Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School’s rich history involves three schools: Chauncy Hall, Chapel Hill, and the Huntington School. Chapel Hill, a school for girls founded in 1860 in Waltham on the current campus, and Chauncy Hall, a Boston day school for boys founded in 1828, merged in 1971 to create Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall. To the merger, Chapel Hill brought its strength in humanities and the arts, and Chauncy Hall brought its first-rate curriculum in science and math. In 1974, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall incorporated the Huntington School, a Boston school for boys founded in 1909. The Huntington School brought its emphasis on the individual student. Small class size, respect for the individual student, and nurturing environments were traits each school honored and that Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall continues to embrace.

Chauncy Hall was founded in 1828 by Gideon Thayer on what is now the site of Macy’s in Boston’s Downtown Crossing. The school originally trained the children of wealthy Bostonians for careers in business, and later prepared students to attend Harvard, MIT and other prestigious colleges. Chauncy Hall was known for its many innovations in education, including using literature for reading lessons, and implementing a department system to recognize teachers who were "gifted and accomplished in different directions." The school thrived in the mid-1800s under Thayer, who was also an advocate for better education nationwide. Chauncy Hall became a model for many new institutions.

Chapel Hill began on the site of the current campus in Waltham on what was once Jonas Clark’s farm. Clark and many other local families embraced the religious and spiritual beliefs of Emanuel Swedenborg. To meet the community’s need for a classroom, the Waltham New Church School was founded in 1860 at the west end of their church’s chapel. The school soon grew too large for the space, and in 1864, Wilkins Hall was built. The focus of the school for girls (and some boys in lower grades) was to provide a liberal education through training the powers of "observation, reflection, comparison, and drawing the right conclusions." In 1912, the school became the Waltham School for Girls, and in 1937, was renamed the Chapel Hill School.

The Huntington School was housed in the YMCA building on Boston’s Huntington Avenue. The school enjoyed an excellent reputation as a college preparatory school due to its demanding curriculum. The school also valued the individual student. Charles Henry Sampson, its head for 30 years, wrote that the Huntington School does not have 200 boys, as listed in the catalogue, but 200 personalities, and that not one of them "…is exactly like another physically, mentally, socially, or emotionally."

The social climate of the late 1960s and early 1970s brought a challenge to many independent schools. There was decreased enrollment in private schools due to better public schools, a growing aversion to the strict prep school atmosphere, and a desire on the part of parents to watch over their children more closely. Throughout the Northeast, schools were looking for options, and coeducational mergers were seen as both a financial and social solution.
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is proud of its history and recognizes it in many ways.
  • The beautiful 19th century Wilkins Hall and its unique free-standing spiral staircase still welcomes students.
  • Student assemblies are held in the “CH-CH Commons” – the 19th century stone chapel which housed the original Waltham New Church School.
  • Our Victorian “Cottage” serves as home base for our freshmen and SAS programs.
  • Historic pictures and artifacts beautify the walls of historic East Hall, which is home to several administrative support offices.
  • At Head of School installations, the official book of the School is passed from one head to the next.
  • In addition to our collection of 75,000 photographs and archival documents, there are 20,000 digital photos available to the public via the Internet.
  • At the annual graduation ceremony several awards are presented in honor of esteemed former faculty, heads of school, and students.
Additionally, the School has an active alumni office and Alumni Council to organize events and to keep in contact with alumni of CH-CH, Chauncy Hall, Chapel Hill, and the Huntington School.

Former Heads of School

Chauncy Hall School
Gideon Thayer, 1828-1855
Thomas Cushing, 1855-circa 1888
Franklin Kurt, 1896-1947
Ray Dinswell Farnsworth, 1947-1961
Roland Hueston, 1961-1964
Kenneth Earl, 1964-1968
Roy J. Hatt, 1968-1971
Chapel Hill School
Benjamin Worcester, 1868-1911
George B. Beaman, 1911-1917
Martha Mason, 1917-1926
Louise Fay, 1926-1937
Philip E. Goodhue, 1937-circa 1940
Katherine G. Rusk, circa 1940-1943
Marjorie Rounds, 1943-1956
Wilfred Clark, 1956-1968
Clifford Eriksen, 1968-1971
Huntington School
Ira Flinner
James Harris Morss
Charles Henry Sampson
William G. Wilkinson
William Randall
Norman Pierce
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School
Roy J. Hatt, 1971-1978
Harry M.A. Hart, 1978-1981
J. Gaston Favreau, 1981-1982
Sean D. O’Neil, 1982-1992
James R. Clements, 1992-1997
Donald H. Grace, 1997-2002
Siri Akal Khalsa, 2002-2009
Lance Conrad, 2009-present

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785 Beaver Street, Waltham, MA 02452
Phone: 781-314-0800 Fax: 781-894-5706 
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We Teach the Way Students Learn

Chapel Hill - Chauncy Hall School is a small, coeducational college preparatory school dedicated to teaching the way students learn. Our faculty, over 70% of whom have advanced degrees, offers instruction tailored to individual learning styles and strengths, empowering our students to achieve their potential. Our multiple intelligences approach to teaching and learning both values and addresses the different ways students learn. Our curriculum challenges and engages students, with support seamlessly integrated into the classes and culture of the School. All our students are accepted into college or university with an emphasis on finding the best fit for their ambitions and interests. Diversity thrives in a social climate of acceptance. A dynamic mix of day and boarding students energizes our campus and creates opportunities for students to engage with each other in the arts, athletics, campus activities and community service. Our alumni/ae describe their experience at CH-CH as truly transformational. Our private, independent school is located ten miles from Boston.