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A special place


Prospective parents, alumni from the school’s “early years,” and even friends from the community have asked me to describe what distinguishes Pennfield from other elementary schools. I have two (heartfelt) responses: one that describes in detail the positive impact that faculty have had on my four children, the rich, innovative curriculum, the fascinating story of the school’s humble beginnings, and so on, and one that attempts to capture the Pennfield spirit in a phrase or two.

For those who are just learning about The Pennfield School through this website, here’s my executive summary:

“Pennfield is a school where teachers know their students well, where it’s OK to be a child and play, where academic expectations (and student performance) are high, where values like respect, honesty, and compassion matter – and are infused in all that we do – and where children and adults smile.”

While our website certainly provides details about our curriculum and faculty, and it explains the admission process, I encourage you to talk with current Pennfield parents and pose that very same question that folks ask me from time to time. Why Pennfield? While no two answers will sound exactly alike, I am confident that there will be consistent themes. Pennfield is a special and, at times, magical place.

Whether you are new to the area and are seeking a school for your child, a local parent looking for a new school community, or even a graduate who wants to visit his or her elementary school on Little Slocum Farm, please stop by so that you can see (and experience) what makes Pennfield unique. During your visit, I would be happy to expound on all the reasons why I love this school.


Rob Kelley
Head of School

Prior to coming to The Pennfield School in 2005, Rob Kelley served as Middle School Director of The Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts for twelve years. He began his teaching and administrative career at Nichols School in Buffalo, New York. He received a BA and MAT from Tufts University.