Westford Academy

Westford Academy is the sole public high school (grades 9–12) for the town of Westford, Massachusetts. It was incorporated in 1792[5] and is one of the oldest public high schools in the United States. Westford Academy was originally established as a private school, but was changed to a public school in 1928. Westford maintained the name "Academy" as it maintained the board of trustees to allow students to continue being eligible to receive scholarships established by Westford Academy trustees.[6]

Westford Academy
Westford Academy, Westford MA
Westford Academy
30 Patten Road,
Westford, Massachusetts

Open enrollment[1]
School districtWestford Public Schools
DeanDan Twomey
Robert Ware
Betsy Murphy
PrincipalJames Antonelli
Enrollment1717 (2020)
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Maroon and grey         
AthleticsAlpine Skiing, Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Crew, Cross Country, Cross-Country Skiing Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Marching Band, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Wrestling
MascotGrey Ghosts
RivalsActon-Boxborough, Lincoln-Sudbury
USNWR rankingRanked #47 Best High Schools in U.S and #2 in Massachusetts by Newsweek 2016
NewspaperWA Ghostwriter
MCAS % proficient and advancedELA: 97 Math: 97 Science: 94 (Spring 2011)[4]


Students must complete the following requirements for graduation:

  • English 20 credits
  • Math 20 credits
  • Science 15 credits
  • Social Studies 15 credits (10 U.S.)
  • PE 10 credits
  • Computer Literacy 2.5 credits
  • Electives 37.5 credits
  • Foreign Language 10 credits (Class of 2020)

No class rank is officially calculated, however a valedictorian and a salutatorian are named every year at graduation. Westford Academy provides several honors and advanced placement courses.

Advanced Placement courses include AP Calculus (AB & BC), AP Statistics, AP Computer Science, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics B, AP Environmental Science, AP United States History, AP European History, AP English Literature and Composition, AP French Language, AP German Language, AP Spanish Language, AP Latin Literature, AP Psychology, AP Studio Art Drawing, and AP Music Theory. Often if a particular AP course is not offered as a class, teachers will work with students to study above the normal class curriculum and prepare for the Advanced Placement Exams.

Westford Academy Post High School Placement (2012)

  • 4 year college – 88%
  • 2 year college – 10%
  • Employment – 1%
  • Military/other – 1%[7]

There are 130 classroom teachers – 95% Master's degrees – and an average class size of 1:23 teacher:students.


Newsweek Magazine (2016): #47 U.S. High Schools (National) #2 Massachusetts High Schools (State)

The 2008 Blue Ribbon Schools were announced on September 9. 329 public and private schools were honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., October 20–21. Westford Academy was named a NCLB-Blue Ribbon School. The No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K–12 schools that are either academically superior in their state or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. Westford Academy has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Extracurricular activities


WA Logo

Westford Academy participates in the DCL (Dual County League). Sports teams include Cheerleading, Soccer, Golf, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Swimming & Diving, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Gymnastics, Alpine Skiing, Indoor Track, Wrestling, Cross-Country Skiing, Women's Ice Hockey, Track and Field, Lacrosse, Tennis, Softball, Baseball, Crew, Marching Band, and Volleyball.

Westford Academy's football rival is Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. WA scored its first victory over AB in the Fall of 2005, snapping a 13-year losing streak. Ayer High School had been Westford Academy's Thanksgiving rival from 1969 until Westford Academy moved into the DCL. ABRHS had been Littleton's Thanksgiving Day rival from 1965–1969.

Westford Academy's Girls' Swimming and Diving team has also won 7 MIAA Division I State championships (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) in additional to several Sectionals championships and Dual County League honors.

The Westford Academy Girls Varsity Ice Hockey team also allows girls from the Littleton High School to join the team because of the lack of women who play ice hockey between the two high schools.

Theatre Arts

The Westford Academy Theater Arts program (WATA) puts on four main stage and four black box productions each year. Guest directors have included Dr. Luke Jorgensen, a professor at Boston College, and Larry Sousa, an acclaimed director and choreographer. WATA has won eight state championships (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019) in the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild's annual play festival.

Special interests

Other extracurricular activities include Beyond Words (literary magazine), the WA Ghostwriter (school newspaper), the Yearbook Club, Marching Band, After School Chorus, Mock Trial, DECA, French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Latin Clubs, International Club, unicycle club, Gender Sexuality Alliance, Best Buddies, WA Pride, Community service club, Student Council, Speech and Debate, Junior State of America, Math Team, Science Team, HOSA, Forensics Club, Museum Club, WABC, Book Club, Photography Club, Chess Club, Peer Counseling, Cirrus, WAHYC, Future Educators of America, Amnesty International, Environmental Club, Quiz Bowl, Economics Club and many others.[8]


In 2004, Westford Academy math teacher Rosemarie Pumo pleaded guilty to providing heroin to her students.[9] The school was later criticized by parents for not being forthcoming about the events and the school's role in it.[10]

Notable alumni

Distinguished Alumni Award

Established to honor Westford Academy Alumni who have distinguished themselves and go above and beyond in service representing Westford, the Academy, and in service to the community (listed in order each were awarded).

  • H. Arnold Wilder – Class of 1927, Historian, W.A. Trustee
  • Paul L. Davies – Class of 1960
  • Paul T. MacMillan – Class of 1964
  • William A. Murray – Class of 1977, Police Chief Ayer, MA
  • John J. Waugh – Class of 1977
  • Geoffrey D. Hall – Class of 1966, Board of Selectmen, Massachusetts State Representative
  • Andrew W. Basinas – Class of 1941, War Veteran
  • Helena "Mickey" Crocker – Class of 1946, philanthropist
  • Donald G. White – Class of 1930
  • James P. Antonelli – Class of 1986, W.A. Principal
  • Robert M. Welch – Class of 1970, Police Chief, Westford
  • Beverly Garside Woods – Class of 1975
  • Thomas McEnaneny – Class of 1983, Police Chief, Westford
  • Jason M. Main – Class of 1991, War Veteran
  • George P. Rogers – Class of 1951, First Full Time Fire Chief, Westford, Active Town Volunteer
  • Genevieve Dubinski Johnson – Class of 2014, oldest Academy student to graduate
  • Michael L. Towers – Class of 1988, Artistic Director, Westford Academy Theater Arts
  • George S. Fletcher – Class of 1951, Deputy Fire Chief Westford, multi Town Positions/Volunteer
  • Rebecca Palma Hill – Class of 1997, philanthropist
  • David P. Christiana – Class of 1993, Firefighter, Sculptor/Artist (Fallen Firefighter's Memorial, 9-11 Memorial, Westford Knight Statue, Etc.), Lowell Sun Greater Lowell "Man of the Year" 2015[12]
  • Nancy J. Cook – Class of 1972, V.P. Concord Oil Co., former Town Clerk, multiple Town Committee Volunteer, philanthropist
  • Willis "Bucky" Buckingham – Class of 1941, WWII Navy Veteran (USS Dorothea L Dix)
  • Cathy Coughlin – Class of 1977, teacher


  1. ^ http://www.doe.mass.edu/finance/schoolchoice/choice-status.pdf
  2. ^ "Archives of Westford Academy". Westford Academy. Archived from the original on 2016-08-14. Retrieved July 2016. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/statereport/sat.aspx
  4. ^ "Westford Academy: MCAS Tests of Spring 2011 Percent of Students at Each Performance Level for Westford Academy". Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  5. ^ George Adams (1853). "Education in Massachusetts: Incorporated Academies". Massachusetts Register. Boston: Printed by Damrell and Moore.
  6. ^ http://www.wickedlocal.com/westford/town_info/history/x2136193253
  7. ^ http://wa.westfordk12.us/pages/westfordwa_guidance/Profile.pdf
  8. ^ http://wa.westfordk12.us/pages/WestfordWA_Activities/index
  9. ^ http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_2636227
  10. ^ http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_3149921
  11. ^ http://www.westfordma.gov/pages/government/towndepartments/boardsandcommittees/westfordma_historic/index?textPage=1
  12. ^ http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_29487639/firefighters-monumental-calling

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 42°34′37.3″N 71°27′49.6″W / 42.577028°N 71.463778°W

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Boston Latin School (1635), Boston, Massachusetts

Hartford Public High School (1638), Hartford, Connecticut

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (1648), Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hopkins Academy (1664), Hadley, Massachusetts

Academy of Richmond County (1783), Augusta, Georgia

Glynn Academy (1788), Brunswick, Georgia

Canandaigua Academy (1791), Canandaigua, New York

Westford Academy (1792), Westford, Massachusetts

Oxford Academy and Central Schools (1794), Oxford, New York

New London Academy (1795), Lynchburg, Virginia

Newburgh Free Academy (1796), Newburgh, New York

Woodstock Academy (1801), Woodstock, Connecticut ("a quasi-private, independent school")

Bacon Academy (1803), Colchester, Connecticut

Hampden Academy (1803), Hampden, Maine

Pinkerton Academy (1814), Derry, New Hampshire (not strictly public, yet not private)

Columbia High School (1814), Maplewood, New Jersey

Cony High School (1815), Augusta, Maine

Delaware Academy (1819), Delhi, New York

English High School of Boston (1821), Boston, Massachusetts

Portland High School (1821), Portland, Maine

Kentucky School for the Deaf (1823), Danville, Kentucky

Prattsburgh Central School (1823), Prattsburgh, New York

New Bedford High School (1827), New Bedford, Massachusetts

Norcross High School (1827), Norcross, Georgia

Keene High School (1828), Keene, New Hampshire

Elyria High School (1830), Elyria, Ohio

Lahainaluna High School (1831), Maui, Hawaii

Leon High School (1831), Tallahassee, Florida

Lowell High School (1831), Lowell, Massachusetts

Newburyport High School (1831), Newburyport, Massachusetts

Woodward High School (1831), Cincinnati, Ohio

Cambridge High School (1834), Cambridge, Illinois

Medford High School (1835), Medford, Massachusetts

Bellevue High School (1836), Bellevue, Michigan

Central High School (1836), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Auburn High School (1837), Auburn, Alabama

Windsor High School (1837), Windsor, New York

Barringer High School (1838), Newark, New Jersey

Cohasset High School (1838), Cohasset, Massachusetts

Nantucket High School (1838), Nantucket, Massachusetts

Taunton High School (1838), Taunton, Massachusetts

Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (1838), Staunton, Virginia

Baltimore City College (1839), Baltimore, Maryland

Gloucester High School (1839), Gloucester, Massachusetts

Middletown High School (1840), Middletown, Connecticut

Brighton High School (1841), Boston, Massachusetts

Haverhill High School (1841), Haverhill, Massachusetts

Warren Easton Charter High School, formerly known as Boys High School (1843), New Orleans, Louisiana

Brookline High School (1843), Brookline, Massachusetts

Classical High School (1843), Providence, Rhode Island

Drury High School (1843), North Adams, Massachusetts

Tennessee School for the Deaf (1844), Knoxville, Tennessee

Western High School (1844), Baltimore, Maryland

Charlestown High School (1845), Boston, Massachusetts

Lyons High School (1845), Lyons, New York

Mary D. Bradford High School (1845), Kenosha, Wisconsin

New Braunfels High School (1845), New Braunfels, Texas

Windsor High School (1845), Windsor, Vermont

Chelsea High School (1846), Chelsea, Massachusetts

Concord High School (1846), Concord, New Hampshire

Georgia School for the Deaf (1846), Cave Spring, Georgia

Manchester Central High School (1846), Manchester, New Hampshire

Pine Tree High School (1847), Longview, Texas

Biddeford High School (1848), Biddeford, Maine

Lockport High School (1848), Lockport, New York

Philadelphia High School for Girls (1848), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

B.M.C. Durfee High School (1849), Fall River, Massachusetts

Charlotte High School (1849), Charlotte, Michigan

Fitchburg High School (1849), Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Lawrence High School (1849), Lawrence, Massachusetts

Rockport High School (1849), Rockport, Massachusetts

Waltham High School (1849), Waltham, Massachusetts

Ypsilanti High School (1849), Ypsilanti, Michigan

New Albany High School (1853), New Albany, Indiana

Arundel High School (1854), Gambrills, Maryland

Norwich Free Academy (1854), Norwich, Connecticut (a "quasi-private school," "privately governed, independent secondary school")

Andover High School (1856), Andover, Massachusetts

Louisville Male High School (1856), Louisville, Kentucky

Lowell High School (1856), San Francisco, California

Pioneer High School (1856), Ann Arbor, Michigan

Peoria High School (1856), Peoria, Illinois

Texas School for the Deaf (1856), Austin, Texas

University High School (1857), Normal, Illinois

Braintree High School (1858), Braintree, Massachusetts

Ravenna High School (1858), Ravenna, Ohio

Hillhouse High School (1859), New Haven, Connecticut

San Jose High School (1863), San Jose, California

Shortridge High School (1864), Indianapolis, Indiana

Saint Paul Central High School (1866), Saint Paul, Minnesota

Hastings Senior High School (1866), Hastings, Minnesota

Parkersburg High School (1867), Parkersburg, West Virginia

Round Rock High School (1867), Round Rock, Texas

Holly High School (1868), Holly, Michigan

Theodore Roosevelt High School (1868), Kent, Ohio

Morristown High School (1869), Morristown, New Jersey

Lincoln High School (1869), Portland, Oregon

Hunter College High School (1869), New York, New York

Littleton High School (Massachusetts)

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Westford Center Historic District encompasses the historic village center of Westford, Massachusetts. It is centered on a stretch of Main Street between Graniteville and Leland Roads, extending away from this strip on a number of side streets. The area has been the town center since settlement of the town began in the 1720s. Prominent in the district are the Westford Academy building and the First Parish Church, two fine Federal style structures built in 1794, and the Italianate town hall, built in 1871.The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Massachusetts public high schools
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Dukes County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Nantucket County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County

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