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Thornton-Donovan School

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Thornton-Donovan School

Thornton-Donovan School
100 Overlook Circle
New Rochelle, New York, 10804
United States
Type Private
Established 1901
Students 175
Grades K-12

The Thornton-Donovan School (TD) was founded as the New Rochelle School and Kindergarten in New Rochelle, New York. It was founded by Judge Martin Jerome Keogh in 1901. The first teacher and headmistress was Miss Emily Scott Thornton, a Philadelphia native educated at University College Nottingham, now the University of Nottingham.[1] The current headmaster as of 2009 is Mr. Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.[2]

The school is now at its third campus, on Overlook Circle in the Beechmont neighborhood of New Rochelle. It inhabits three former homes, including the former Andrew Crawford estate, now the Main Building.[2]


  • Overview 1
    • 2008-2009 Renovation 1.1
    • Summer Challenge Program 1.2
  • Thematic Language Education 2
    • 1990s 2.1
    • 2000- Greece 2.2
    • 2001- Spain 2.3
    • 2002- New York 2.4
    • 2003- Florida 2.5
    • 2004- Belgium 2.6
    • 2005- Illinois and Missouri 2.7
    • 2006- England 2.8
    • 2007- Japan 2.9
    • 2008- Portugal 2.10
    • 2009- Brazil 2.11
    • 2010- South Africa 2.12
    • 2011- Ireland 2.13
    • 2012- Venice 2.14
    • 2013- Argentina and Uruguay 2.15
    • 2014- Alaska 2.16
    • 2015- Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland 2.17
    • 2016- Russia 2.18
    • 2017- Ecuador 2.19
    • 2018- Albania 2.20
    • 2019- Mongolia 2.21
    • 2020- California 2.22
  • The arts and community connections 3
  • Notable alumni 4
  • Headmasters 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


International and independent, The Thornton-Donovan School is now a New York State accredited high school educating over 175 students in grades K-12 every year. On May 25, 2005, students planted two flowering trees at the end of Overlook Circle and at Lester Place and Beechmont Lake as a gift to the city of New Rochelle, New York.[3]

The school boasts a swimming pool, an outdoor playset, woodchips, a driveway, more than thirty living trees, a large grassy field, a basketball/tennis/family court, three buildings, a parking lot/Hacky Sack arena, and a shed for arts and crafts which is used only during the summer.

2008-2009 Renovation

During the early 2008, plans were being made to expand and level the field along with building a new basketball court. A proposal for the renovation was sent to the New Rochelle Department of Development Planning Board on June 24. The proposal stated that the field would be graded, ten irrigation sprinklers would be installed, the basketball court would be taken apart and relocated to allow more field space, a ten-foot chain link fence would enclose the new court, and twenty trees were to be removed during the process.[4] Headmaster Douglas Fleming has referred to the final product as the Field of Dreams.[5]

Summer Challenge Program

In the summer, the school also holds a summer camp program, in its 46th consecutive year as of summer 2014. Children aged 3–14 are permitted to join the program. The children are split into two divisions: Play School (3–7 years) and Sports Fitness (7–14 years). They participate in a wide variety of sports. Activities include: tennis, softball, hockey, swimming, arts and crafts, karate, dance, basketball, soccer, trampolining, capture the flag, an outdoor playset, watermelon, and kickball. The older group is also taken to a bowling alley in the Bronx every Friday, where the children have a chance to bowl.

Thematic Language Education

Middle and Upper School curricula are themed annually on an area of the world. Students are exposed daily to a dynamic course of learning throughout the year learning not only about international cultures, but actual politics, history and the arts of painting in an intramural and experiential context. The school also has strong ties to several countries, with 35 sister schools throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America.[6] During the school year, about four students are selected to go to one of several sister schools. The more notable exchange trips are to Busan, South Korea; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Dublin, Ireland; La Rochelle, France; Nottingham, England; Rome, Italy; Mexico City, and Guatemala City.[7]

A rigorous course of learning is punctuated by a "spring-time fling" trip to locations associated with the year's theme (i.e. - the country or locale the school studied). Students, faculty and friends can all join for an exceptional educational excursion. Since 1994, there have been 18 trips, of which 14 were international.


Little information about the first six trips taken by the school has been given through their website; however, trips to six countries and one state were undertaken between 1994 and 1999.[8]

Year Country/State/Region Duration Cities visited
1994 England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland Specifics Unknown
1995 France Specifics Unknown
1996 Jerusalem Specifics Unknown
1997 Italy Specifics Unknown
1998 New Mexico Specifics Unknown
1999 Austria Specifics Unknown

2000- Greece

The new millennium began with an 11-day trip to Greece that started on May 18 and ended on May 28. The travelers departed from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City on May 18 and landed in Athens, Greece on May 19. The group spent the morning and early afternoon at the Hotel Plaka in old Athens, overlooking the Acropolis. After touring the old city that evening, the school went to the Acropolis at night before going to Pnyx Hill to see a light show. On May 20, a full day of sightseeing took place. Travelers visited the Propylaea, Temple of Athena, the Erechtheum, the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, and the Theatre of Dionysus. At 6:00 pm, they attended a Changing of the Guard ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.[9]

Greece itinerary
Date City/Town Activity
May 18 New York City Flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Athens International Airport
May 19 Athens Train tour of Plaka, light and sound show at the Acropolis
May 20 Athens Tour of Athens; visited the Propylaea, Temple of Athena, Temple of Zeus, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Erechtheum, the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, House of Parliament, the National Library, the Theatre of Dionysus, changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a dance show at Odeon of Herodes Atticus

2001- Spain

In 2001, the school took an 18-day excursion to Spain from May 10 to 28.[10]

2002- New York

The following year was a ten-day tour of New York City, Upstate New York, and Montreal from April 12 to 21.[11]

2003- Florida

In 2003, the school traveled to southern Florida from April 25 to May 4.[12]

2004- Belgium

In 2004, a ten-day trip to Belgium began on April 29 and ended on May 8.[13]

2005- Illinois and Missouri

In 2005, the schools' most recent non-international trip took place from April 1 to 10 in Illinois and Missouri.[14]

2006- England

During 2006, the school traveled to England for two weeks from April 28 to May 13.[15]

2007- Japan

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was visited by the school on May 14, 2007

From May 4 to 17, 2007, the school journeyed to Japan. One of the largest excursions made by the school, a total of 90 people, including teachers and parents, took part in the trip across the Pacific. Due to the large number of people, two flights were taken to Japan, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, both of which were from John F. Kennedy Airport to Narita Airport; however, the first stopped in Los Angeles, California to reduce the amount of waiting time between the two flights. That night was spent in the Shiba Park Hotel in Tokyo. The first destination was the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo before traveling to the Meiji Shrine which dates back to 1920. After visiting the shine, the group traveled across the Rainbow bridge to the Fuji Television building. The final visit of the day was to the Tokyo International Forum where the group attended a performance by La Folle Journee au Japan. The next day the school traveled to the Imperial Palace for an exclusive tour inside the building; however, this did not take place due to misunderstandings by the students and the group toured the outside of the palace. After touring the Imperial Palace, the next stop was the John Lennon Museum in Chūō-ku, Saitama.[16]

2008- Portugal

Cape St. Vincent, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Sagres Point can also be seen in the background

The 2008 trip taken by the school was from April 25 to May 10 in Portugal.[17]

2009- Brazil

From April 29, 2009, the school toured Salvador, Brazil. The trip has taken students through the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and entered the Amazon Rainforest on May 1. A concert by a local New York Jazz band had been scheduled for the trip, but was canceled after the bands bassist/music professor, Dr. Liam Baum, ignited a tribal war between the once peaceful natives.[18]

2010- South Africa

As of September 28, 2008, the 2009-10 semester trip is set to be about South Africa.[19]

2011- Ireland

2012- Venice

2013- Argentina and Uruguay

2014- Alaska

2015- Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland

2016- Russia

2017- Ecuador

2018- Albania

2019- Mongolia

2020- California

The arts and community connections

  • The mural "The Constellations" on the first floor of T-D's main building was painted by a relative of James Joyce, Alton S. Tobey
  • Lumen Martin Winter's Haus was T-D's second acquisition for the current opus. The mosaic is in the United Nations' headquarters at Manhattan. There is also a mural by him entitled "Aspirational Music" in the school's main building structure.
  • The school has many connections to Lion's Club International, a worldwide "service" organization.

Notable alumni


  • 1. Emily Scott Thornton- 1901-1945
  • 2. Genevieve F. Berns- 1945-1968
  • 3. Douglas E. Fleming, Jr.- 1968–present


  1. ^ Douglas Fleming (June 8, 2005). "Founder's Day 2005". Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Staff Writer (2003). "Thornton-Donovan School Environmental Assessment" ( 
  3. ^ Staff Writer (2005). "Newsletter Special Edition 2" ( 
  4. ^ Edward Lynch (June 24, 2008). "New Rochelle Department of Development Planning Board Agenda" ( 
  5. ^ Douglas Fleming (February 8, 2009). "2008 Headmaster's Messages (ARCHIVE)". Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Thornton-Donovan School". SSAT. 2008. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ Douglas Fleming (2007). "Welcome Message". Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). "What is Thematic Education?". Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2000 - Greece "Mentor Meets Telemachus. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  10. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2001 - Spain "Spanish Serenade. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  11. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2002 - New York "New York State of Mind. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  12. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2003 - Miami and the Keys "Islands in the Sun. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  13. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2004 - New Orleans, Belgium "Icons: Jefferson and Napoleon. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  14. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2005 - Chicago, Springfield, St Louis "Lincoln Monumental. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  15. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2006 - England "Commemorating Churchill. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  16. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2007 - Japan "Land of the Rising Sun. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  17. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). """2008 - Portugal "A New Discovery. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 8, 2009. 
  18. ^ T-D Community Administrator (January 23, 2009). """2009 - Brazil "Mas Que Nada. Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  19. ^ T-D Community Administrator (September 28, 2008). "2010 - South Africa!". Thornton-Donovan School. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Thornton-Donovan School Alumni". 2009. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 

External links

  • Thornton-Donovan School website
  • TD Private School School Report
  • Video about the Thornton-Donovan School
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