Welcome from the Heads of School

Since 1981, The Academy has believed that a school community based on values such as autonomy, industry, integrity, and compassion encourages development of intellectual and social standards that reflect those values. These values are supported in our curriculum; our teachers work shoulder-to-shoulder with our students, sharing their passions and providing windows into broad areas of knowledge, creativity, and expression. Our studio blocks program brings professional artists and musicians from the surrounding area into our school to share their expertise with our students and to give them space to explore and create art and music of their own. Affirming the uniqueness of each individual and at the same time insisting that individuals subscribe to a set of commonly held standards—civility, respect, concern for others—produces a healthy tension that helps students learn, grow, and become productive citizens.

Making positive contributions to school life is an integral part of Academy culture. Our school fosters a close and mutually respectful relationship between students and faculty. Students regularly support the school through meal preparation, cleaning chores, volunteer councils, and other meaningful activities, and do so beside their teachers. School governance is based on all-school meetings and our Honor Code; there are no elected class officers, except for one senior who is elected to represent the student body to the Board of Trustees. Finally, student volunteers comprise a Student Advisory Board which interacts with The Academy leadership team to address student issues.    

We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our program and our community. We suspect that you will want to schedule a visit to our inviting campus in the Berkshire foothills; please contact us and we’ll look forward to welcoming you soon.

John Schatz, Neale Gay, and Nora Bates Zale
Co-Heads of School

Nora Bates Zale ’00, Co-Head of School for Community

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An Academy alumna herself and a steward of community culture, Nora (known by students as ‘BZ’) oversees our advising and council programs, social/emotional and behavioral support for students, community traditions and events, parent engagement, admissions, and development. In the classroom, Nora shares oversight and teaching duties of our school’s 8th and 10th grade Health curricula with our school counselor.

Neale Gay, Co-Head of School for Academics

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In addition to serving as The Academy’s college counselor and teaching upper school humanities classes, Neale’s administrative responsibilities include faculty oversight, academic support for students, and coordination surrounding our academic courses, curriculum, and 30+ Studio Block offerings each semester.

John Schatz, Co-Head of School for Operations


As Co-Head for Operations, John oversees areas of Academy life including registrar/scheduling duties, transportation, coordination with our Business Office, financial aid, and facilities upkeep. During the school day, he can also be found teaching math to Academy students across grade levels.