Principals / Headmasters of Hampton Academy and High School

Hampton Academy & Winnacunnet High School Alumni Association
65th Anniversary, Historic Souvenir Booklet, 1972

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From the time Hampton Academy became a High School in 1885 until the last class was graduated in June 1958, 13 men held the title of Principal or Headmaster. One, Bruce E. Russell, served in that capacity for 27 uninterrupted years. Professor Jack Sanborn resigned as Principal in 1897 for "health considerations" and was given a year's leave of absence by the Board of Trustees. He served m total of 15 years.

According to the Hampton Town Report for the year ending January 31, 1916, Mr.Coleman a submaster at Somerville (Mass.) High School, "volunteered to substitute as Headmaster in 1915 until the position could be filled. Another acting Principal was a Mr. Douglas who helped out late in the 1906-07 school year. There may also have been an acting Headmaster after Russell H. Leavitt resigned in mid-term to become High School Agent for the State. In any case, his successor. Kenneth E. ("Spike") Tyler, assumed the duties of Headmaster on February 28, 1927. A Dartmouth graduate. Mr. Tyler was chosen from among 25 applicants.

Before 1885, the chief instructor (and sometimes the only faculty member) was variously called the Preceptor or Principal. After 1885, he was known as the Principal or Headmaster. According to graduation programs, Town Reports and report cards, the title "Principal" held until about 1915-1920 when "Headmaster" seems to have come into vogue. [*] Clement A. Lyon was known by either title. However, from about 1920 until the early 1950s, it was strictly "Headmaster." During the last years of high-school operation, the chief administrator at the Academy was officially the "Principal." Curiously, the first chief executive at Winnacunnet High School -- Edmund A. Tanzi -- was known as "Headmaster" for the first year of operation (1958-59).

The list which follows is intended to be a continuation of the listing (Principals only) published on page 501 of Dow's "History of Hampton." Where known, the degrees of the incumbents are included.

Jack Sanborn 1885-1897,
1898-1901 John D. Logan, Ph.D. 1897-1898 Everett G. Loring, A.B. 1901-1904 Clarence L. Mitchell, A.B. 1904-1907 Charles J. Ross, M.A. 1907-1912 William B. Elwell 1912-1915 George H. Bernheisel 1915-1916 Clement A. Lyon, B.S. 1916-1919 Russell E. Skinner 1919-1920 Charles M. Teague 1920-1924 Russell H. Leavitt, B.A., M.A. 1924-1926 Kenneth E. Tyler, A.B. 1927-1931 Bruce E. Russell, B.S., M.A. 1931-1958

[* Perhaps the change from "Principal" to "Headmaster" was the result of provisions in the Code of Professional Ethics adopted by the N.H. Teachers' Association on October 22, 1915: "It is desirable that there should be a general professional agreement as to the designations to be given members of the teaching profession in the State according to the functions which they perform." According to the Code, the head of a Normal School should be called "Director," the head of an approved secondary school of the first class, "Headmaster," and a school officer having supervision and control of teachers and pupils in an elementary school or a secondary school below the grade of first class, "Principal."