About Us

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Thornton campus

Welcome to Thornton Academy

Thornton Academy is an independent, private day and boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12. Thornton is co-educational and non-sectarian.

Since its founding in 1811, Thornton Academy has been a center of inspiration, innovation, and community in Saco, Maine. We prepare students for a changing world through our curriculum, facilities, extra-curricular opportunities, and student support. Students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones, to try courses that challenge and intrigue them, and to take deep dives into subjects that spark curiosity. Engagement continues after-school, through many clubs, activities, community service, and athletics.

Our Students

The majority of our diverse student body is comprised of day students from nearby Saco, Dayton, Arundel, and other towns in the Greater Portland area. They are joined by students from more than 40 countries who live in dormitories or in local family homes. Our students form lasting relationships, reflecting a blend of cultures, within a welcoming community that values individuality, and provides ongoing support to ensure that students thrive academically, emotionally, and physically.

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Our Academics

A strong college-preparatory academic program is at the heart of every student's Thornton Academy education. Our teachers present classes that are engaging, rigorous, and supportive. More than 200 available courses prepare students to thrive in a changing world, chart their own futures, and find their passions. Through AP classes and coursework, students even have the opportunity to enter one of several universities as a sophomore.

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Our Campus

With a stunning and expansive 80-acre campus, Thornton is located in coastal Saco, Maine, where than a dozen buildings blend tradition with innovation. Continuously modernized, our campus facilities offer progressive educational technology. innovative classrooms, and advanced safety and security.

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Our Mission

Thornton Academy prepares students for a changing world, challenging all to learn, grow, innovate and succeed.

What Sets Us Apart

Support During a Crucial Period of Growth and Development

At Thornton Academy, students can express individuality while discovering their future aspirations. Our school community is warm and welcoming. We are a school where students build strong relationships with dedicated teachers and student friendships that last a lifetime. Our faculty and staff recognize that each child has strengths and challenges, and takes into account the well-being of individuals at each stage of social, emotional, and intellectual development.

Diversity That Fosters Compassion and Respect

With students from more than 30 local towns and more than 40 countries worldwide, we value the diversity and multiculturalism of our community. The geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity of our student body creates a unique and dynamic learning environment that fosters a greater appreciation of not only our individual differences but also the values we share. Among those shared values are Thornton Academy’s Core Pillars — Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, and Investment. These values guide our work and reflect how we treat one another within our school community. 

An Individualized Approach to Supporting the Future of Each Student

Bearing in mind today's competitive global economy, our experienced personal and college counselors work with students one-on-one in grades 9-12 to plan college and career trajectories. Our Career Center supports real-world experience through internships, job shadows, and part-time work. Our university partnerships offer students the opportunity to test out areas of study even before university enrollment.

The Benefits of a Big School

As the largest independent school in Maine serving 1,600 local and international students, Thornton offers unique advantages.

  • A comprehensive curriculum which offers more than 200 classes
  • An emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism 
  • A broad support network of teachers, counselors, staff, and peers
  • A wide breadth of opportunities in and beyond the classroom
  • Bigger and better facilities to inspire students to dream big

Thornton Academy Pillars

Respect

Respect is acting with character, integrity, pride, and humbleness, with awareness of how actions affect others.

student posing with TA letters at rally
Responsibility

Responsibility isĀ embracing individual ownership of behaviors and choices while making informed decisions.

teacher demonstrating technique on an ipad
Compassion

Compassion is awareness of others' experiences and opinions while treating them with thoughtfulness and gratitude.

All smiles in cap and gown at graduation
Investment

Investment is engagement with our school, commitment to goals, and willingness to take risks.

Thornton Academy Fast Facts

Classes

200+
 

AP Classes

24
 

Countries Represented

40+
 

Grades

6-12
 

Maine Towns

30+
 

Student-Teacher Ratio

15:1
 

Sports Teams

24+
 

Arts Courses

30+
 

Foreign Languages

7
 

Athletic Championship Titles

208

Alumni on Staff

58
 

Clubs & Activities

50+
 

Minutes from Boston

90
 

Minutes from Portland

15
 

University Partnerships

3

Levels of Dance

4
 

University Visits Annually

80+
 

Headmasters Since 1889

8