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The Horace Mann School is an independent college preparatory school in New York Citymarker founded in 1887. Horace Mann offers courses from nursery school to the twelfth grade and is a member of the Ivy Preparatory School League. The Upper, Middle, and Lower Divisions are located in Riverdale, a neighborhood of the Bronxmarker, while the Nursery School is located in Manhattanmarker and the John Dorr Nature Laboratory, a campus in Washington Depot, Connecticutmarker, is the school's outdoor education and environmental education center.


The school was founded in 1887 by Nicholas Murray Butler as a co-educational experimental and developmental unit of Teachers College at Columbia University. Its first location was a building at 9 University Place in Manhattanmarker's Greenwich Villagemarker. The school moved in 1901 to 120th Street in Morningside Heightsmarker. Columbia University followed suit soon afterwards, moving northwards to its present campus. The name of the school can still be seen on the northern-most building at the Columbia campus, named Horace Mann Hall. However, Horace Mann was becoming a school in its own right instead of a teaching laboratory, and it became more independent of the Columbia University and Teachers College. The Teachers College therefore created the Lincoln School, located on 110th Street, across the street from Central Parkmarker, to continue its experiments in teaching.

Shedding its co-educational roots, the school split into separate all-male and all-female schools. In 1912, the Boys' School moved to 246th Street in the Riverdale section of the Bronxmarker, and during the 1940s it severed formal ties with Columbia University and became Horace Mann School. The Horace Mann School for Girls remained at Teachers College, and then merged with the Lincoln School in 1940, and finally closed in 1946.

The New York School for Nursery Years (founded in 1954 on 90th Street in Manhattan) became the Horace Mann School for Nursery Years in 1968, and was co-ed. In 1972, Horace Mann merged with the Barnard School, next door in Riverdale, to form the Horace Mann-Barnard Lower School for kindergarten through grade six, located on the former Barnard School campus. At that point, only the lower school was co-ed. That changed in 1975, when HM returned to its roots as a co-educational learning environment and began admitting females to the Upper School. The Class of 1976 is Horace Mann School's last all-male class. In 1999, the sixth grade moved from the Horace Mann-Barnard campus to the main 246th Street campus and formed a distinct Middle Division along with the seventh and eighth grades.



There are four divisions of the school, all co-educational: a Nursery Division (three year olds through kindergarten) located on 90th Street in Manhattan, a Lower Division (kindergarten through fifth grades) on the Horace Mann campus on Tibbett Avenue in Riverdale, a Middle Division (sixth through eighth grades) on the 246th Street campus in Riverdale, and an Upper Division (ninth through twelfth grades) also on the 246th Street campus. There is also the John Dorr Nature Laboratory, located on of land in Washington Depot, Connecticut, used for extended field trips for classes of students starting in second grade and an orientation program for new students entering the Middle or Upper Divisions. The Dorr facility was recently renovated and is currently LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Current tuition for students in the Lower Division through the Upper Division is approximately $32,000 a year. Financial aid at the school is based on need; no merit scholarships are awarded. For the 2005-2006 academic year, 18% of the students received more than $6,000,000 in aid.

Each division of the school has its own Division Head. The Middle and Upper Divisions have separate student government bodies. The entire school is overseen by a Head of School. The ninth and current Head is Dr. Thomas M. Kelly, who previously served as Superintendent of Schools in Valhalla, New Yorkmarker. Kelly succeeded Dr. Eileen Mullady (who is currently the head of the Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, CA), on July 1, 2005. Formerly of Princeton Universitymarker and the Lawrenceville Schoolmarker, Dr. Mullady was the namesake of one of the new buildings erected under her term. Prior to Dr. Mullady, the long-standing Head was the late R. Inslee Clark, Jr., previously Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale Universitymarker.

The current Horace Mann Nursery Division Head is Patricia Zuroski. The current Lower Division Head is Wendy Steinthal, replacing Dr. Steven B. Tobolsky, who departed in June 2007 to run the Chestnut Hill Schoolmarker, an elite N-6 prep school outside Boston. The current Middle Division Head is Robin Ann Ingram, and the current Upper Division head is Dr. David Schiller. Glenn Sherratt is the current Director of the John Dorr Nature Laboratory.


Horace Mann is known for its large number of college level courses. The school offers 20 Advanced Placement courses and 10 foreign languages. Its 220 faculty members hold 210 master's degrees and 34 doctoral degrees.

Students in the Upper Division are required to study English, World History, United States History, Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics, Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry, and also meet various requirements in the Arts, Computer Science, Health & Counseling, and Physical Education. Students must go beyond these basic requirements in at least some, if not all, subjects. They are also required to take at least three years of either French, German, Japanese, Latin, or Spanish. Additional classes in Greek, Italian, Mandarin, and Russian are offered.

Starting in eleventh grade, students have more flexibility with their requirements and can choose from courses in Economics, Psychology, Classical History, Government, Religion, Political Philosophy, United States Legal History, Calculus, Statistics, Science and Public Policy, among other elective classes.

Independent Study and Senior Projects, where students create their own coursework and present their findings in weekly meetings, are also common. Additionally, many students develop original research projects with faculty at Columbia University, Cornell University Medical Center, NYU, and Rockefeller University.


Horace Mann has an extensive arts program. The offerings include courses in the performing and visual arts. At least 1.5 arts credits are required for graduation, with at least one half-credit course in performance/studio arts and one half-credit course in art history/appreciation.

Horace Mann has two major instrumental ensembles: The Horace Mann Orchestra and the Horace Mann Jazz Band. The Jazz Band program is also split into two ensembles: the Contemporary Directions Ensemble and the Creative Arts Philharmonic. Each ensemble performs at least three to four concerts per year, culminating in a trip abroad. Recent trips have taken the Glee Club and Orchestra to Prague, Germany, France and Spain. Horace Mann also has an established Glee Club, which performs several concerts each year, including past performances at Carnegie Hallmarker, Symphony Space, and Alice Tully Hallmarker of Lincoln Centermarker. In 2006, the Jazz Bands performed at the world-famous BB King's jazz club. On February 25 2007, the Horace Mann Jazz Band and Concert Band performed at Jazz at Lincoln Centermarker in the world-famous Allen Room. The next month the middle school concert band and chamber orchestra went to compete in a Heritage Festival and each won gold medals with scores above 95. Additionally, the Jazz Band has most recently performed at a couple of the world's most famous jazz clubs, Birdland and, again, B.B. King's.


Admission to Horace Mann is highly selective. Decisions are based on an applicant's recent grades, an interview, and the candidate's score on either the ISEE or SSAT test.

Sixth grade is Horace Mann's largest entry point, with between 50 and 55 places available each year. In the ninth grade, Horace Mann traditionally enrolls between 35 and 45 new students. A smaller number of students are accepted in other grades, although there are no admissions to the twelfth grade.


The Wall Street Journal ranks Horace Mann as the fourth best high school in the United States, as measured by student admission rates to exclusive colleges. Each year almost all Horace Mann graduates attend highly selective universities. Worth magazine ranked Horace Mann seventh out of all the nation's high schools based on the proportion of graduates attending Harvardmarker, Yalemarker and Princetonmarker Universities.

Student life

Co-curricular activities are an integral part of Horace Mann. Clubs give students the opportunity to produce publications, hone their debating skills, participate in activism and much more.

Clubs and organizations

The school has a considerable number of clubs, especially in the Upper Division. Prominent clubs include:

  • Activist Art Committee
  • Amnesty International
  • Book Day Committee
  • Business League
  • Center for Alternative Political Thought (CAPT)
  • Chess Club
  • Classic Film Club
  • Computer Science Club
  • Dance Company
  • Dance Film Club
  • Documentary Film Club
  • East Wind West Wind
  • Fashion Forward
  • French Club
  • Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)
  • German Club
  • The HarMannics (A cappella group)

Student publications

Horace Mann also has a significant number of student publications. Many of them have won national awards. Prominent publications include:

The Record, established in 1903, is the weekly, student-run newspaper of the Horace Mann School. Throughout its history, The Record has won national journalism awards and has been staffed by students who went on to become distinguished journalists and authors, including Pulitzer Prize winners Anthony Lewis (class of 1944), Richard Kluger (class of 1952) and Robert Caro (class of 1953). In 1954, Horace Mann made national headlines for translating a copy of The Record into Russian and distributing it in the USSRmarker. The purpose of the exercise was to show Russian schoolchildren what life in America was like. The staff purposely kept in an article about the Horace Mann soccer team's losing one of its games to demonstrate the operation of an independent free press. The American Scholastic Press Association twice honored The Record as the "Best High School Weekly Newspaper" for 2001-2002 (Volume 99) and 2003-2004 (Volume 101). It was also named a National Pacemaker in 2004 (Volume 101) and in 2006 was a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Medalist (Volume 103). The Record is published every Friday during the academic year and can be found online here.

The Horace Mann Review, now in its eighteenth volume, is a journal of opinion on current events, politics, public policy, and culture. The Review strives to cover issues from unique and otherwise unexamined perspectives. The publication has paying subscribers throughout the nation and abroad and has been the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in journalism. In April 2001, the American Scholastic Press Association honored the Review with its award for Best Magazine. The Review's 2005-2006 volume was honored with a first place finish in the American Scholastic Press Awards critique. The Review is a finalist for the National Scholastic Press Association's Magazine Pacemaker of the Year award for 2007, the highest honor in high school journalism. The Review can be found online here.

The Mannikin is the yearbook of the Horace Mann School. Traditional sections include Student Life, Underclassmen, Seniors (each graduate receives a half-page to design as they wish), Athletics, Faculty, and Advertisements. At 560 pages, the Mannikin is one of the largest high school yearbooks in New York Statemarker. In addition, the Mannikin has won numerous awards from the American Scholastic Press Association.

HM Voyager is Horace Mann's first magazine dedicated to travel. In 2007, the American Scholastic Press Association honored the Voyager with its Best New Magazine award. In addition, the Voyager's 2006-2007 volume received First Place with Special Merit in the American Scholastic Press Awards critique.

Folio 51 is Horace Mann's magazine dedicated to women's issues. The publication has been honored by American Scholastic Press Association in the past few years, notably winning First Place in the magazine category and Best Outstanding Theme.

Other school publications include:Insight, a photography magazine, Manuscript, the school's poetry magazine, 'The MannHattan Review [sic], the school's magazine on issues relating to New York City, Mental Boom, a creative writing magazine, The Score, a sports newspaper, Amplified, a music publication (website here), Images, an art magazine, the Thespian, a theatre publication, Lola's Kitchen, a one-page periodical published by the Gay Straight Alliance, La Plume, a language publication ,and InsideOut, a health publication. In addition, a literary-arts magazine called Muse, featuring the work of Middle School students, is published each year.

Student government

The main body of student government is the Governing Council (GC), made up of students and teachers. There are five full time 12th grade representatives, and one alternate, while in grades 9-11, there are five full time representatives and two alternates for each grade. Because there are significantly fewer faculty members, each voting faculty representative is granted two votes. Over the years the Council has removed the once-strict dress code (this was accomplished in 1969, when the structure was known as the Community Council), instituted an honor code, begun a debit card system to pay for items at the cafeteria and bookstore, and revised the school's constitution.

There is also a student body president (SBP) and a student body vice-president (SBVP), the two top positions in the Horace Mann student government apparatus. These two students are elected to office by grades 8-12. The winning ticket must collect 25 signatures in each grade and then garner at least 50% of the vote. The current SBP is Spencer S. Penn ('10); the current SBVP is Daniel Shapiro ('10).


Interscholastic leagues

Horace Mann School is a part of the Ivy Preparatory School League, a division of the greater New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), which comprises all the private schools in the New York State.Fieldston, Riverdale, and Horace Mann together are known as the "Hilltop schools," as all three are located within two miles (3 km) of each other in the Riverdale-Fieldston section of the Bronx, on a hill, literally, above Van Cortlandt Parkmarker. The three also share a great interscholastic sports rivalry; Horace Mann's annual charity basketball game, the Buzzell Game, is almost always versus Riverdale, and sometimes Fieldston.

Sports teams

Interscholastic Athletic Teams
Sport Level Season Gender
Baseball V, JV, MD Spring Boys'
Basketball V, JV, MD Winter Boys', Girls'
Crew V, JV Spring Boys', Girls', Coed
Cross-Country V, JV, MD Fall Girls', Boys', Coed (MD Only)
Field Hockey V, JV, MD Fall Girls'
Fencing V, JV Winter Boys', Girls'
Football V, JV, MD Fall Boys'
Golf V Spring Coed
Gymnastics V, JV Winter Girls'
Lacrosse V, JV, MD Spring Boys', Girls'
Soccer V, JV, MD Fall Boys', Girls'
Sailing V Spring Boys', Girls'
Skiing V Winter Boys', Girls'
Softball V, JV, MD Spring Girls'
Squash V Winter Coed
Swimming V, JV, MD Winter Boys', Girls'
Tennis V, JV, MD Fall (Girls'), Spring (Boys') Boys', Girls'
Track (indoor) V, JV Winter Boys', Girls'
Track (outdoor) V, JV, MD Spring Boys', Girls', Coed (MD Only)
Ultimate (Frisbee) V, JV Spring Coed
Volleyball V, JV, MD Fall Girls'
Water Polo V, JV, MD Fall Coed
Wrestling V, JV, MD Winter Coed

Athletic accomplishments

Horace Mann's Boys Varsity Tennis team has won the New York City Mayor's Cup Team Competition five times since 1994; its most recent victory was in 2008, where they defeated The Beacon School, 3-2. 2008 marked the first year Horace Mann has ever won back to back Mayor's Cup titles. In 2006, the Boys Varsity Tennis team placed 5th in the All-American Invitational Boys Team Tennis Tournament beating the defending champions Santa Barbara High School. In 2007, the Boys Varsity Tennis team placed 9th in the tournament, winning the consolation round. They also won the sportsmanship award. In 2008, the Boys Varsity Tennis team placed 6th in the tournament.

Pedro Alvarez (class of 2005) was drafted as the 2nd overall pick of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He attended Vanderbilt Universitymarker, where he was named a First Team All-American in 2007 and National Freshman of the Year in 2006.

Charles Altchek (class of 2003), of the Harvardmarker Varsity Men's Soccer Team, was named Ivy League Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

The Girls' Varsity Gymnastics Team has won the AAIS Championships 7 times since its first win in 1999. In 2000, the team placed second by a margin on 0.025 points. The following year, the girls regained their title and have had 6 consecutive wins since then.

In 2005-2006, the Boys' Varsity Swimming Team completed their first undefeated season in the history of the Ivy League with a 6-0 league record (6-1 overall, including a loss to St Benedict's). They have now won the league championship three consecutive years (04-06), also for the first time in the history of the league.

The Horace Mann Wrestling team won the city-wide Mayor's Cup in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The team has also won the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Championships seven of the last eight years.

The Horace Mann Girls' Cross Country Team had an exceptional record under the appointment of Coach Kevin Nicholas. In their first year under his guidance, the girls were Ivy League champions and New York State Federation qualifiers. In 2003, they won the NYSAISAA Championships. In 2006, they took 2nd at the Ivy League Championships, 3rd at NYSAIS, and qualified for Federation yet again. In the 2007 season, the team took 3rd at the Ivy League Championships, and 6th at NYSAIS. Horace Mann Girls' Indoor Track won the Ivy League Championships for 2006. Horace Mann Girls' Outdoor Track and Field won Ivy Championships as well as NYSAIS Championships for 2006. They also placed 2nd at Croton Harmon relays. The Girls' Outdoor Track Team won the Ivy League Championship in 2007, dominating the league for the fourth straight year. They went on to win the 2007 NYSAIS Championship as well. The Boys' Outdoor Track & Field Team also had an exceptional season in 2007, placing second to nationally-ranked Collegiate in both the Ivy and NYSAIS Championships.

In 2007, the 4x200 meter relay team of Girls' Indoor Track dominated the Ivy League as well as the entire New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). They advanced to the New York State Indoor Track & Field Championships, a remarkable feat for a private school, where they placed third overall in the state. The girls then qualified for the 2007 National Scholastic Indoor Championships, where they placed fifth in the United States.

In June 2007, the 4x200 meter relay team once again proved they were a national-caliber team, placing ninth at Nike Outdoor Nationals. In addition, the girls earned fifteenth in the country in the 4x100 meter relay and twelfth in the Sprint Medley Relay.

In 2009, Horace Mann Volleyball placed second at the NYSAIS Championship.

Notable alumni

:Category:Horace Mann School alumni

Famous graduates of Horace Mann include:

Writer Jack Kerouac attended Horace Mann for one year of high school as part of the class of 1940 and played on the football team. Hollywood agent and Broadway producer Leland Hayward also attended the school for a time.


The school's motto is "Magna est veritas et prævalet," meaning "Great is the truth, and it prevails." It comes from the King James version of the Old Testament, which is usually translated today as "Magna est veritas et prævalebit," or will prevail. The school mascot is a lion, possibly a holdover from the days when the school was associated with Columbia University, whose mascot is also a lion. The Swim and Water Polo Teams have adopted the Sea Lion as their unofficial mascots, as has the Varsity Ski Team, with the Mountain Lion.

All students are required to take American Red Cross CPR certification, as well as a swim test, in order to graduate. Horace Mann students are also required to complete at least 80 hours of community service, with at least 40 hours in ninth and tenth grades and 40 hours in eleventh and twelfth. In eighth grade, one out-of-school project or three in-school projects are necessary for graduation to the ninth grade; in sixth and seventh grades a homeroom project is done cooperatively. In the Lower and Nursery Divisions, there is no community service requirement, although there is an annual "Caring-in-Action" day dedicated to community service that students and their families can attend.

Several films have been shot on the Horace Mann campus over the years, including Splendor in the Grass and The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love.

See also

External links


  1. Horace Mann School - About hm / Costs
  2. Horace Mann School - About hm / Financial Aid
  3. Pacific Ridge School - Staff
  4. Breakdown of which college HM graduates attend
  5. Prep School USA. "2003 High School Rankings," citing the Sept. 2002 Worth magazine article "Getting Inside the Ivy Gates" by Reshma Memon Yaqub.
  7. New York Times. "A Student Paper Savors Its Past, and Its Stars." by Seth Kugel. October 13, 2002.
  8. "About Us", The Record
  9. Alumni Council
  10. Art of the States: Changes
  12. "A Hawk Who Earned His Feathers Under Clinton," The Forward, November 1, 2002.
  13. Hakim, Danny. "A Gilded Path to Political Stardom, With Detours", The New York Times, October 12, 2006. Accessed May 20, 2008.

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