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Mission and History

Since 1894, we've been dedicated to empowering girls.

We remain at our core the intellectually charged, forward-thinking Kent Place that opened its doors in the 19th century. Our mission statement cements our core values, highlights what makes KPS unique in our marketplace, and purposefully articulates the power of being a school that raises brave and brilliant girls. Dr. Jennifer Galambos, Head of School

Mission Statement

Kent Place School empowers girls to be confident, intellectual, and ethical leaders who advance the world.

Woven tightly into the mission of Kent Place School today is the story of its founding. 

It was the spring of 1894, a time when independent primary and secondary schools for boys were opening across New Jersey. Feeling strongly that their daughters should have access to the very same educational opportunities, six Summit families met to discuss the establishment of a school for girls. Just a few months later, in the former summer home of New York State Chancellor James Kent (1763-1847), Kent Place School opened its doors. Sixty girls were welcomed that first year, and for generations of young women to come, the course of their education — indeed, their life journeys — would be forever altered. 

From the first 60 girls who enrolled in 1894 to more than 650 today — and thousands of alumnae who have gone on to well over 200 colleges and universities across the U.S. and abroad —Kent Place champions curious, compassionate, bold girls who proudly embody its founding spirit.

As classmates, friends, sisters, and equals, through an unparalleled educational experience in a supportive, girl-centered environment, they all share a common virtue: brave and brilliant young women, poised to advance the world. 


  • Amelia S. Watts, Principal (1894–1896)
  • Sarah Woodman Paul, Principal (1896–1924)
  • Harriet Larned Hunt, Headmistress (1924–1952)
  • Florence Wolfe, Headmistress (1952–1965)
  • Macdonald Halsey, Headmaster (1965–1980)
  • Archibald R. Montgomery III, Headmaster (1980–1986)
  • Dorothy H. Dillon, Head of School (1986–1987)
  • Arlene Joy Gibson, Head of School (1987–1996)
  • Karan Ashford Merry, Head of School (1996–1999)
  • Susan Collins Bosland, Head of School (1999–2017)
  • Jennifer C. Galambos, Head of School (2017–Present)