Pinkerton Academy: A Brief History

Pinkerton Academy was incorporated in 1814 by Major John Pinkerton and Elder James Pinkerton, "old-time merchants of Londonderry." The school, which opened its doors to students on December 4, 1815, was founded for the purpose of promoting piety and virtue and the education of youth in science, languages, and the liberal arts. The generous endowment of John and Elder James Pinkerton provided sufficient funds to ensure the school's existence as a college preparatory and boarding school for seventy years.

In 1881, upon the death of John M. Pinkerton, son of Elder James the Academy received a second munificent bequest. The Trustees used these funds to increase the number of instructors and to provide for an enlarged and advanced program of studies. Changes in the curriculum and the completion of the Pinkerton Building in 1887 allowed Pinkerton students to choose from a variety of college and non-college bound programs of studies.

Pinkerton continued to function as an independent day and boarding school until 1948. In 1949, the Academy entered into an agreement with the town of Derry that marked a significant turning point in the school's history. As a result of the service agreement, Pinkerton educated all high school aged students who lived in Derry. The town of Derry paid for the school's services on a per pupil tuition basis. Although Pinkerton maintained its private school status, the Academy began to function as a comprehensive independent academy.

In 1962, Derry negotiated a long-term contractual agreement with Pinkerton Academy. The contract specified the terms and conditions under which Pinkerton's services were purchased. Over the next thirty years, additional communities (Chester, Hampstead, Londonderry and Windham) signed service contracts with the Academy. In response to the increased number of public school students attending Pinkerton, new facilities were built. Due to the changing needs and interests of this larger and more diverse student population, Pinkerton once again developed new courses and fields of study while maintaining outstanding college preparatory programs.

During the 1990s, Pinkerton continued preparing for the educational challenges of the 21st century as the value of a traditional education was reexamined. Led by a visionary and supportive Board of Trustees and dedicated school personnel, Pinkerton's goal was to adapt to a changing society while preserving the qualities that made the Academy an excellent high school. To accomplish its goal, Pinkerton embraced three fundamental principles: 1) The school's future is built around the strengths of its history and traditions; 2) There is an uncompromised commitment to educational excellence; and 3) There is continuing faith in the democratic way of life.

Today, Pinkerton Academy is as strong and vibrant as at any point in its history. Pride, dedication and loyalty, long term trademarks of the Pinkerton community, continue to be the Academy's greatest strength. We are proud of who we are, clear about what we stand for, and confident about the direction we have chosen.


Pinkerton Academy

5 Pinkerton St.

Derry, NH 03038

Main Office - (603) 437-5200