When Concord Academy was first established in 1922, it was a small all-girls school with students from grades 1 through 12 and Elise Garland Hobson as the first head of school. The first class, the Class of 1924, only had three students. In 1949, under the administration of Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, the student population expanded significantly. Hall successfully shaped CA into a fine independent institution with a large boarding department, which later became coeducational in 1971.
One of the most treasured parts of CA’s culture is the advisory system. At CA, each student is paired with an advisor, and has one on one meetings each week. When I first came to CA, my advisor Kiley Remiszewski helped me feel at home in the CA community and let me experience the helpfulness of the faculty. This system was introduced by the third head of school J. Josephine Tucker (1940-49), who also abolished prizes at commencement, reflecting CA’s inclusive culture where students help and enrich each other instead of creating a competitive atmosphere.
The key values that CA was built on seem to come together during CA’s annual birthday parties. CA’s 99th birthday celebration this year was a remarkable, memorable experience. The school watched a video where students interviewed community members about the gift they gave to CA. People also drew a “thank you” note for the CA community using chalks on the ground in front of the Student-Faculty Center. The unity of the CA community was tangible, and I am expecting this sense of community to be magnified next year at the centennial ceremony, and perhaps even way into the future when CA is two hundred, or three hundred years old.
Author’s note: This is just a brief, personal account of CA’s history. For more information, visit https://concordacademy.org/about/history/.