A coed boarding and day school for grades 4-9
North Country School main campus

Where most classrooms end, ours begin.


North Country School founder Walter Clark

A Boarding School in the Adirondacks

North Country School is located in the heart of the six million acre Adirondack Park, of which two million acres are forest preserve. Our 220-acre campus includes extensive vegetable and flower gardens, a working farm, a maple sugaring operation, a 6-trail ski hill, a 36-route rock climbing crag, 2 riding rings, and over 3 miles of recreational trails. North Country School has long practiced place-based education, taking full advantage of its campus, the High Peaks region, and the cultural and recreational opportunities offered in nearby Lake Placid.

Walter and Leonora Clark at North Country School Graduation

Walter and Leo Clark

North Country School was founded in 1938 by Walter and Leonora Clark. Leonora Clark's sister and brother in law, Helen and Douglas Haskell, had assumed leadership of Camp Treetops in Lake Placid in 1926. Both couples' educational philosophies were influenced by John Dewey and the Progressive Education Movement. They believed that close, nurturing contact and first-hand experiences were essential for children to develop confidence, knowledge, skills and values. The two families enjoyed a close educational collaboration in overseeing Camp Treetops and North Country School.

In the 1930's and 40's, when most schools and camps were segregated by gender, race and religion, North Country School and Camp Treetops enrolled boys and girls from diverse backgrounds. Many of Walter and Leonora Clark's beliefs about how children learn best continue to inform North Country School's mission and values. Traditions they began in the 1930's and 40's continue to be enjoyed by present-day students.

Rugged, Resourceful, and Resilient

North Country School Head of School David "Hock" Hochschartner

Subsequent Leadership

Subsequent North Country School leaders strengthened the school's fiscal position, grew enrollment, and expanded the campus with sensitivity to its natural surroundings. These heads of school include Harry and Betty Clark Eldridge, M. Jeffrey Moredock, Roger S. Loud, and Frank Wallace. All were committed to strengthening programs and faculty in order to instill in children an appreciation for the natural world and NCS' Three R's: ruggedness, resourcefulness and resilience.

In 1999, David "Hock" Hochschartner became the 6th Head of School. Under Mr. Hochschartner's leadership, the school has expanded educational programs, realized successful strategic plans and capital fundraising campaigns and undertaken significant and environmentally responsible campus improvements.

"It is not so much where you live, what work you do, where you have travelled, your I.Q., or how much or little money you have. It is most of all how you feel about yourself, your family, other people, your work, our planet, the stars, sky and the universe that matter." - NCS Founder Walter Clark