Miss Porter's School, is a private college preparatory school for girls, aged 14-18, located in Farmington, Connecticut. It was founded by education reformer Sarah Porter in 1843, with an eye to educating the elite young women of the Eastern seaboard.
Miss Porter around 1855
Sarah Porter founded Miss Porter's School in 1843. The School, which had 25 students by 1847, grew with the encouragement of a group of Farmington fathers, who wanted a superior education for their daughters. Steadily increasing in national reputation and size, the School graduated 62 girls in 1886, many from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states.
Miss Porter was born into an illustrious and learned Farmington family. Her father, Noah Porter was the minister of First Church of Christ, Congregational 1652 for 60 years, and one of her brothers, Noah Porter, Jr., was the president of Yale University. She received the most advanced education available to a young woman of her era, including tutoring by Yale professors. A life-long scholar, she not only mastered four languages but also taught herself Hebrew when she was in her 80s. At her school, Miss Porter emphasized the traditional values with which she was raised and the importance of women receiving educations equal to those available to men. A social traditionalist, she believed that the school atmosphere should resemble that of a home. She wanted her pupils to be prepared to head their own households and pass along to their families the values she held dear, including education and the importance of service to others. But there was nothing traditional about the educational opportunities she offered women. The curriculum taught at Porter's in the 19th century included Latin, French, and German, spelling, reading, arithmetic, trigonometry, history, and geography. Because Miss Porter believed young women to be as capable of learning as young men, her curriculum also included chemistry, physiology, botany, geology and astronomy. In addition, the arts were emphasized; Miss Porter hired prominent men to teach drawing and give music lessons, and chamber music concerts were frequently given at the School. Each student was expected to design her course selection to meet her individual needs and talents.
Headmistress Kate Windsor, under Sarah Porter Portrait
Miss Porter was also a firm believer in the value of physical exercise. She banned the fashionable trains and bustles from students' clothing, because they limited a woman's freedom of movement. She prescribed daily, two-hour afternoon walks and encouraged horseback riding and tennis. In 1867, the School formed a baseball team, called the Tunxises.
After Sarah Porter's death in 1900, management of the school passed into the hands of her nephew, Robert Porter Keep, and his wife. Robert Porter Keep Jr. later became the Headmaster. In 1943, Miss Porter's School was incorporated as a non-profit institution. Her portraits are hung all around the school.
Miss Porters girls then, around 1947. That's Jackie Bouvier on the sled.
Miss Porters girls now, 2009
This excerpt taken from www.missporters.org gives a portrait of a Porter's Education
Porter's is a school designed specifically for young women. At Porter’s, you have the opportunity to be yourself; to experiment; to ask questions; and to debate ideas. The classrooms, computer labs, art studios, playing fields, and dorms are all for you, all of the time.
At Porter's, you will receive a superior education—and an engaging high school experience. The rigor of our program will challenge you to stretch and grow. The traditions, some going back to Sarah Porter herself, will include you in the Porter's community of the past, the present, and the future. You will make new friends, and you will be guided and supported by your teachers, coaches, advisor, and house directors.
Porter's is for smart, strong, and creative girls who want to become young women who are prepared to lead with conviction and courage. As a student here, you will learn to take risks; meet intellectual, aesthetic, physical, social and ethical challenges; and thrive within a diverse community.
When you graduate from Porter's, you will join a worldwide network of accomplished women who are fulfilling the school’s mission statement, “We expect our graduates to shape a changing world.” You will be part of a fabric of relationships that will benefit you personally and professionally throughout your life.
Miss Porters School Stats
Motto-Puellae venerunt. Abierunt mulieres
Type-Private boarding school
Founder- Sarah Porter
210 boarding, 117 day
Campus-55 acre township campus
Colors-Green and White
There is a great article on Vanity Fair about the school. www.vanityfair.com/style/features/2009/07/miss-porters-school200907
- Posted By O. Cavanaugh