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PUTNEY — It takes a lot of people with diverse talents, skills and experience to keep the 230-student Putney School running.

The independent residential high school has 110 employees, ranging from the head of school to gardener, from teachers to maintenance staff; it also includes a couple of farmers, as well as fundraising professionals.

But all must believe in the credo that “building a just and inclusive community is a shared responsibility,” according to Randy Smith, assistant head of school.

The private school, one of several located in Putney, was founded in 1935 by noted progressive education pioneer Carmelita Hinton. Its motto is “progressive education for a sustainable future,” and its staff, faculty, and students are all “committed to the ideals of social justice.”

“We’re a progressive school; we value collaboration,” Smith says.

The ethos of the school is that the school is a community.

“You pitch in where you can and when you can,” he says.

The school is currently advertising for several full-time positions, ranging from housekeeper to director of development, admissions counselor and dean of students, and will soon be opening up applications for its part-time staff for its summer arts school. It recently hired a new head of school, Danny O’Brien, to replace Emily Jones, who is stepping down at the end of June. O’Brien currently heads the High Mountain Institute in Colorado.

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The Putney School advertises local and regionally, as well as keeping a detailed list of positions open on its website. Apply via email at, or visit

The housekeeping position includes a variety of duties from moving furniture and cleaning buildings, to working with students on their cleaning assignments. And this being Vermont, the housekeepers also pitch in on snow removal.

“We do a ton of hiring every year for our summer program,” Smith says, and the school is currently looking for teachers and dorm heads for its Putney School Summer Arts program.

“Summer Arts is an opportunity for teens to experience the visual and performing arts, as well as rural living on a Vermont farm ,” he says. The program runs for four weeks and hosts 120 students.

“Because of our commitment to the surrounding community, we always look for new hires locally prior to reaching out regionally or nationally. In addition our benefits and salaries are competitive and your lunch is on the school,” says Smith.

Employment is relatively stable at the school, and he says there is not a large amount of turnover among the staff. Between retirements and departures, he estimates the school has to fill between five and 10 positions a year.

“We’re kind of like a town,” he says, with a wide variety of people, and a lot of different responsibilities and experiences. “We have a huge variety of types of employment.”