Washington Academy

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Our Mission

Washington Academy is an independent secondary school committed to the success of each of our local, national, and international students. Offering a comprehensive program of academics, athletics, and the arts, we strive to create opportunities that will equip students socially and intellectually for their future endeavors and prepare them to become productive members of society.

Welcome from Head of School

For more than 225 years, Washington Academy has been successfully helping young people take the first big step toward achieving their dreams. We recognize these dreams are as diverse as the students who attend here. Each year, over 400 students like you make a decision to attend WA, coming together to immerse yourselves in courses and make use of an environment that isn’t typically available at other secondary schools.

We're sure you will find a program or activity at Washington Academy that fits your unique personality, whether it's in the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or the Field School for Studies in Science, or the Center for Applied Technologies. Once you arrive, we'll assign you a long-term advisor and a peer pair who will help you choose your courses, manage your schedule, and get into the swing of your new life at the Academy. With a student-to-teacher ratio of 11:1, it won't be long before your teachers know you on a personal level. The safety of our rural area, the involvement of our small Maine community, and the sense of pride and tradition will all come together to make you ready to succeed in your new environment.

We’re looking forward to getting to know you.

Judson McBrine
Head of School

Our History and Core Values


A lot has happened at Washington Academy since 1792. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Washington Academy is a school that embraces new adventure. Since John Hancock, then the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed the charter founding the school in 1792, WA has moved locations, constructed new buildings, and opened its doors to students from around the world.

In the beginning, classes were held in Machias at the Burnham Tavern and the Masonic Hall. It wasn’t until much later that the school got its own building. After deliberation between neighboring towns, the first school building was built in East Machias, opening its doors on September 8, 1823.

Today Washington Academy welcomes boys and girls, about 50% of each gender. WA has over 350 day students and about 90 residential students- representing more than 20 surrounding communities and more than 15 countries. This makes WA truly a global campus located in the easternmost corner of the United States.

WA completed construction of a new Health and Wellness Center, and improvements in athletic fields, classroom space, and digital infrastructure in 2011. The school is also strongly committed to being environmentally responsible, and encouraging those values across the entire community.

The school's next adventure? Building four new tennis courts and a 5 kilometer cross country trail so everyone can benefit from outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition, the Center of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math is growing with the addition of a robotics lab and engineering technology courses. WA has introduced its Center for Dynamic Learning to compliment its Field School for Studies in Science.

One thing that is the same as its early days in the Burnham Tavern - Washington Academy is here to enrich the minds of students. Today, the students just happen to come from all ends of the globe.

Core Values

1. The Individual Student. We know, respect, and support each student.

2. Dedicated and Diverse Faculty. We bring teachers and students together in relationships that challenge, inspire, and nurture each student's intellect, confidence, and determination.

3. Standards of Excellence. We challenge students to strive for their personal best in every pursuit, take risks, and persevere.

4. Progressive Culture. We promote curiosity, open-minded exploration, out-of-the-box critical thinking, while building on tradition and pride.

5. The Whole Person. We believe that the complete development of each student requires intensive experiences in academics, athletics, arts, community life, and the natural world.

6. The Whole World. We prepare students for successful and responsible global citizenship.