Pinkerton Academy, located in south central New Hampshire, is the largest independent high school in the United States. The primary source of funding for the Academy is public tuition. Via contracts with area school districts, Pinkerton serves as the high school of record for the neighboring towns of Auburn, Candia (beginning in 2018), Chester, Derry, Hampstead and Hooksett, NH. The Academy also accepts a limited number of students from other local communities on an application-based, privately-tuitioned basis, bringing the total number of towns represented (NH and MA) over 20. Approximately 3,200 students attend the Academy. The school's staff includes 580 employees.
Pinkerton is a private, non-profit corporation. A Headmaster governs the school under the direction of a fourteen-member Board of Trustees. Board members are elected for life and serve without pay. By contract, each sending town is represented by a member or two on the Board.
One of Pinkerton's unique features is its campus setting. Since the Old Academy Building opened in 1815, major building projects have marked periods of growth in the school's history, including The Academy Building, Pinkerton Hall, Shepard Building,The Saltmarsh Library, Low Building, Pinkerton Field House, Ek Science Building, The Spaulding Arts & Humanities Building with the Robert Frost Writing Center and The 890-seat Stockbridge Theatre, among the sixteen buildings used daily by our students.
Recently, Pinkerton added three buildings and renovated the Low Building for Career and Technical Education (CTE), increasing the career pathways offered on campus in the school's curriculum to nineteen distinct careers, some with national certifications. Pinkerton is a regional CTE center with students primarily from Windham, Salem, Pelham, Litchfield, Timberlane and our sending towns.
Pinkerton Academy owns over 170 acres of land. On the main campus, sixteen of the school's twenty-three buildings are used for academics. Two buildings, the Stearns House and the Alumni Center, are used primarily for administrative purposes. Saltmarsh Library serves as the school's main library with four satellite media centers across campus; the Old Academy Building houses the Abbott Gallery and the Office of Alumni Affairs. On the east side of North Main Street there are 95 acres of Pinkerton Academy athletic fields. The school also owns a 68-acre wood lot known as the Forsaith Forest, in Chester, NH which is part of the state park system, maintained by Pinkerton's forestry students.
The central focus of Pinkerton Academy is its exceptional and extensive program of studies, built on a traditional educational approach with innovative pedagogy and technology. Pinkerton has established and maintained an outstanding reputation for academic excellence. The program of study, offering more than 320 unique courses, is supported by comprehensive pupil support services, career and college counseling services, health services, library, special education and a very advanced technology infrastructure. In addition to the strong academic program, Pinkerton is widely recognized as a leader in over 60 co-and-extra curricular activities, including all NHIAA sports (except XC skiing and girls ice hockey). In fulfillment of its fundamental purpose - the education of youth - the Academy promotes the philosophy that mutual cooperation is vital among students, parents, staff, and trustees.