Thornton Academy News

Thornton Academy Selected Down East Editors’ Pick for Best Elementary and Secondary Private School in Maine

Thornton Academy was named Best Private School (both elementary and secondary) in Down East magazine’s annual Best of Maine issue. From education to dining to outdoor adventures, Down East readers and editors selected their statewide favorites this year and Thornton Academy made the list. 

Winners of the “Best of Maine” awards are selected from nominees that are identified and voted on by thousands of Down East readers each year. Individual categories include Food & Drink, Shopping & Lifestyle, Travel & Play, Arts & Culture, and Home & Garden.

cheerleaders best of maine logo

Thornton Academy, founded in 1811, is a co-educational, private boarding and day school for students in grades 6-12 in beautiful Saco, Maine. With students from more than 30 local towns and 52 different countries, the school is the largest in the state, and celebrates the  diversity and multiculturalism of the TA community. The geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity of the student body creates a unique and dynamic learning environment that fosters a greater appreciation of both individual differences and shared values. Among those shared values are Thornton Academy’s Core Pillars—respect, responsibility, compassion, and investment.

Thornton Academy Middle School (TAMS), students (grades 6-8) become part of a small, close-knit community that blends challenge and nurture, and takes a personalized approach toward recognizing the individual needs and accomplishments of each child. 

TA’s upper school offers students (grades 9-12) more than a “one size fits all” experience. With more than 200 courses (including 28 Advanced Placement classes and seven language options), 57 athletic teams, 35 studio art courses, and a plethora of extracurriculars to choose from, upper school students are encouraged to delve more deeply into topics they may be curious about, and invited to discover entirely new interests. The breadth and diversity of opportunities offered creates a unique and exciting learning atmosphere.


From TA’s Headmaster, Rene Menard:
“We are thrilled to have been voted Best Private School in Maine, in both the elementary school and secondary school categories. Our students arrive with varied interests and abilities, and with strengths and needs that span a broad continuum. It is our responsibility and honor to answer in kind, providing many doors of possibility for students to open and enter. At Thornton Academy, there are as many different avenues of exploration as there are different kinds of students, and we invite each student to ‘Be who they are, and become who they want to be.’”


The full list of “Best of Maine” winners appears in the September issue of Down East, available on the Down East website