Head of School Welcome

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Let me try to capture what makes Trinity School special among an array of appealing independent schools in New York City.

Our history is distinctive. Founded in 1709 as a charity school supported by Anglican missionaries, the school had its first classes meet in Trinity Church at the head of Wall Street. Its first schoolhouse was built on the church grounds in 1749, and it is the oldest continuously operating educational institution in the city of New York.
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In their horizontal expansiveness, our facilities are enviable. The school stretches nearly the length of 91st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. In addition to classrooms, labs and offices, the school includes a garden, a rooftop playing field (known as “The Turf"), two rooftop tennis courts, a dining room, two chapels, two theaters, a swimming pool, three playgrounds, a weight room, a fine arts pavilion, two libraries, and three gymnasiums.

Our community is diverse. Committed to creating a diversely diverse community of learners and teachers, Trinity has a student body that reflects the ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, and religious diversity of the city it calls home. Trinity’s commitment to this diverse community and its success is supported by the curriculum, counseling, extra-curricular activities, and Community Time programs and speakers. It reaches into every corner of school life.

Our teachers are extraordinarily talented and dedicated. More than twenty of them have doctorates and over 100 others hold master’s degrees from selective colleges and universities around the world. Recruited for their outstanding academic achievements and their commitment to Trinity’s core educational values, teachers are encouraged to select, expand on, modify, and even invent their curricula, fostering an unparalleled sense of ownership and creativity in the classroom. This creativity is supported by a unique and well-endowed program of faculty development and enrichment grants.

The heart of the Trinity experience is the relationship between inspiring, caring teachers and talented, motivated, and engaged students. At Trinity, "the life of the mind" is not a cliché; it is a lived reality: students here are enlivened by the power of ideas, made available in engaging conversations with teachers passionate about ideas that shape, define, and change the world. In their classrooms and labs and assembly halls, Trinity students pursue a rigorous and challenging course of academic study that prepares them for success in the most competitive colleges and universities. From the fourth grader collecting marine biology specimens at Jamaica Bay to the senior preparing to discourse on Vergil’s Aeneid before a panel of classics professors from renowned universities, Trinity students are engaged, active, and happy participants in their own educations.

Beyond the classroom, Trinity teaches its students to be responsible and caring, both inside the school, and as citizens of the city, nation, and world. One place that this happens is in our weekly Chapel services. While rooted in Trinity’s Episcopal heritage, our chapel program reflects the religious and philosophical diversity of all our students, and encourages them to reflect on questions that have long been of central importance to human life: Who am I? What is the nature of the universe? How should humans strive together to lead a good life? How do the religious and philosophical traditions of the world ask and suggest answers to these questions? Because students not only sit through, but also plan and participate in weekly chapel as readers, musicians, and speakers, the service becomes a sounding board for important issues in the lives of the students, the school, and the world outside Trinity’s walls.

While Trinity is best known for its intellectual vitality, we promise so much more: a balanced educational program for body and mind, heart and soul, incorporating the arts, athletics, and community service; a chapel program that calls students not only to grow into their best selves, but also to reach out beyond themselves to address needs and realities greater than themselves; an embracing and empowering sense of community that finds strength in diversity, unity in its shared commitment to care and understanding, meaning in its labors, and joy in its play. Read our mission; our aspirations are audacious. Read our Strategic Plan: our dreams are daring.

Appropriately, one of the ways the School commemorated its three hundredth anniversary was by creating a mosaic, and I’ve discovered that, in profound ways, Trinity is perhaps best understood as a mosaic: an amazing assemblage of diverse individuals harmonized by a guiding vision (see the School’s compelling mission statement) to become a thriving community in which the whole is even greater than the sum of its colorful parts.

In the days ahead, I hope you’ll join me in my journey to learn exactly how, each day, our students and teachers are working together ("Labore") to compose a dazzlingly dynamic mosaic of human excellence ("Virtute") in our classrooms, on our stages, on our playing fields, in our chapels, and in the world beyond West 91st Street. I invite you to get to know the heart of this remarkable community: our students and teachers. Take a closer look. Come visit us.

John Allman
Head of School
Located on the Upper West Side of New York City, Trinity School is a college preparatory, coeducational independent school for grades K-12. Since 1709, Trinity has provided a world-class education to its students with rigorous academics and outstanding programs in athletics, the arts, peer leadership, and global travel.