From the Headmaster

Rene M. Menard

Welcome to Thornton Academy, and thank you for visiting our website.  Our school has a lot to offer.  We’re pleased that you’ve “stopped by” to see what the TA experience is all about.

 Are you a middle school student?  Teachers at TAMS work closely with students, helping you to learn at your own best pace — in fact, if you’re an advanced student, you may even be able to come up to the 9th grade for English and math.  There are lots of opportunities to pursue interests outside the classroom as well, with a full range of middle school sports and clubs available.  To learn more, visit TAMS on the web.

 Opportunities are considerable at Thornton’s upper school.  Over 200 courses include more Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses than you’ll find anywhere else. Our outstanding STEM program allows qualified students to enter university programs with advanced standing, even saving a whole year’s worth of college tuition.  We teach seven different languages, including Arabic and Chinese. “The Arts” at TA include music, dance, theater and visual arts.  There is a four-year dance program.  Musicians can pursue choral and/or instrumental music through groups like Jazz Band, Concert Orchestra, and Treble Choir.  Visual artists have expansive choices with courses like pottery, photography, sculpture, and painting.  To learn more, see our Academics site on the web.

 There is plenty to do after school too.  Our students say, “if you can’t find an activity that interests you at TA, you aren’t really looking.”   For athletes, the choice of two athletic leagues, MPA and MAISAD, allows any student to be physically active and participate in sports.  There are over 40 clubs and activities organized around students’ special interests.  You can join students who love what you do in groups like Art Club, Anime, Model UN, or Speech and Debate.  Competitive academic teams match up with other schools for Math Team, Science Olympiad, Robotics, and others. There are many service opportunities to connect you to our larger community, like the Ribbon Club that raises cancer awareness and funds for cancer research.  For more information, visit Athletics and/or Activities on the web.

 The TA Community is warm, welcoming, and diverse.  As you explore the school website, watch our videos, see our photos, and visit us on Facebook and Twitter, I hope you’ll decide to visit soon and join our school community!

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A 1988 graduate of Thornton Academy, Mr. Menard received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine. He later earned a master’s degree in Teaching and Learning, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership.

Mr. Menard began his career in education at Fryeburg Academy where he worked as a history teacher, coach, and dorm parent. He joined Thornton Academy’s faculty in 1995, teaching history and political science. Before becoming associate headmaster in 2007 and Headmaster in 2012, Mr. Menard also served as a coach, club advisor and class dean. Mr. Menard serves on the Executive Committee of the Maine Association of Independent Schools and on the board of the Independent School Association of Northern New England.  He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Ava '21 and Daniel '24.

Thornton Academy
438 Main Street Saco 04072 
(207) 282-3361
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