From its founding in 1978, Hampstead Academy has remained dedicated to educating the whole child. Hampstead Academy’s program rests on rigorous academics rich in the arts, sciences, physical education and technology. When the school first opened its doors as a preschool and kindergarten, Lyn Kutzelman, the school’s founder, relished the chance to offer her young students the chance to grow in an environment where learning could be natural, exhilarating, and fun. Her approach then with her youngest students- providing a nurturing experience full of hands on and minds on activities- remains the approach today for the school of 200 students in preschool through grade eight.
Walking through the halls of the school today, you can imagine Lyn’s satisfaction upon seeing Lower School children in the science lab who, manipulating magnets, are amazed to discover the nature of magnetism, or the fascination of Upper School students who, grappling with the abstract concept of DNA, develop their understanding by building 3-dimensional models. You can imagine her pleasure at observing students in a Language Arts class in the Upper School undergo an evolution of thought as they discuss and debate ideas, taking one another’s perspective and integrating it into their own analysis of ideas. You can see her itching to join in as a class of first graders works to build a model house strong enough to resist the wolf, who they’ve just read for themselves will “blow the house down,” knowing later they will test their engineering skills with a blow dryer.
This year, as Lyn plans her retirement from a 45 year career in education, the school she founded is taking steps to ensure its future.
The Hampstead Academy Founding Board of Trustees has begun the process of transitioning the school to a nonprofit organization, having received nonprofit certification from the New Hampshire Secretary of State and anticipating federal recognition as a nonprofit school next spring. Meanwhile, as the philosophical pendulum in education continues to swing back and forth, Hampstead Academy continues to build on its founding ideals. Honoring curiosity, imagination, and creativity; respecting the importance of play; valuing critical thinking and problem solving – Hampstead Academy continues to offer an active learning environment where the whole child has the opportunity to take root and grow.