The Pennington School
The Pennington School is a selective, private (independent), coeducational college preparatory school for day and boarding students in sixth through twelfth grades, located in Pennington, a small community in the northeastern United States midway between New York City and Philadelphia in Mercer County, New Jersey. The Head of School is Dr. William S. Hawkey, who assumed the position in July 2014.
|The Pennington School|
The Pennington School
The Pennington School
The Pennington School
Day and Boarding
|Motto||Honor. Virtue. Humility.|
|Head of school||Dr. William S. Hawkey|
|Enrollment||506 (as of 2015-16)|
|Student to teacher ratio||6.5:1|
|Campus||54 acres (220,000 m2)|
|Color(s)|| Black and|
|Team name||Red Raiders|
|Affiliation||United Methodist Church|
As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 506 students and 77.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 6.5:1. The school's student body was 64.0% White, 13.0% Asian, 5.9% Black, 3.8% Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander, 3.0% Hispanic, 0.2% American Indian / Alaska Native and 10.1% two or more races.
Pennington is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1930; the accreditation expires in May 2025.
The Pennington School was founded in 1838 during the Second Great Awakening as the Methodist Episcopal Male Seminary, a college preparatory school for boys, in order to secure "the education of the physical, the training of the mental, and the grounding of the soul in character." Pennington officially became a coeducational institution, The Pennington Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute, in the fall of 1854. In March 1910, Pennington would again become a school for boys, reverting to the name Pennington Seminary. Shortly afterward, the school's name evolved to its present form, sometimes with the addition of "for Boys." It was not until 1972 that Pennington once again became a coeducational institution. In 1975, the Center for Learning, one of the nation's leading secondary school programs for bright children with learning disabilities, was created within the school to serve a small number of college-preparatory students.
The Pennington School offers a vigorous curriculum for students with strong academic ability and the desire to build a record of personal achievement appropriate for admission into some of the country's most demanding colleges and universities. Middle school students have their own faculty dedicated to teaching children of this age (sixth through eighth grade). Middle school courses include: Algebra, American History and Government Applications, Art-o-Rama, Computer Skills, Earth Science, English, French, Geometry, German, Global Perspectives, Health, Humanities, Latin, Life Science, Math, Music, Physical Science, Spanish, Technology, Writer's Studio, and many elective offerings. Upper School students are expected to seek personal excellence academically, socially, physically, and artistically. They work closely with their advisors to create a challenging curriculum that helps them to grow as learners. Upper School students are offered a full range of both Honors and Advanced Placement courses.
Visual and performing arts
The Arts Department offers rich and varied courses and activities in drama, music, and the visual arts for both Middle School and Upper School students. Students embrace their own creativity and gain a lifelong appreciation for the creativity of others.
Music courses include: Chorus, Composition, Handbell Ensemble, Instrumental Ensemble, Jazz Band, Keyboard, Music History, Music Theory, Orchestra, Pennington Singers, Pit Band, and Vocal Ensemble.
Drama courses include: Acting Shakespeare, Advanced Drama, Foundations in Drama, Public Speaking, Puppetry & Performance, Respect for Acting, Small Group Dynamics, and Stagecrafts.
Visual Art courses include: Adobe Photoshop, Advanced Black & White Darkroom Skills, Alternative Processes, Ceramics, Digital Photography, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and Video Production.
The Pennington School Red Raiders compete in the Patriot Conference, which includes the Gill St. Bernard's School, the Ranney School, the Purnell School, Stuart Country Day School, Wardlaw-Hartridge School, Timothy Christian School (New Jersey), Princeton Day School, and Saddle River Day School. In addition. Pennington competes regularly against The Peddie School, the Hun School of Princeton, and Lawrenceville School.
The Pennington School has 43 athletic teams on its campus. The Upper School sports include: boys varsity, JV, and Thirds soccer, girls varsity and JV soccer, varsity and JV field hockey, varsity and JV water polo, boys and girls cross country, girls varsity and JV tennis, cheerleading, girls varsity and JV basketball, boys varsity, JV, and Thirds basketball, winter track, varsity and JV ice hockey, varsity and JV boys and girls swimming, varsity and JV baseball, varsity softball, golf, boys varsity and JV tennis, boys varsity, JV, and Thirds lacrosse, girls varsity and JV lacrosse, and boys and girls spring track and field. The middle school also has sports, which includes field hockey, soccer, cross country, boys and girls basketball, swimming, boys lacrosse, and spring track and field.
The Pennington School is home to one of the country's longest-running football programs, dating back to 1879. Pennington Football competes in the Independence League, which is a league consisting of small schools from Pennsylvania and New Jersey; including Bristol, Academy of the New Church, Lower Moreland, Jenkintown, and Springfield Township.
In recent seasons, The Pennington School has sent multiple players to both Division I FBS and FCS schools.
Pennington's Ice Hockey tradition dates back to 1996–97, when a group of students was successful in starting a team. The Red Raiders play in the competitive Independent Hockey League, in which they were league champions in 2009. Traditions include an annual game against the rival Hopewell Bulldogs, in which fans from both sides come out to support their team. They also hold an annual alumni game during the weekend following Thanksgiving.
Pennington's girls' soccer team has established itself as a perennial powerhouse and one of the top high school soccer programs in the nation. In 2008 the Pennington girls' soccer team finished the season with an undefeated record of 18-0, and was ranked as the consensus #1 team in the United States according to ESPN RISE and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. During that season they captured their 6th consecutive NJSIAA Prep A State Title and their 2nd consecutive Mercer County Tournament Championship and won their seventh straight Prep A title in the 2009 season. In 2014, the team won its ninth Mercer County Championship title in a 12-year span.
Captured the 2009 Prep B State tournament. The team competed in the 2010 Prep A State tournament and lost to the top ten nationally ranked team, Saint Benedict's Preparatory School 1-0. The team has sent recent players to Division I and Division III soccer programs.
The boys' team placed 1st at the 2010 N.J. Prep Patriot Championship Meet, 4th at Mercer County Tournament, and won their second NJSIAA "B" State Tournament. The girls' team won the Patriot Championship, placed 2nd at MCT's and won their 9th consecutive NJSIAA "B" state championship. Recent Pennington swimmers have gone on to compete at Division I and Division III colleges and universities.
The girls are coached by Head Coach Jeff Eckerson and Assistant Coach Holly Jones. The team won back-to-back Prep B state championships in 2016 and 2017, beating Newark Academy and Morristown-Beard School, respectively. Also, in 2016 the girls advanced to the semi-final round of the Mercer County Tournament. In 2018, the girls lost to Trenton Catholic Academy by a score of 59-55 in the Mercer County Tournament (MCT), making it the first time Pennington had ever advanced to the finals in this tournament. In 2018, the girls' basketball team switched conferences, and began competing in the New Jersey Prep A state tournament; days after losing the MCT final, the team faced off against Pingry School in the finals of the Prep A tournament and won its third consecutive title with a 62-49 win.
Girls' – 2008 Patriot Conference Champions and 2008 Prep B State Champions
Boys' – 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 Patriot Conference Champions
Recent Pennington track participants have gone on to compete at the Division I and Division III level at The University of Texas, Lafayette, West Point, McDaniel, St. Lawrence, Wheaton, TCNJ, Yale, UNC, UChicago, and Dickinson.
Clubs and activities
Center for Learning
The Center for Learning, founded in 1975, provides a program of academic support for bright students with learning disabilities. In addition to preparing students for college-level study, the program has three objectives. A central goal is to identify each student's educational difficulties and to address them through individually tailored academic supports and accommodations. A second goal is to help the student fully participate in the School's traditional college preparatory curriculum. The third goal is for most students to transition out of the Center for Learning classes before graduation from Pennington and to achieve the independence and confidence that will assure their success in college.
- Esther E. Baldwin (1840–1910; graduated 1859), missionary, teacher, translator, writer, editor
- Benjamin T. Biggs (1821-1893), member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1869 to 1873, 38th Governor of Delaware.
- Grant Billmeier (born 1984), former professional basketball player who transferred from Pennington after his freshman year.
- Rudy Boschwitz (born 1930, class of 1947): United States Senator, former chairman National Republican Senatorial Committee.
- Amber Brooks (born 1991, class of 2009): professional soccer player for Houston Dash of the NWSL. She has played with FC Bayern Munich in Munich, Germany, and the United States Women's National Soccer Team
- Stephen Crane (1871-1900, class of 1887; never graduated), author of The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets.
- John Franklin Fort (1852–1920), 33rd Governor of New Jersey, from 1908-1911.
- Dan Frankel (born 1956, class of 1974), politician who has been a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 23rd District.
- Walter French (1899-1984), outfielder who played in the Major Leagues for the Philadelphia Athletics, from 1923 to 1929.
- L. Fred Gieg (1890-1977), football and basketball player and coach.
- Benjamin Golub (born 1985), economist elected as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2013 and currently on the faculty at Harvard University in the department of economics.
- Louise Manning Hodgkins (1846-1935), 19th-century educator, author and missionary newspaper editor.
- George Howell (1859 – 1913), member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
- Dontae Johnson (born 1991, class of 2010), cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL.
- Robyn Jones (born 1985), professional soccer goalkeeper who played two years for the Philadelphia Independence of Women's Professional Soccer.
- William Mastrosimone (1966), Playwright.
- Eddie Picken (1907–1994, class of 1927), early professional basketball player.
- Ralph Lane Polk (1849–1923), founder, publisher and president of R.L. Polk & Company.
- James Fowler Rusling (Valedictorian, Class of 1852) Brigadier general in the American Civil War, author of "Men and Things I Saw in the Civil War Days", "Across America", and "European Days and Ways".
- Casey Ramirez (born 1989), soccer defender who played for the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women's Soccer League
- Robert Love Taylor (1850 – 1912), represented Tennessee's 1st district in the United States House of Representatives from 1879 to 1881, Governor of Tennessee from 1887 to 1891, and again from 1897 to 1899, and subsequently served as a United States Senator from 1907 until his death.
- Ethan Vanacore-Decker (born 1994), professional soccer player for the Swope Park Rangers in the United Soccer League.
- Kenneth Yen (born 1965), Taiwanese businessman, Chairman of Yulon
- School data for The Pennington School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 20, 2017.
- The Pennington School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 13, 2017.
- Stratton, Jean. "Core Values of Honor, Virtue, and Humility Continue to Guide The Pennington School", Town Topics (newspaper). Accessed May 4, 2015. "'I think what attracts most families to private school education is the intimacy of our education,' notes William S. Hawkey, PhD who became headmaster in July."
- The Pennington School Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, National Association of Independent Schools. Accessed June 19, 2011.
- List of Member Schools, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. Accessed August 13, 2017.
- Listing of ADVIS member schools, Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools. Accessed June 19, 2011.
- Pre-Collegiate Schools Archived 2012-08-01 at Archive.today, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Accessed June 19, 2011.
- Pennington School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed November 8, 2017.
- "The Pennington School", The Independent, July 20, 1914. Accessed August 23, 2012.
- Wagner, Lenny. Walt French, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed August 13, 2017. "Walter transferred from Moorestown High School after his junior year to Pennington Seminary (now Pennington School) in Pennington, New Jersey. Pennington began playing football in 1879, making its program one of the longest-running in the nation."
- O'Gorman, George. "Washington was best among prep stars", The Trentonian, December 8, 2009. Accessed June 19, 2011. "Pennington, the best program in the state for most of this decade, had the five girls who led it to another Mercer County Tournament title and a seventh consecutive Prep A state crown earn first team honors."
- O'Gorman, George. "Pennington edges Hightstown to win MCT title", The Trentonian, November 1, 2014. Accessed May 4, 2015. "She scored both Red Raiders' goals — the second after being treated for a knee bruise, to help Pennington reclaim the county title — its ninth in 12 years — with a 2-1 victory over Hightstown in one of the best MCT finals in years."
- Staff. "Pennington captures 3rd straight Prep B crown", The Trentonian, February 18, 2015. Accessed February 27, 2018. "Elijah Wright scored 26 points and Tyler Jones backed him with 23 as the Pennington School boys basketball team won its third consecutive NJISAA Prep B state title Wednesday."
- Davidove, Gerry. "Morristown-Beard comes up short in Prep B final", Daily Record (Morristown), February 15, 2017. Accessed February 27, 2018. "A tough sequence spanning halftime proved just too much for Morristown-Beard to overcome in a 39-26 loss to defending champion Pennington in the Prep B final."
- Borders, Andrew. "Trenton Catholic holds off Pennington rally to take Mercer County Tournament girls basketball title", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, February 22, 2018. Accessed February 27, 2018. "Another Mercer County Tournament game, another exhibition of suffocating defense from the top-seeded and NJ.com No. 8-ranked Trenton Catholic Academy girls basketball team.And, with it being Thursday night’s MCT final, it came with another county tournament title, the program’s eighth all-time, 59-55, despite a spirited comeback from third-seeded Pennington.... The Red Raiders were appearing in their first MCT final and will host Pingry in the NJISAA Prep A championship on Tuesday after winning the Prep B title in each of the last two seasons."
- Gould, Brandon. "Pennington girls basketball beats Pingry, wins 1st ever Prep A title on home floor", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, February 27, 2018. Accessed February 27, 2018. "The applause was deafening as seniors Ayanna Johnson and Carly Rice walked off the court for the last time at Pennington in the final minute of a 62-49 victory over Pingry in the Prep A championship game on Tuesday.That duo will go down as a pair of legendary players at Pennington after helping lead the Red Raiders to three straight prep championships. Two of those came in Prep B in back-to-back title runs the past two seasons, but this year's was special with Pennington moving up and winning its first-ever Prep A crown."
- "Activities & Clubs". www.pennington.org. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
- Willard, Frances Elizabeth; Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice (1893). A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life (Public domain ed.). Moulton. pp. 48–.
- Governor Benjamin Thomas Biggs , National Governors Association. Accessed November 8, 2017. "He was educated at Pennington Seminary in New Jersey, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, Delaware."
- Staff. "Big players give Big Red a big advantage", The Trentonian, December 1, 2000. Accessed November 8, 2017. "Pennington School lost its own giant in 6-10 Grant Billmeier who transferred to St. Patrick of Elizabeth."
- Rudy Bochwitz, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed May 14, 2007. "Boschwitz, Rudolph Eli (Rudy), a Senator from Minnesota; born in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 1930; attended the public schools in New Rochelle, N.Y., and The Pennington School in Pennington, N.J."
- Sherman, Steve. "Soccer: Pennington alum Amber Brooks keys U.S. Under-23 Women in Three-Nations Tournament", Bucks Local News, July 18, 2011. Accessed November 8, 2017. "Despite the fact that she played on the defensive side of the ball, Amber Brooks, a 2009 graduate of the Pennington School from New Hope and a midfielder for the UNC women's soccer team, scored the first goal in the tourney for the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team in a losing effort by the Americans June 17 in Borlange, Sweden."
- Stephen Crane profile, About.com. Accessed May 14, 2007. "Crane wrote his first short story, "Uncle Jake and the Bell Handle," in 1885, which was the year he enrolled in Pennington Seminary, where he stayed until 1887."
- New Jersey John Franklin Fort, National Governors Association. Accessed November 8, 2017. "His education was attained at the Pennington Seminary, and then at the Albany Law School, where he earned an LL.B. degree in 1872."
- Representative Dan Frankel, Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Accessed November 8, 2017. "The Pennington School, 1974"
- Fred Gieg, Pro Basketball Encyclopedia. Accessed October 14, 2018. "Fred Gieg was a schoolboy athletic star in Millville, Jersey. He was recruited to attend Pennington Seminary, a private school near Trenton, New Jersey where he attracted considerable attention for his success in sports."
- Benjamin Golub, Harvard University. Accessed March 15, 2019. "Since 2015, he has been an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Department of Economics, and prior to that he spent two years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows."
- Willard, Frances Elizabeth; and Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice. A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life, p. 382. Moulton, 1893. Accessed November 8, 2017. "Hodgkins, Miss Louise Manning and educator born in Ipswich, Mass., 5th August, 1846.... Her education was begun in the Ipswich Seminary under Mrs. Eunice P. Cowles continued in Pennington Seminary, N. J. and in Wilbraham , Amss., where she was graduated in 1870."
- Howell, George, (1859 - 1913), Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed September 13, 2018. "Howell, George, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pa., June 28, 1859; attended the public schools, Pennington (N.J.) Seminary, Newton (Pa.) Collegiate Institute, and Lafayette College, Easton, Pa."
- Branch, Eric. "Dontae Johnson steps up to next level admirably", San Francisco Chronicle, September 13, 2014. Accessed November 8, 2017. "Eure first saw Johnson’s potential at the Pennington School in Pennington, N.J., a private school for grades 6-12 located less than 10 miles from Princeton University. Johnson, who grew up about 40 miles away in South Plainfield, was a boarder at Pennington, which he attended because of its academic prowess."
- Robyn Jones Archived 2017-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, Franklin & Marshall College. Accessed November 8, 2017. "Hometown: Titusville, NJ; High School: Pennington"
- Saltzman, Simon. "Playwrighting for a Cause", U.S. 1 Newspaper, October 8, 2003. Accessed May 14, 2007. "A native of the Trenton area, Mastrosimone says he caught the writing bug when he was a student at Pennington Prep."
- "Eddie Picken to Follow in Brother's Footsteps". Courier-Post. August 30, 1927. p. 18. Retrieved August 28, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Blanchard, Richard. "A Conversation with Stephen Polk", Corp! magazine, June 2, 2011. Accessed November 8, 2017. "Ralph Lane Polk (The Founder, as Stephen refers to him) had been a musician in the Civil War. Even though he had been born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, he went to school at the Pennington seminary, then a Methodist college preparatory school in New Jersey, and enlisted with a New Jersey regiment on Valentine’s Day in 1865."
- Lee, Francis Bazley. . Accessed June 30, 2008.
- O'Gorman, Joe. "Pennington's Sabatura Starring at Villanova, The Trentonian, October 5, 2009. Accessed November 8, 2017. "Casey Ramirez (Pennington) has started all nine games in the midfield for Syracuse."
- Governor Robert Love Taylor, National Governors Association. Accessed November 9, 2017. "School(s): Buffalo Institute (Milligan College); East Tennessee Wesleyan University; Pennington Seminary"
- Russo, John. "College Notebook: Former Ocean City soccer star records another shutout", The Press of Atlantic City, October 20, 2014. Accessed September 13, 2018. "Ethan Vanacore-Decker, a Manahawkin resident and graduate of the Pennington School in Mercer County, scored the only goal for Connecticut in a 1-0 win over Central Florida on Saturday."
- "Core Values of Honor, Virtue, and Humility Continue to Guide The Pennington School". Town Topics. October 8, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- The Pennington School website
- History of The Pennington School
- Data for The Pennington School, National Center for Education Statistics
- The Association of Boarding Schools profile