here students do
finding their own w
ay in their own w
in many ways your biggest project here is creating your best self. The self that can go out in the world and do good work. The self that can
work hard and have a good time doing it. You know youve found that
self when all 220 of your peers and 40 teachers give you a standing
ovation in Assembly. Or when your Independent Study project turns
into something that could provide a solution right here on campus,
like improved energy efficiency in the dorms. Or when you finish barn
work ten minutes earlier than usual and you sit watching the sun rise
over a crazy green hill.
If youre going to leave home, why not make it count?
theres nothing mindless about this place. The
work program, for example, is so much more than
checking off boxes on worksheets. Its about doing
jobs well. Before I came to Putney, it was a struggle
to wake up in the morning. Now Im up at 5:30 and
working in the barn. Im not saying I always love it,
but I do it. My biggest challenge has always been
doing the things I just dont want to do. We get stuff
Im a more social person since I came to Putney.
Ive expanded my group of friends everyone here
is cool. Everyone has diverse interests. I played music
before I came to Putney, but my music and my
musical taste has really grown. The music I write and
play now is a better reflection of my artistic vision. It
has gained depth. Probably because Ive gotten more
mature. Ive played several shows in the Northeast
and Ive gotten interested in music production. This
has given me a lot of confidence.
Bens interest in music, acoustics and production have led him on a deep exploration of experimental music and the manipulation of sound to express artistic ideas. His transformation from a talented player to a young artist who thinks both expressively and academically about his medium, is exactly the kind of change we try to nurture in the music program. Cailin Manson, Music Director
year: from :
Bens fa L L win t er sPring
Curriculum American StudiesAdvanced Literature & CompositionSpanish 3Physics
American StudiesWriting & ResearchAdvanced Literature & CompositionSpanish 3Physics
American StudiesMagical RealismSculpture 1Intro to Astronomy
We get stuff done here.Im inspired by Cailin, our music director, and
by my friends. Im inspired by my physics course,
and by studying acoustics.
I miss being in a city, but who Ive become has a
lot to do with the people Ive met here. Progressive
education is more than ideology. Its about people.
Afternoon Activity Woods Crew Alpine Snowboarding Ultimate Frisbee
Evening Art Jazz Combo Jazz Combo Electronic Music Composition
Work/Job Calder Theater Tech Crew Dinner Waiter Morning Barn
year: from :
i didnt feel challenged at my old school. My
friends were burned out. I wanted to know how to
work with my hands. I didnt want to memorize
information, take tests, and then forget everything.
I came to Putney and saw the barn, felt the vibe, met
some people and knew it was the place for me.
History of Comparative Religion
Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner
History of Comparative Religion
Algebra 2Comparative Religion
monday tUesday wednesday thUrsday friday satUrday
Jewelry Electronic Music
Soccer Soccer Soccer
Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
Conference BlockConference Block Conference & Advisory
Lunch/Cleaner Lunch/CleanerLunch/Cleaner Lunch/Cleaner
The difficult things in life are so often the
It seemed like the kind of school where you could
really be an individual, but also part of a community.
Ive become a leader in the Outdoor Program
arranging hiking trips and taking kids who may never
have experienced wilderness.
The teachers here are clearly invested in their
students. Because so much of our work in the
classroom is discussion-based, we get to know each
other very well. We help each other to develop ideas.
For example, Im interested in homesteading
last year in history we had a mock debate about
utopian society that really forced me to refine my
goals and think about what homesteading
I live in a cabin on campus and am getting
my Wilderness First Responder certificate. I get up
at 5:30 most days which can be pretty brutal
but its good to know that you can do it. The difficult
things in life are so often the most rewarding.
i chose putney because I could see it was a school
that trusted its students to work independently
without teachers looking over their shoulders. And it
looked like fun. (I went to a very rowdy Sing on my
visit to Putney.) I thought Id study photography, but
I got interested in so many other things. I built a
parabolic solar cooler my first Project Week. I took
Music and Spanish and wrote some songs in Spanish.
I built a traditional Adirondack chair. I really got into
science, particularly physics. I did a research paper
on whether the Church of Scientology should be
taxed, and another on Putney during the McCarthy
years. Its not all easy, but by the end of your first
year here, you just want to high-five yourself.
The teachers here understand that we all have
very different learning styles. They find the explana-
tions and the questions that keep us engaged and
interested. And sometimes they just say, Go figure it
out! They trust us to participate in community
decisions. Im on the Standards Committee, which
makes decisions about disciplinary action. Im also
on the student council. We are passionate about
this place. We live here.
Ive gotten very involved in raising money for
CITTA, a nonprofit that focuses on health,
education, and economic development in India
and Nepal, helping to build hospitals, schools, and
womens economic development centers.
Im so much more comfortable with myself, with
public speaking, with taking on leadership roles
since I came to Putney, and Im more a part of this
community because of that confidence. Some of this
comes from classroom work and some from the
group work we do on campus.
Ive also gotten so much better at thinking
critically, without necessarily making a judgment.
There are so many opinions out there! A lot of places
dont teach you how to be on your own. But at
Putney, if its cold out and you dont feel like doing
your work, you just do it. You learn how to structure
your time and set priorities. After all, there isnt
a CEO in the world who is going to stand in front
of a blackboard and say: This is what I want you
to do next!
fa L L win t er sPring
year: from :
By the end of your first year here, you just want to
Curriculum American StudiesSpanish 4PrecalculusPhysics A
Writing and ResearchSpanish 4PrecalculusPhysics B
SculptureAmerican StudiesPrecalculusSpanish 4College Planning Seminar
Afternoon Activity XC Running Team Renaissance Fencing Jazz Dance
Evening Art Weaving Figure Drawing Creative Writing
Work/Job Dinner Crew Reynolds Building: Head Cleaner
Lunch Kitchen Cleanup
Project Week Electromagnetic Induction Toys
Building Adirondack Chairs
i m on my way to teach kids in a school on the
border of India and Bhutan for the summer before
I go to the Rhode Island School of Design next
year. A group of Putney students are going with our
chemistry teacher, Hilary. Were going to talk
about progressive education, do some projects, and
meditate! Im going to take photos and keep
I didnt fall in love with Putney the first time I
came here. I fell in love the second time. You know
what got me? I read about a particular student on
the website. When I came for a second visit, I just
happened to meet her. That made a big impression
on me. It meant that the community was small enough
that I could get to know people pretty quickly.
Then theres the Art Department, which is so
much better than at any other school. I think it was
Evening Arts my sophomore year that I realized how
many great skills I had already acquired and how
much I knew about traditional photography. I felt as
though I was ready to be creative on my own.
Theres a lot of figuring out who you are in those first
Lynne taught me everything I know, technically.
Ive had her for four years. Ive learned things from