News & Calendar

Holderness News

2020

  • September

    Construction-Related Fire All Resolved

    A construction-related incident sparked a fire on the roof of the Davis Center, Holderness School’s new, 35,000 square-foot science and math building, at approximately 8:30 AM. Fire crews and first responders quickly arrived on the scene to control and extinguish the fire. 
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  • Saturday Programming

    Greg Kwasnik
    From wearing a mask in class to attending Chapel virtually, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered many aspects of daily life at Holderness. One of the most significant changes is the replacement of Saturday morning classes in favor of programs to support students’ social and emotional health.
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  • Holderness Alum Experiences NHL Playoff Bubble

    Gavin Bayreuther ’12 is making the most of these strange times. The defenseman for the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars was called up to skate for the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars in the Western Conference finals against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
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  • Staying Positive and Testing Negative - Go Bulls!

    We are happy to report that we have received the results from last week’s COVID-19 tests, and they were all negative! 
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  • “Protest Portraits” Photographs by Maundy Mitchell

    Over the weekend, New Hampshire photographer Maundy Mitchell installed our first-ever outdoor art exhibition on campus in front of Weld Dining Hall.  The exhibition consists of twenty-one life-size images of people from Black Lives Matter demonstrations that took place on the Plymouth, N.H. town common this summer.  Each eight-foot structure holds three portraits and a quote about why each individual supports the Black Lives Matter movement.
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  • A Week of Many Firsts!

    After six months without students on campus, this first week of classes has been a most welcome sight - albeit a bit different.  This has been a week of many firsts.  
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  • Skiing Is Getting an Upgrade - Mittersill Performance Center Construction Begins!

    Ski racing in New Hampshire took a giant leap forward on Thursday with the groundbreaking of the Mittersill Performance Center, a 9,200 square foot lodge at the base of Mittersill Slopes at Cannon Mountain. The project is a joint venture between Holderness School and Franconia Ski Club. 
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  • Andrew Sheppe '00: Historic Tales and Technical Trails

    Greg Kwasnik
    A big part of what makes Holderness School so special are the teachers. This year, we’re taking the time to get to know just a few of the amazing educators who call Holderness home.
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  • Welcome New Students!

    Greg Kwasnik
    Holderness School is excited to welcome 110 new students to campus this week– including the school’s largest-ever class of ninth grade students
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  • August

    A Year with Unprecedented Opportunities

    Phil Peck
    Without question, this is a year like none other. We are dealing with the onslaught of three pandemics: the COVID health pandemic, the social justice crisis, and the potential financial threat created by COVID.  As I reflect on all we have experienced this year, I am constantly drawn to the insights gained from the Chinese word for crisis. Etymologists and Sinologists debate whether in fact the two Chinese characters representing the word ‘crisis’ mean danger/misfortune and opportunity. What we do know is that the two characters reflect danger and an opportunity for change. 
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  • Reopening 101 | Health Services in the COVID-19 Era

    Greg Kwasnik
    Of all the people guiding Holderness School through the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps no one has a better read on the pulse of the school’s well-being than Karen Penny P ‘15 ‘18, the school’s new Director of Health Services.
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  • Meet The Teachers | New Faculty for 2020

    Greg Kwasnik
    What do a professional cellist, a ski-jumping computer scientist, and a scholar of the American West with Ivy League hockey chops have in common? They’re all teaching in Holderness classrooms this year.
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  • COVID and College Admissions

    Greg Kwasnik
    You’ve spent years getting good grades, prepping for the SAT, and racking up extracurriculars with an eye toward college. Then, once you’re finally ready to apply, COVID-19 hits. What now?
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  • Reopening 101 | Dining

    Greg Kwasnik
    When students return to school this fall, they'll notice a number of important changes across campus. In the first video of our Reopening 101 series, Associate Head of School Tobi Pfenninger shares some changes to on-campus dining.
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  • An Instant Classic | Dr. Carlos Villafane

    Greg Kwasnik
    A big part of what makes Holderness School so special are the teachers. This summer, we’re taking the time to get to know just a few of the amazing educators who call Holderness home.
     
    How do you teach high school students about Ancient Greece through Zoom? Make it fun.
     
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  • Strength In Humor

    Rick Carey
    No solemnity was safe when Jim Hammond was in the room. But the laughter was a means to an end, and it made everyone who shared in it feel good to be alive.
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  • School Reopening 101|Teaching & Learning in the Era of COVID-19

    Greg Kwasnik
    The health and safety of Holderness School students is always our first priority. So when students return to our beautiful, 600-acre campus in New Hampshire’s White Mountains this fall, they’ll find significant changes to their usual daily routines, all to greatly reduce the risk of COVID-19. From wearing a mask in class to staggered mealtimes, these new measures will help us meet the realities of pandemic life - and provide new opportunities for growth. 
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  • The Quest for the Perfect Mask: Three Steps to the Back-to-School Mask

    Thea Dodds
    We are used to buying our kids back-to-school clothes, notebooks, folders, and organizers, but masks, this is new.  The good news is masks are recommended to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and most schools and businesses in New Hampshire are now requiring them.  At Holderness, we will provide two masks per student and are recommending you purchase additional face coverings for your use. Ideally, students should start each day with a clean mask, so your student may need 3-7 masks depending on how frequently they can be cleaned. We are recommending masks with a tight weave, three-ply, fitted made from natural fibers (cotton, bamboo, wool) with a nose clip. 
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  • Watts Up | Construction Begins on New 460-Kilowatt Solar Array

    Greg Kwasnik
    Holderness School’s environmental sustainability efforts are getting a major jolt this summer thanks to the construction of a 460-kilowatt, on-campus photovoltaic array.
     
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  • July

    Dr. Rachel Jastrebsky: Scientist, Triathlete, Advocate

    Greg Kwasnik
    A big part of what makes Holderness School so special are the teachers. This summer, we’re taking the time to get to know just a few of the amazing educators who call Holderness home.
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  • Big Siblings and Summer Advisors: Welcoming New Students to Holderness

    Greg Kwasnik
    While the upcoming school year’s cohort of new students won’t arrive at Holderness School until later this summer, they’re already connecting with current students and faculty through the school’s revamped Big Sibling Program - and the newly-created Summer Advisor Program.
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  • Introducing The Davis Center: An Academic Catalyst

    Holderness School is pleased to announce that the science and math building currently under construction will be named The Davis Center in honor of Trustee Andrew Davis P'18 and the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. 
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  • On to the Next Adventure: Farewell, Craig Antonides '77

    Greg Kwasnik
    After a storied 36-year coaching career that produced countless elite skiers for Holderness School, Director of Eastern Alpine Craig Antonides ’77 is moving on to pursue new adventures. 
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  • 23 Student-Athletes Commit to College Athletics

    23 Holderness School student-athletes have committed to play competitive college athletics.  These students represent some of the top athletic talent in New Hampshire and New England and are testaments to Holderness School’s culture of academic and athletic excellence. 
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  • Educating for Equity: How One Teacher Mentors School Leaders of Color

    Greg Kwasnik
    With calls for racial justice reverberating across the nation and the world, schools everywhere - including Holderness School - are grappling with questions of how to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive places to learn, live, and teach. It’s in that environment that English teacher and Dean of Students John Lin is actively mentoring the next generation of school administrators of color.
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  • Talking with Teachers | Jiabao Mei

    Greg Kwasnik
    A big part of what makes Holderness School so special are the teachers. This summer, we’re taking the time to get to know just a few of the amazing educators who call Holderness home. 

    Today, we’re meeting Jiabao Mei, the school’s Mandarin teacher. A native of Guangzhou, China, Jiabao just completed her first year of teaching at Holderness - and she's the first native Mandarin speaker to ever teach at the school. Here, we ask Jiabao about the challenges of learning a new language, the importance of understanding other cultures, and how she found a home in the Holderness community.
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  • Inside Out Back: 50 Years of Adventure Education at Holderness School

    Inside Out Back: 50 Years of Adventure Education at Holderness School premiered on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube June 30, 2020 at 7 pm. The documentary, filmed and produced by Holderness alumni Jake Norton '92 and Josh Povec '94,  goes behind the scenes during the school's 50th Out Back program, explores the history of Out Back, and its impact on student’s Holderness experience.
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  • June

    FOURTH QUARTER HONOR ROLL ANNOUNCED

    The Honor Roll recognizes and commends outstanding achievement and effort in the academic program. Holderness School recognizes that each student's growth and progress is complex. Quarterly comments written by faculty better reflect the unique path traveled by each student, and the Honor Roll and Effort Honor Roll are simplified but significant markers of the engagement of our students in the most recent marking interval.
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  • Campus Tours Return This Summer!

    Greg Kwasnik
    After a three-month hiatus, Holderness School is excited to once again offer on-campus tours for prospective students.
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  • Made for Out Back

    Emily Magnus '88
    Previously Featured in Fall 2019 Holderness School Today

    As Holderness celebrates 50 years of Out Back adventures, there’s only one faculty member who has contributed to its success for four of those decades. Doug Kendall isn’t just a legendary teacher. He’s an Out Back legend. 
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  • For God and Humankind: A Call to Solidarity and Action

    Dear Holderness Family,

    I write this letter with a heavy heart and as a call to action. The senseless killing of George Floyd and the countless black men and women who have needlessly died before him continually expose the deep fractures of our society made manifest by racism and injustice.  In our outrage and pain, the Holderness School community stands in solidarity with our students and alumni of color, the black community, and with the peaceful protestors across the country. 
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  • May

    Verses From Isolation - Student Art Show

    Joseph Sywenkyj
    The works of art on the walls of this digital gallery were made by Holderness School students representing grades 9-12 in various photography and studio art classes throughout the 2019-2020 school year. 

    Some of the images are an observation and illustration of the incredible complexity and significance of the time we live in; some pieces are commentary about pollution and climate change while other pieces are simply beautiful and pleasing to view. They all have merit and purpose.
     
    The artwork also illustrates the interests and concerns of young artists figuring out their role in the world. Their work is sincere and candid and shows the depth of talent in the visual arts here at Holderness School. These students are extremely creative, intelligent, mature, and most of all, capable of creating insightful artwork with substance and significance.
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  • School President Abby Vieira Inspires and Honors The Class of 2020

    Holderness School President Abby Vieira '20, a member of Team Trinidad and future student at Williams College, offers this inspiring 2020 commencement speech.
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  • Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

    Celebrating its 141st Commencement, Holderness School honored the great Class of 2020.  While we could not gather on Livermore Common, we celebrated these seniors in a touching -- and our first-ever -- virtual Commencement ceremony.  Although far apart, the strong bonds of the Holderness School family were palpable today as we welcomed these amazing seniors as our newest alumni! 
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  • Holderness Celebrates Academic Achievement, Community Contribution

    Holderness School celebrated this year’s Prize Day in unique fashion.  While the school could not gather on Livermore Common to honor the academic successes and intellectual grit shown by our students, the community found creative ways to celebrate the achievements of our scholars.  Throughout the week, academic departments shared short, meaningful videos that recognized the work, growth, and accomplishments of our artists, historians, scientists, theologians, mathematicians, and linguists.  And, today, Holderness School came together virtually to honor several students who have made extraordinary contributions to the community.  
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  • Ideas to Celebrate Your Senior!

    Carol Dopp and Jini Sparkman
    This is not the end of the year that we had expected or wanted, but it does not in any way diminish the Class of 2020’s accomplishments, growth, or our pride in their time here. You are Holderness Family, even from afar.  To that end, we've worked to come up with a list of ways that families might celebrate graduates on Commencement Day. We hope these are helpful or fun and create outlets for moments of joy. High school graduation only happens once!
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  • Senior Thesis - The Culminating Academic Experience

    At Holderness School, Senior Thesis is the culminating academic experience that affords every student the opportunity to practice research and presentation skills with guidance from a class advisor and mentoring from adults with expertise within the student’s field of interest.  The Senior Thesis program is a bridge for seniors to move smoothly towards the college-level.  The project begins by asking a question that is of interest to the student.  Here are our 2020 seniors essential questions:
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  • We Virtually Ran COVID Out Of Town

    Our first-ever Virtual 5K was a great success! More than 350 runners helped us Run COVID out of Town from Holderness to London to Thailand and Sweden. Together we raised more than $5850 for Speare Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 Fund.
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  • Virtual Stones Chapel

    Every spring, our seniors gather at the Outdoor Chapel for the Stones Chapel.  At this service, seniors are invited to place a decorated stone along a rock wall, slowly building the wall and representing the enduring legacy of Holderness graduates. 
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  • BOOM! WHAM! KA-POW! The Do’s and Don’ts of Distance Learning

    Ms. Sparkman’s Block 4 and Block 7 English classes
    BOOM! WHAM! KA-POW! Check out this awesome comic book, “The Do’s and Don’ts about Distance Learning,” by Ms. Sparkman’s Block 4 and Block 7 English classes. As if there was any doubt that our students and teachers are distance learning superheroes.
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  • Quarantine Reading Recommendations

    Thea Dodds
    It feels like coronavirus and stay-at-home orders have changed virtually everything in life.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is the power of a good book.  We asked the community what they are reading to deal with a world that feels kind of upside down.
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  • Thank You Teachers!

    In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked our young alumni to share words of support and appreciation for all of our great Holderness teachers.  This video speaks to the care, dedication, and impact of all those who help our students grow.
     
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  • Congratulations to our Holderness School Leaders for 2020-2021

    Today we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our leadership election.  And in that 70 years, the only change to this electoral framework has been the inclusion of empathy -- and now Zoom.
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  • 5 Pieces of Advice for Distance Learning

    Kelsey Berry
    I must admit, I am writing this list of advice in part so someone will admonish me if I am not following it. It is hard to create new habits. Harder still to develop boundaries with technology when it is one of the few ways we can feel connected to each other during this time. When drafting advice for distance learning, I kept coming back to the health and wellness concerns and struggles I am having sitting in front of my computer right now. But health and wellness advice IS advice for distance learning. Also, as Brad Rotheberger succinctly put it, “school is not the most important thing right now, safety is.” 
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  • Outdoor COV-Etiquette: 5 Tips to Stay Safe Outside in the Time of Coronavirus

    Thea Dodds
    Water. Food. Layers. Mask?  Getting outside used to be a whole lot simpler. That simplicity is often what drives many of us to New Hampshire’s lakes, rivers, and mountains.  Green space is proven to aid in mental and physical health.  With much of the world closed, more people than ever are flocking to our (previously secluded) trails.
     
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  • April

    Parenting in a Pandemic

    Greg Kwasnik
    With the COVID-19 pandemic upending daily life as we know it, the world has become a confusing place for high school students – and their parents. To seek some clarity, we decided to reach out to a Kendall Hoyt P ’23. Not only is Kendall a current Holderness parent, but she’s also an expert in vaccine development policy for emerging infectious disease pandemics.
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  • Earth Day: Celebrating 50 Years

    Greg Kwasnik
    This year, Earth Day is going digital. 

    In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people worldwide are observing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day from home – and the Holderness community is no exception. 
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  • Psychological First Aid Kit: 7 Things to Pack

    In today’s new COVID-19 reality, all of us – students, parents, teachers – are working from home. It’s a big adjustment, one that challenges each of us to design a framework of healthy habits for our new, socially-distanced lives.
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  • Holderness Faculty: Virtually Amazing!

    Greg Kwasnik
    Over the last several weeks, we’ve all had to adapt to the new realities of social distancing, work from home, and distance learning. Our amazing faculty are no exception; in a matter of days, they’ve managed to completely rethink the way they teach to meet the moment.
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  • Holderness Mourns the loss of Jim Brewer

    James Edward Brewer II passed away peacefully on Saturday night, March 28, 2020 while at home with his friends and incredible caregivers, Deb and Bruce Cheney of Laconia, NH.
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  • Distance Learning Begins

    Greg Kwasnik
    Distance learning starts today, and our teachers are ready. Let's do this!


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  • Five Tips for Making the Most of Social Distancing

    Thea Dodds
    Holderness has a long and deep connection to the outdoors.  You don’t have to be outdoorsy to come to Holderness, but a Holderness education will undoubtedly involve the outdoors.  And now all you Bulls are stuck inside. So here are 5 tips and tons of links to free content to help you stay engaged while social distancing. Of course, if you’re missing campus, check in on the progress of our Math and Science Building or see what’s happening in downtown Plymouth. 
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  • Holderness Ready to Run Virtual 5K to Crush COVID-19

    Andrew Herring
    Holderness School will participate in a virtual 5K on April 10th to help unlock funds to fight COVID-19.
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  • March

    THIRD QUARTER HONOR ROLL ANNOUNCED

    The Honor Roll recognizes and commends outstanding achievement and effort in the academic program. Holderness School recognizes that each student's growth and progress is complex. Quarterly comments written by faculty better reflect the unique path traveled by each student, and the Honor Roll and Effort Honor Roll are simplified but significant markers of the engagement of our students in the most recent marking interval.
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  • Distance Learning Begins April 9th

    Kelsey Berry
    Holderness School will offer its program via distance learning beginning on Thursday, April 9. Watch the video below to learn more about Holderness School’s distance learning program.
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  • Holderness School Names Ben Drummond Director of Snow Sports

    Andrew Herring
    Holderness School is pleased to announce that Ben Drummond has been named the Director of Snow Sports.  
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  • How We Think: A Reflection on Biblical Literature and Interdepartmental Learning

    Peter Durnan
    It was 10 p.m. on the second of July and the bells of Dartmouth College’s Baker Library were chiming.  The three of us were in our third session. Our lofty goal was to ponder why interdepartmental learning matters, and why its pursuit would make Holderness a better school.  More practically our goal was to help Chaplain Joshua Hill design a new interdepartmental course in English and Theology & Religious Studies: The Bible as Literature.
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  • February

    Understanding Numerical Literacy: A Mini-Grant about Big Figures

    Greg Kwasnik
    Most people know the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire – at least that’s the hope. But how many of us really understand the difference, in concrete terms?
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  • Holderness Announces Interim Director of College Counseling

    Andrew Herring
    At Holderness School, college counseling is all about helping students find the right college fit. It's only appropriate, then, that the leadership of the College Counseling Office be an appropriate fit.

    With Director of College Counseling Bruce Barton’s Chair Year scheduled for the 2020-21 academic year, Holderness School is proud to welcome Erika Blauth as the Interim Director of College Counseling.
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  • Emma Reynolds '22 (center) on the podium!

    Holderness Snow Sports Shine in Mid-Season Competition

    Andrew Herring
    Winter is in full effect at Holderness School, and we are once again affirming our legacy of snowsports excellence in a variety of competitive disciplines.
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  • A Different Election: The Unique Way Holderness Selects Leaders

    Andrew Herring
    Elections are kind of a big deal in New Hampshire.  The Granite State treasures its first-in-the-nation primary status just as much as it loves its pristine lakes and mountains.  It’s a privilege to catalyze any presidential race, and New Hampshire goes all out. Our roadsides are littered with campaign signs, our televisions are clogged with advertisements.  Stand outside long enough, and you’re bound to be greeted by an overzealous canvasser or candidate doing their best to convince you to mark their name on your ballot. 
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  • January

    Big Mountain: The Future of Competitive Skiing and Snowboarding

    Greg Kwasnik
    Slalom gates, halfpipes, and terrain parks are where Holderness School athletes have traditionally excelled. But for an increasing number of Holderness athletes, the school’s new Big Mountain program is the future of competitive skiing and snowboarding.
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  • Courageous Conversations: Author, Priest leads Anti-Racism Chapel for MLK Observance.

    Greg Kwasnik
    Changing the status quo can be an uncomfortable task – especially if you benefit from it. That was the message to students from the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, the school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker and the white author of Seeing My Skin, a personal examination of the role of whiteness in his own life.
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  • Second Quarter Honor Roll

    The Honor Roll recognizes and commends outstanding achievement and effort in the academic program. Holderness School recognizes that each student's growth and progress is complex. Quarterly comments written by faculty better reflect the unique path traveled by each student, and the Honor Roll and Effort Honor Roll are simplified but significant markers of the engagement of our students in the most recent marking interval.
    Read More
  • Holderness School Receives $6M Gift for Snow Sports, Athletics

    Andy Herring
    Affirming Holderness School’s position as the premier snow sports school in the country and committing to the school’s multi-sport athletic philosophy, the New Hampshire boarding school recently received a transformational $6 million gift.  Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Holderness School is able to jumpstart fundraising initiatives that will better support world-class outdoor athletic facilities and impact every athletic team and snow sports discipline.
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  • The Running of the Bulls: Cross Country Laps the Competition

    Maxfield Paro '17
    Both Boys' and Girls' Cross Country had an exceptional season and ran their way to the podium in nearly every competition.  Read more about how these student-athletes logged an amazing season.
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  • Rock Climbing Team Summits Steep Challenges

    Maxfield Paro '17
    Surrounded by some of the best climbing spots on the East Coast, the Holderness School Rock Climbing Team is privileged to spend their afternoons exploring the cliffs of Rumney, New Hampshire.  Head Coach Erik Thatcher ‘08 pushes his climbers to set goals for themselves throughout the season in order to guide their growth.  
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  • Muddy Days and Smiles: Mountain Biking Pedals Ahead

    Maxfield Paro '17
    With nearly ten kilometers of trails on campus and many more only a short minibus ride away, the Holderness School mountain biking team enjoyed a season full of challenging rides, thrilling races, and strong friendships.
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Head's Photo of the Day
Head of School, Phil Peck, has been documenting the daily life of Holderness School one photo at a time since 2001, highlighting teaching moments, inspirational chapels, Head’s Day shenanigans, service projects, and more.
    Back 2020