The Holderness School is a private, coeducational college-preparatory school in Holderness, near Plymouth, New Hampshire in the United States. The student body of 280 is drawn from twenty-two U.S. states and fourteen foreign countries. While Holderness operates primarily as a boarding school, it also enrolls fifty day students. The Head of School (headmaster) is R. Phillip Peck, M.Ed.
Founded in 1879 under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
, the school retains some links with the denomination, but now conducts ecumenical chapel services and welcomes applicants of all faiths.
The school sits on high ground on the east side of the Pemigewasset River
in Holderness overlooking the town of Plymouth, population about 6,000, and home of Plymouth State University
and Speare Memorial Hospital. Holderness is about north of Boston
. Access to Interstate 93
is within sight of the campus.
Holderness School's of land hosts academic buildings, a covered ice rink, eight playing fields, 10 tennis courts, and 10 kilometers of cross-country trails. In the past few years, the school has built a new library and health center, and installed wireless computer networking. Currently, Weld dining hall is under renovation and the renovation or reconstruction of several other facilities is in the works.
Special programs include Outback, a winter-camping expedition for juniors that includes a three-day solo tenting experience and journal-keeping. Outback is known as one of the cornerstones of the Holderness experience. Seniors participate in a senior capstone project which is an experiential and research based individual thesis project conducted on a topic designed by the student with his/her advisor. Artward Bound offers sophomores a 10-day intensive period of working with visiting artists in disciplines such as glass-blowing, blacksmithing, African dance and stand-up comedy. The Freshman class participates in Project Outreach which is a 10-day service project in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
The students often get very involved in extracurricular activities, specifically the Holderness School Winter Carnival. In this, the students compete in a variety of events to get good intramural competitions. In the 2005-2006 school year, the Webster Dorm claimed victory in the event and capped off the celebration with a dance routine to Michael Jackson's Thriller.
Another critical aspect of Holderness School is its unique "Job Program." At Holderness School, every student in every class is required to perform a campus job, whether it be washing dishes at breakfast, leading a dormitory, or babysitting faculty children during dinner. Students are not paid for these positions, but complete their jobs as community members. The Job Program successfully helps develop a close-knit community at the same time as developing well-rounded and hard-working students.