Lincoln Academy History

Lincoln Academy was chartered in 1801 by the General Court of Massachusetts ‘for the purpose of promoting Piety, Religion and Morality.’ 178 citizens from Boothbay, Bristol, Edgecomb, Georgetown, Newcastle, New Milford (Alna), Thomaston, Wiscasset, and Nobleboro signed the original petition and then contributed over $3,000 to found the school. Lincoln Academy is the fourth oldest secondary school in Maine that is still in existence today.

The Academy opened in October 1805 in a wooden building on the River Road. 74 students attended that year. The tuition ($257.60 per year) was paid by students’ families.

The original Lincoln Academy building on River Road

The residence of Lincoln Academy founder, the Reverend Kiah Bayley, on River Road

In 1828, the first building burned and a new structure was built on Academy Hill. This building, with the bell tower, still serves as the central building of the school.

From 1805 until 1903 LA served as a ‘fitting school for Bowdoin College.’ In 1903 the Maine Legislature passed a law which mandated secondary education be funded by the towns. Many adults enrolled at LA to receive their ‘free high school education,’ resulting in a dramatic increase in enrollment and a dramatic change in the nature of the student body. By 1906, the student body had been limited to those preparing for college, Bowdoin College in particular, and an entrance exam was required for admission.

The Lincoln Academy Main Building in 1890

The Lincoln Academy Main Building in 1890

Entrance exams were discontinued in the 1930’s, and LA became, in effect, the public high school for the towns in the area. Enrollment doubled during the 1950’s and 60’s, and increased again when Bristol High School closed in 1969.

As private, chartered schools became fewer, the State passed legislation controlling the amount of tuition that can be charged to the sending towns, using, a formula based on average costs for secondary education in the State, with a 10% additional charge for facilities maintenance and debt service. (There is no State money for major renovations or new buildings.)

In the 1970’s, differentiated diplomas were eliminated and the minimum course load and graduation course requirements were increased. The Academy joined the Regional Vocational Program at Bath, and later the Rockland Vocational Center.

Throughout its history, Lincoln Academy has made significant physical changes to the facility to serve the increasing student population and significant programmatic changes to keep up with advances in education and the changing needs of its students.

Lincoln Academy is still a private school which serves as the secondary school of choice for young people in surrounding towns. Because of its not-for-profit status, the school is able to accept private contributions to augment the operations budget, finance capital projects, and build an endowment.

From its very beginnings and throughout its history, public support of Lincoln Academy has enabled the school to remain competitive and excel in many areas, providing a quality education at a reasonable cost.

Lyrics to the LA School Song are at this link.


Jeff Burroughs : Head of School
Jeff Burroughs

Jeff Burroughs started his work at Lincoln Academy in July 2019 as our 44th Head of School.  Jeff was the Assistant Headmaster for Academics at St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont, a ninth-grade through postgraduate town academy of 970 students which shares the town academy structural and funding model with Lincoln Academy.  An engineer by training, Mr. Burroughs worked for seven years as an IBM program manager before beginning his tenure at St. Johnsbury Academy. Preceding IBM, he spent a number of years at the Hyde School in Bath, where Mr. Burroughs had a number of roles, including math teacher, Director of Admission, and Assistant Headmaster. Jeff lives in Newcastle with his wife, Melissa, also an educator. The couple has three children: Jeb, 22, is a senior at Chapman University in California; Andrew, 19, is a junior at University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Eliza, 18, also attends the University of King’s College.

Kelley Duffy : Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Social Studies Faculty
Kelley Duffy (207) 563-3596 ext. 2106

Kelley Borg Duffy became a social studies teacher in part because it was the only discipline where she felt she could integrate all her academic loves: science, literature, data and history. A native Vermonter and daughter of educators, Kelley went to boarding school in Massachusetts and college in Pennsylvania. After college, she went on to teach in Philadelphia PA, Albuquerque NM, Switzerland, and Venezuela. She met her husband while taking a Wilderness EMT class in Maine, and found herself drawn back to New England. Before joining Lincoln Academy's social studies department, Kelley taught at Wiscasset High School. She and her husband are raising two daughters, two dogs, and a cat, and she spends most of her free time hiking, paddling, camping, and gardening - while always looking for opportunities to travel.

Academic Affiliations:

B.A. Political Science, Swarthmore College
M.A. Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine
National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT)

Deanna Pierpan : Executive Assistant to the Head of School
Deanna Pierpan 12075633596

Deanna Pierpan grew up in Massachusetts and spent a lot of time visiting her husband's parents and her grandparents and cousins all over Maine.  It was a natural progression and long time goal of moving to Midcoast Maine with her husband and children that was realized in 2018.  Deanna spent much of her professional career managing software development projects for various consulting firms and asset management companies in New England and Europe, but more recently has been an office manager in real estate and healthcare. Combining these experiences with a desire to  engage with her community, led her to being a part of the Lincoln Academy community as Mr. Burrough's assistant.  Her son, Harrison is in the class of 2023 and her sons, Hamilton and Anderson are in the class of 2026.

Her favorite past-time is spending time with and traveling with her family - she believes community and civic engagement, as well as a broad knowledge of the world is really important.  When she isn't on the go, Deanna likes to "dabble" in pretty much anything from needlepoint and DIY home renovations to outdoor activities like hiking and downhill skiing, and she enjoys being a maker of an organic skincare and wellness product line.  She received two degrees from Stonehill College, a BS in Business Administration and then later a BA in English Literature.

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