“So, as you can see, it’s not school as usual,” says Dean Tsouvalas, while stepping onto a balcony overlooking the pristine, lush green grounds of Penguin Hall.
No, it’s definitely not school as usual. The resemblance to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts is so obvious that it’s hardly worth mentioning. As Tsouvalas, Penguin Hall’s director of advancement and communication, says, “When you walk through that door, it ups your game.” Indeed, crossing the enchanting threshold into Penguin Hall, through the ornately sculpted front door adorned with spiderwebs and dragonflies, is to step into 1929, into a world created by a confident, independent woman. That woman was Ruby Boyer Miller, a progressive-minded divorcée, who built the magical Wenham place as her summer home. Fittingly, smart girls are now calling Penguin Hall their educational home.
The Academy at Penguin Hall is the only college preparatory high school for girls in Essex County. With a goal of 600 students, the school opens this September with 65 young ladies, who may ascend the floating staircase, study in the home’s original library with its fireplace and beveled windows, and sit in state-of-the-art classrooms that resemble the conference rooms in top global companies.
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