Thornton-Donovan School Testimonials


“…Please thank Ms. Petrosino for her wonderful writing class and encourage her to continue it, because at least for me it was a great asset (especially during my freshman year in college). “


“I started working on Wednesday and I am enjoying the job better every new day. However, all this would not have been possible if it wasn’t for you. These days I have thought about the latest three years of my life and how everything has changed for me. I truly want to thank you for your enormous help and influence that you exercised in my life. T-D students are lucky to have a headmaster like you. “2010 Alumnus


My son Greg (T-D 2007) spent a college junior semester in Barcelona. It was clear to me that he had a different experience abroad than his peers in the program because of the contacts made through his experience at T-D. When he arrived in Barcelona Greg contacted Theresa, who had stayed with our family in 2006 when she and her two older sisters had visited T-D for two weeks. The girls’ family essentially adopted Greg for the four months he was there, and although he was housed through the University program, he spent every weekend with them. While the other Americans in the program mostly spent time together speaking English, Greg was camping in the Pyrenees with his Catalan friends, and experiencing complete language immersion. He told me he learned more Spanish in five days spent with Navarro family than he had during the entire first month he had been in Spain. Of course, through Greg’s experience in Barcelona, our family renewed its connection with the Navarro girls who visited us again last summer.



While he was at T-D we hosted many students from South Korea, Guatemala, Spain, and Argentina. Having student guests enriched our family in so many ways, and profoundly influenced the way all our children approach travel, languages, and getting to know people from other places. If you are considering hosting an international student and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Emily Freidberg, parent of alumni


“Thornton-Donovan School is a gem. The thematic education program allows students (and their families) to broaden their horizons in so many ways: in the classroom, in the country of study, in their homes by welcoming students from other countries for brief stays throughout the school year. The school places students in the appropriate class based on proficiency in the subject, not the age of the student. The school also offers a great foreign language program (which begins early in elementary school) and wonderful art and music programs. In addition to keeping costs down and charging a modest tuition given the school’s New York location and the extent of the programs offered, Thornton-Donovan offers a small class size giving all students the appropriate amount of attention and instruction based on each student’s needs.


Our son wanted to attend Thornton-Donovan because he thought that the school would give him “important work” to do. He was right. Thornton-Donovan challenges the students and helps the students understand and master the work to achieve their goals. We have been more than pleased with not only the interesting coursework but the dedication of the teachers, who must refocus their curriculum every year to address the country of study for each year. In addition to typical math science and history classes, students in the middle and high schools can elect specific courses relating to the country of study.


The thematic education offered at Thornton-Donovan is unique and impressive. The New York Times recently published an article describing how high school students across the country are going to great lengths (and undoubtedly great expense) to visit far-away places to use as a backdrop for their college essays. See For a Standout College Essay, Applicants Fill Their Summers,” NYT, August 5, 2011 (accessible at a Standout College Essay, Applicants Fill Their Summers&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1313074883-1SYPP9tFYd7k8eY+pEeg0w). Thornton-Donovan provides these experiences all year, every year. Our family has travelled with the school to South Africa and Ireland. We are looking forward to the trip to Venice in the upcoming school year. In addition, we have welcomed students from Italy, South Korea and Japan into our home while they study at Thornton-Donovan.


We have no doubt that Thornton-Donovan began preparing our son for not only college but for life from the first moment he sat in the classroom. Our son is interested in his schoolwork and looks forward to going to school every day. While the school has great expectations for the students in terms of coursework, the students have a lot of fun, too. Our daughter will start attending the school this year and we are confident that she will have a similar experience.”


Laura McGinn, parent