Headmaster's Welcome

Welcome to Cushing.

Cushing is a special place—a unique secondary boarding and day school devoted through and through to students.

Picture this:
  • In our dormitories, our student center, and out on the green grass of the Drew Common, student life unfolds as kids hang out, talk and laugh with one another.
  • A student studies and annotates—with feet up on an ottoman in the Fisher-Watkins Library—a downloaded edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Our Penguin athletes work hard and earn championships up at the Iorio Arena, in the Heslin Gym, and on Quimby Field.
  • Side-by-side with a faculty member, a student develops problem-solving strategies while working through an equation on the floor-to-ceiling white-board wall in our academic support center.
  • A student steps up in a formal, beginning-of-year ceremony to sign her name in the Honor Code book as a permanent, personal commitment to the school’s highest values.
  • Students paint, sculpt, photograph, and metalsmith in the Emily Fisher Landau Center for Visual Arts.
  • The entire Cushing community – students and faculty alike – gather on Quimby Field at the start and end of each year for the all-school handshake and the opening ceremonies of the annual Cushing Olympics.
With these images in mind, can you begin to picture yourself at Cushing? Can you begin to imagine what your amazing contributions to our richly diverse school will be? I trust that, were you to make your imaginings a reality, you would experience an intimate, one-of-a-kind education at Cushing.

I’m honored to serve Cushing as its 12th headmaster—to lead a school that possesses an undeniable combination, a dynamic balance of historic rootedness and transcendent striving. Exactly as our founder Thomas Parkman Cushing articulated, development of character is the “distinguishing feature” of a Cushing education, an education that deliberately teaches students “to think rightly and systematically upon the objects and principles which are to influence and govern them.”

As an educator—as a headmaster, teacher, coach, student advisor, and dormitory parent—I have dedicated and continue to dedicate myself to the simultaneously simple and nuanced endeavor of creating deep and meaningful relationships with students, faculty, and all community members—relationships from which great learning and action can spring. With care and passion our deeply committed faculty engages every learning moment in the development of student knowledge, skills, mindsets, and character. We meet every student where she/he is in pursuit of individual and communal excellence. And we give life to this global education to prepare students for the increasingly complex, uncertain, and exciting 21st-century context.

At the intersection of tradition and innovation, Cushing exists for students. Our mission, our purpose since 1865 has been to create a phenomenal experience individually for each student and collectively for all community members. Our driving aspiration is to send Cushing graduates, as lifelong learners with tremendous well-being into the world to serve the greater good.

With our culturally and academically diverse student body, Cushing has a longstanding and strong tradition of educating students from all over the United States and the world. In 1889, Cushing welcomed its first international students from Armenia, Japan and Canada. We have photographs taken in 1910 of international and domestic students working side by side. We value and engage diversity as critical to the education of the whole child. And with deep and significant traditions, we seek excellence across a diverse array of academic pursuits. Can you picture yourself learning with peers from 36 countries—peers of tremendous and unique abilities and perspectives?

Cushing’s core values, its proud history, and its communal purpose and conduct are clear and strong; and its understanding of its place in the broader educational landscape and world provide us—students and faculty alike—with exhilarating opportunities.

I invite you to explore Cushing not only through this website, but also in person. I hope that, with more exploration, you'll be able to picture yourself with us at Cushing.
Christopher Torino

Please click here to read Headmaster Torino's bio.

Please click here for remarks and video from the 2015 Convocation.

Please click here for remarks and video from the 2014 Convocation.

Please click here for remarks and video from the 2013 Installation & Convocation.

Follow Headmaster Torino on Twitter

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy is a coed, college preparatory day and boarding school for grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in and out of the classroom through outstanding academic, art and athletic offerings. Visit our welcoming community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.