School History

Stoneleigh-Burnham School is the result of the merger of five girls’ schools, dating back to 1869 with the Prospect Hill School of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Our mission then was “to prepare girls for the rigors of a college education.” Today, 152 years later, our focus remains the same.


  • 1869 – Prospect Hill School is founded in Greenfield, Massachusetts by Reverend John Farwell Moors.
  • 1877 – The Classical School for Girls is founded in Northampton, Massachusetts by Bessie Talbot Capen and Mary A. Burnham. The founders are encouraged by then President of Smith College, Laurenus Clarke Seelye to provide young women with a better preparation for entrance into Smith College.
  • 1885 – The Classical School for Girls is renamed the Mary A. Burnham School, in honor of founder Mary A. Burnham.
  • 1909 – The Elmhurst School is founded in Connersville, Indiana by Isabel Cressler and Caroline Sumner, also at the urging of Laurenus Clarke Seelye.
  • 1926 – Elmhurst School relocates to a larger campus in Rye, New Hampshire and is renamed the Stoneleigh School for Girls.
  • 1930 – The Stoneleigh School for Girls merges with Prospect Hill School forming Stoneleigh-Prospect Hill School on what is today the Stoneleigh-Burnham School campus.
  • 1968 – Stoneleigh-Prospect Hill merges with the Mary A. Burnham School to form Stoneleigh-Burnham School.
  • 1970 – Emerson Hall opens.
  • 1980 – The Geissler Gallery opens.
  • 1988 – The first SBS speaker competes in the World Debate & Public Speaking Championships.
  • 2000 – The Jesser Science & Math Center opens.
  • 2002 – SBS wins its first Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Championship Title.
  • 2004 – The SBS Middle School is founded.
  • 2008 – Sally Leach Mixsell ’69 is first SBS alumna appointed the role of Head of School.
  • 2011 – SBS becomes an International Baccalaureate (IB) School.
  • 2014 – SBS becomes a member of the British Horse Society.
  • 2019 – Stoneleigh-Burnham School celebrates 150 years of girls’ education.