History of the Association

The Heads of School of seven boarding schools – Andover, Exeter, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield, Lawrenceville, Hotchkiss, and St. Paul’s – have been informally gathering once a year to discuss common matters among the schools since the early 1970’s. After the first meeting, Northfield Mount Hermon was added to the group to complete what is now the Eight Schools Association. In 1996, the association decided to begin meeting twice a year, once with their boards of trustees and once just with the Heads of School. In 2006, the Eight Schools Association decided to take on a more formal structure, hoping to mirror the Ivy League. In hopes of achieving the formal structure, the association elected a president, Choate Headmaster Ed Shanahan; a vice president, Lawrenceville Head Master Liz Duffy and a representative, former Head of School of Hotchkiss Robert “Skip” Mattoon. The association recently published a literary magazine, the Deerfield 8 by 8, which featured pieces by various students from all eight schools. In addition, the association sponsored athletic tournaments – basketball and wrestling tournaments – to create opportunities for all eight schools to compete against each other outside of their separate athletic leagues. The student body presidents from each school gathered this past fall at Choate to share in discussion similar to those held by the Heads of School. The schools’ theater departments also met and are currently planning for an eight-school jazz festival. The association has continued to meet twice a year. This past year, the eight schools met in New York on “neutral ground” and met again on a host school’s campus.