School Leadership

A Vision for a Bright Future

Founded in 1811 as a private academy, the school's leadership was comprised of forward-thinking innovators that have brought the school to where it is today. 

Our Board of Trustees benefits from the longevity of its members. A group of committed professionals has dedicated their time and energy to shepherding the school towards a bright future. With only eight headmasters since 1889, Thornton Academy has been led by strong individuals devoted to the well-being of the school. Our current headmaster is both an alum and a parent, celebrating the legacy and tradition that is commonly found at Thornton Academy. 

Headmaster Rene M. Menard '88

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. 

Headmasters from our past

Board of Trustees

Since 1811, the Thornton Academy Board of Trustees has demonstrated exemplary leadership, generous philanthropic support and meaningful commitment on behalf of its students and community. Many of our Trustees are alumni, parents, community members, or others invested in Thornton Academy's commitment to excellence. 

Meet our Trustees

Current Trustees:

Eric A. Purvis ’81 – President 

Angela Bolduc

Vangel Cotsis '85

Dr. Brian K. Dallaire '75

Philip Fearon '70

Bernard Gaines '65

Robert Gowen

William D. Johnson

Joel J. Levesque '85

Roger Miles '65

Tim Murphy '78

Margaret O'Neil '72

Kirk Purvis '93

Dr. Paul Remmes

Mark Willett '65

As a parent of three current Thornton Academy students, their collective experiences provide us with daily reminders of how fortunate we are to have the exceptional teachers, staff, curriculum and campus delivering an education that is truly second to none.

vangel cotsis '85, board of trustees member

Senior Administration

Heidi Butler

Assistant Special Education Director

Matthew Cook

Director of Facilities

Ben Grasso

Assistant Head for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Rene Menard


Ben Nasse

Director of Technology, Dorm Head

Catherine Paradis

Director of Residential Life, Dorm Head

Tiffany Robert

Middle School Principal, Residential Life Parent

Marsha Snyder

Director of Operations

Gary Stevens

Director of Athletics and Student Activities

Ann Marie Swenson

Chief Financial Officer

Nick Tabor

Assistant Head of Student Affairs

Carol Taranko

Associate Head of School

Haley Thompson

Director of Development

Clint Williams

Director of Enrollment