximately 70 students annually allowing teachers to give students personal attention and an opportunity to improve their English from the following countries:
- South Korea
There are over 170 academic programs to choose from at Burr and Burton. Let's take a look at some of their departments.
- Media & Performing Arts
- Physical Education
- Social Studies
- Visual Arts & Design
- World Languages
- Farm & Food Studies
- Mountain Campus Semester
- English Language Development
- Special Services
- Student Success Program
- Target Program
- Duel Enrollment
- Independent Study
- Southwest Tech Programs
Teachers are dedicated to providing quality education at Burr and Burton Academy and encourage students to challenge themselves to the best of their ability.
- Jacob Benton: Congressman
- Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn: Poet, author, and educator
- Richard Erdman: Artist
- Kevin Hand: Planetary scientist and astrobiologist
- Carroll William Dodge: Lichenologist and mycologist
- John B Page: Governor of Vermont
- Fred A Field: U.S. marshal for Vermont
- Betsy Shaw: American snowboarder
- Bill Wilson: Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
- Stephan A Walker: U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York
St. Johnsbury Academy
1000 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont, 05819
Public schooling was not standard in the 1800s St. Johnsbury Academy was founded in 1842 by Joseph Fairbanks, Thaddeus, and Erastus. These three gentlemen wanted to provide ethical and spiritual morals for their children and children within their community.
Furthermore, the South Hall was built in 1870 to house teachers and students. However, in 1873 a new school was incorporated to provide educational opportunities to a wider range of students. North Hall, one of the original buildings donated by the Fairbanks burned down in March 1956. They worked quickly to replace it with Ranger Hall. Today St. Johnsbury Academy is a renowned coeducational, independent boarding, and day school serving students in grades 9-12 and postgraduate year.
Facts About St. Johnsbury Academy
- 30 AP courses
- Student-to-faculty ratio 8:1
- Average class size: 12
- 40 Fine arts courses
- 48 Division 1 athletics teams
- 12K+ Global alumni network
- 25+ Number of countries students come from each year
- 40+ Clubs and after-school activities available
304 Academy Road, Thetford Center, VT 05075
Founded in February 1819 by Rev. Asa Burton, Lyman Fitch, Judge Simeon Short, Joseph Reed, Elijah Hammond, Timothy Bartholomew, Thomas Kendrick, Jedediah Buckingham, and William Heaton. Thetford Academy is the state's oldest independent coeducational secondary school serving grades 7-12. In November 1942 the original 1818 building burnt down.
The campus is 295 acres and has seven athletic fields and trails for Nordic skiing, running, walking, hiking, and mountain biking. The main buildings include the Arts and Science Building, White Building, Vaughan Alumni Gymnasium, and Anderson Hall. Furthermore, in 2010 they expanded and added athletic team amenities, a greenhouse, a theatre for performing arts, and a new science lab.
What Courses Does Thetford Academy Offer?
- Unified Arts
- Visual Arts
- Design Technology
- Culinary Arts
- Social Studies
- World Languages
- Engineering and Technology
- Physical Education & Health
- Outdoor Learning and Leadership
- Independent Study
- Challenge Course
Meanwhile, participating in athletics can be a wonderful experience for the students at Thetford Academy. It encourages physical fitness, and determination and inspires students to work as a team. As a Division III school, Thetford Academy competes in most sports. Let's take a look at the sports offered.
- Bass Fishing
- Cross country
- Alpine skiing
- Indoor track and field
- Outdoor track and field
Woods Trail and EC Meets
Since 1991, Thetford has held a unique cross-country competition, bringing thousands of runners in middle and high school to compete in the Dan Grossman Woods trail course. This day-long event attracts about 55 Vermont schools that participate in the championship. It takes hundreds of volunteers and countless hours of labor to maintain the beautiful wood trails and host this amazing scenic event.
- Thomas Angell: Educator at Bates College and paster
- Sherburne Wesley Burnham: Astronomer
- William Closson: Artist
- E. Florence Barker: President of the Woman’s Relief Corps
- Thomas Morris Chester: Union Army soldier, African American journalist, and lawyer
- George N. Dale: Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
- John Eaton: United States Commissioner of Education
- Anson S. Marshall: U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire
- John B. Sanborn: Civil War general, and negotiator of treaties with Plains tribes
- Mary Greenleaf Clement Leavitt: Temperance movement missionary
Middlebury, VT, 05753
Founded by Gamaliel Painter as an extension of the Addison County Grammar School in 1797, Middlebury College is a private institution and received its founding charter in November 1800. Jerimiah Atwater was the first president. Alexander Twilight was the first black person to earn a degree from a US college or university in 1823. Further, he was also the first African American elected to public office, serving in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1836.
The campus is 350 acres located in Champlain Valley and serves approximately 2900 students per year and is known as one of the best National Liberal Arts Colleges in the state. Popular majors include Econometrics and Quantitative Economics, Political Science and Government, General, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, and Neuroscience.
Notable Alumni at One of the Oldest Schools in Vermont
- Alexander Twilight: First African-American graduate
- Samuel Nelson: Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court
- Eve Ensler: Tony Award-winning playwright
- Ari Fleischer: White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush
- Jim Douglas: 80th Governor of Vermont
- Brian Deese: Director of the National Economic Council under President Joe Biden
- Ting Cui: 2019 World Junior Figure Skating Championships
Finally, Vermont offers a scenic landscape with various recreational activities. The 4 oldest schools in Vermont are ancient, Burr and Burton Academy has been providing quality education for almost two centuries. Thetford offers a supportive atmosphere where students can pursue their interests and achieve academic success. Each of these schools has a privileged history of educating leaders from our past. As a result, these institutions are continuing their legacy to prepare the leaders of our future.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Katherine Welles/Shutterstock.com.