The Governor's Academy
(formerly Governor Dummer Academy)

1 Elm Street
Byfield, MA 01922
Tel: 978-499-3120
Gr: (Boarding) 9-12 | 406 students
An aerial view of the Academy's 400-acre campus adjacent to the salt marshes of the Atlantic Ocean
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An aerial view of the Academy's 400-acre campus adjacent to the salt marshes of the Atlantic Ocean
Students pose on a couch in the Cobb Room. A painting of King George, who appointed the school's founder to the position of Lt. Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, hangs in the background.
Academy students are encouraged to pursue the arts in a variety of
disciplines: film, photography, painting, ceramics, architecture, technical theater, drama, chorus, band, and orchestra.
Small classes allow students to receive the attention they need, to ask questions and take on challenges in a supportive environment.
Science classes usually involve labwork, the theoretical applied in hands-on learning. (Note the lab glasses atop the girls' heads.)
The Student Center is one of the most popular hubs of activity on campus. Two plasma televisions, a ping pong table, snack bar, computer stations and wireless internet access, two fireplaces and a book store make this an ideal home away from home for both day students and boarders.
Our tech theater program trains students to design and work lights and sound as well as build sets. Tech theater is offered as an afternon activity and as an art class.
At the Academy, no one falls through the cracks. Students participate in their learning every day in every class.
Our athletic teams are extremely competitive in the Independent School League, frequently winning championships and playing in post-season tournaments.
The performing arts are alive and well at the Academy. Students perform in three drama productions each year, while the dance, vocal and instrumental groups present several concerts.
Welcome to the oldest continuously operating non-sectarian boarding school in America! Established as Dumm'r Charity School in 1763 through a bequest from Massachusetts Bay Lieutenant Governor William Dummer, what is now called The Governor's Academy provided the foundation for the preparatory school tradition in America.
Today, more than two centuries after its founding, The Governor's Academy continues this tradition of innovation through inventive, inspired programs that reflect the Academy's pioneering spirit.

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Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 339 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2015 School Data
The Governor's Boarding School Avg.
School Focus College Preparatory College Preparatory
Grades Offered 9-12 9-12
School Type Co-ed Co-ed
ADD/ADHD Support No No
Religious Affiliation Non-denominational Non-denominational
Year Founded 1763 1910
Campus Size 450 acres 125 acres

Student Body

Enrollment 406 students 299 students
% Students of Color 18% 20%
% International Students 12% 20%
% Students Boarding 66% 67%
Offers Post-Grad Year No No

Academics and Faculty

Saturday Classes No No
Classroom Dress Code Casual Casual
Average Class Size 12 students 12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio 1:5 1:7
# of AP/Advanced Courses Offered 25 15
ESL Courses Offered No Yes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree 78% 67%
Summer Program Offered Yes Yes


Endowment Size $70 million $16 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$53,400 $49,000
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$42,400 $27,200
% Students on Financial Aid 30% 35%
Avg. Financial Aid Grant $38,000 $20,255
Merit Scholarships Offered No No


Application Deadline Jan. 31 Jan. 15
Accepts Standardized Application Yes No
SSAT Required Yes Yes
Average Percentile SSAT 77% -
Acceptance Rate 23% 57%
Director of AdmissionsMichael Kinnealey

Course Listings

List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses


# Interscholastic Sports Offered 17 14
SportsAlpine Skiing, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Winter Track, Wrestling


Total Extracurricular Organizations 28 23
ExtracurricularsChapel Committee, Chorus and Select Chorus, Christian Fellowship, Creative Writing Club, Debate Club, Drama, Environmental Club, EPIC (Model UN), Gay/Straight Alliance, German Club, Governor Dummer Honor Society, Harvard Model Congress, Health and Wellness Committee, History Club, Jewish Fellowship, NEXO (Latino and Hispanic students), Orchestra, P.R.I.D.E. (students of color), Peer Advisors, Poetry Society, Proctors for Mansion House, Student Center & Performing Arts Center, Project Outreach, Social Committee, The Big Wind Jazz Band, The Governor (student newspaper),

College Matriculation

Year: 2004 10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Boston University 4
George Washington University 3
Tufts University 3
Union College 3
University of Denver 3
University of Southern California 3
Dartmouth College 2
Johns Hopkins 2
Wellesley College 2
Williams College 2

School Notes:

  • The Academy offers a challenging, thought-provoking and student-centered curriculum that inspires a passion for learning. By focusing on the learning process and the development of essential skills, The Governor's Academy teaches students how to think critically, creatively and independently. We encourage students to acquire knowledge through hands-on activity, multi-disciplinary inquiry, analysis and reflection.

  • Many structures--including the advising system, extra help sessions, and evening study hours supervised by dormitory parents--help students learn to study and manage their time well. Our goal is to teach young people to become actively accountable for their own learning and to grow by learning with others.
  • Classes meet for 60- and 90-minute periods, affording students and teachers more opportunity to explore subject matter in depth, from different perspectives and with a variety of classroom activities. In addition to traditional assessments such as tests and papers, students debate, conduct hands-on laboratory and field experiments, make oral presentations, research in groups, use technology to create presentations, and design their own exhibits.
  • Students and faculty bring to The Governor's Academy a richness of experience, perspective and diversity which adds immeasurably to the education of all. This is the spirit that inspires a community of learners.
  • During the past decade, many new buildings have been erected or renovated, including the Math and Science Center, Library, Student Center, Performing Arts Center, and faculty housing. A new ice hockey arena, synthetic turf field and dormitory will be constructed by the fall of 2007.
  • For more information about the academic program at The Governor's Academy, contact Academic Dean Elaine White at 978-499-3147 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              978-499-3147      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or

  • School accreditations: New England Association of Schools and Colleges; Association of Boarding Schools
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Booker T. Washington Jr. - son of famous abolitionist, statesman and author
    • Yu Kil Chun - first Korean to study in West; essayist and social reformer
    • Theophilus Parsons - helped draft Bill of Rights and developed US judiciary system
    • Edward Preble - Commodore of the USS Constitution
    • Dan Gadzuric - NBA basketball player
    • Jeb Bradley - Congressman - New Hampshire
    • Samuel Phillips - Founder of Phillips Academy, Andover

Nearby Schools:

The nearest boarding school is Sparhawk School (7.2 miles away)
  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Amesbury, MA
    196 Main Street
    AmesburyMA 01913
    7.2 mi | Gr. Pre-K-12 | 170 students
  • North Andover, MA
    Brooks School
    1160 Great Pond Road
    North AndoverMA 01845
    9.9 mi | Gr. 9-12 | 380 students
  • Prides Crossing, MA
    P.O. Box 227
    Prides CrossingMA 01965
    13.7 mi | Gr. 2-12 | 469 students
  • Andover, MA
    180 Main Street
    AndoverMA 01810
    14 mi | Gr. 9-12 | 1141 students
  • Exeter, NH
    20 Main Street
    ExeterNH 03833
    16.2 mi | Gr. 9-12 | 1085 students
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