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Rhode Island’s perspective and possibility widening boarding and day school, grades 6-12 and postgraduate.


St. Andrew’s School has an interesting and inspiring history. Having gone through many changes, the school has kept the core values of our founder, the Reverend William Merrick Chapin, that are still as vibrant as they were more than 100 years ago. St. Andrew’s was founded in 1893 by Father Chapin, the Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Barrington. He was a visionary and man of great generosity of spirit. Among his many accomplishments, he founded several churches and two schools.

St. Andrew’s began when Father Chapin found a homeless boy begging at the Providence train station and provided him a home. Without hesitation, he took the boy in and founded a school. The School was incorporated in 1896 as St. Andrew’s Industrial School and it quickly became an almost self-sustaining community. However, Father Chapin never intended for the School to be based only on an Episcopal foundation: he believed that St. Andrew’s should serve any student who needed it, regardless of race or religious background. This thinking continues today and has created a small community that is truly as diverse as the world in which we live.

In 1950, the Board of Trustees modified the original charter, removing the word “industrial” from the School’s name and the Statement of Purpose. By the 1960s, farming had become uncertain as a potential career and an economical way of meeting the School’s needs, so the farming program was phased out. In 1964, St. Andrew’s was granted membership in the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). In 1976, under Headmaster Stephen G. Waters, the Board instituted a long-range plan that led to a significant evolution of the School’s policies and operations. The function of providing a home for boys was formally dropped and the focus turned to academics. A program of education for students with learning disabilities was introduced and more emphasis was placed on tuition to balance the operating budget. The School admitted young women in 1981 and in 1982, the Middle School program was formalized.

Throughout our history, St. Andrew’s mission of helping students who need a tailored approach to teaching and a nurturing, stable environment in which to live and study has remained intact. As Father Chapin did, St. Andrew’s teachers and administration focus on the individual talents and needs of each student, helping them to discover ways to shine — in the classroom, in athletic or artistic pursuits, and in life. St. Andrew's has been and will always be a "home" for our students.

Headmaster History

List of 9 items.

  • David J. Tinagero (2015 - present)

    David J. Tinagero, a native of New York, came to St. Andrew’s School in 2015 after serving as Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at New York University Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Tinagero took this unusual opportunity after being designer, co-founder, and board member of the Mott Hall Charter School. Prior to Mott Hall Charter School, Mr. Tinagero was the founding principal of the Mott Hall Bronx High School in New York City and a regional instructional supervisor in the NYC Department of Education. Mr. Tinagero taught for more than seven years at the Dobbs Ferry International Baccalaureate High School, Bronx Middle School #181, and the Green Chimneys School for Children in Brewster, NY. He earned two degrees from Mercy College: a B.A. in English with Distinction and an M.S. in Education Supervision and Administration with Distinction.

    Mr. Tinagero brings to St. Andrew’s a wealth of experience lifting kids up academically and spiritually, and in school leadership and innovation. He and his wife Amy, an accomplished educator as well, and their two sons Declan and Cole have happily made the St. Andrew’s campus their home.
  • John D. Martin (1996-2015)

    Headmaster John D. Martin is a graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon School and Tufts University. He also holds an M.Ed. from American International College and an M.Div. from Yale University. He has held faculty, admissions, and chaplain positions at Tabor Academy, The Peddie School, and Sewickley Academy. Under Martin's leadership, construction was completed on Adams Student Services Center, Brown Science Center, Sage Gymnasium, and Bill's and Margot's Houses, and a major renovation of Hardy Hall took place for the Middle School. Additionally, St. Andrew’s completed a major capital campaign, The Campaign to Build St. Andrew’s Future, in June of 2004. The campaign raised more than $14.25 million for building, endowment, and annual operating support. The centerpiece of the campaign was the construction of the Norman E. and Dorothy R. McCulloch Center for the Arts, a 27,000-square-foot facility featuring a 287-seat theater; classrooms for the visual arts, music, drama, and computer graphics; a small gallery; scene shop and theater production facilities; and a conference room. Other projects under the campaign umbrella included the expansion of the Library and Resource Department, growth of endowment funds (total endowment now stands at $17 million), and stabilization and growth of annual giving.
  • David Burnham (1995-1996)

    After devoting his professional career to independent school education, first as a teacher and counselor and then as a headmaster, Dave Burnham had a self-described second career as President of the Board of the Paul Cuffee School, a charter school in Providence, RI. A widely respected educator and accomplished sailor, Burnham spent 16 of his 18 years as the Head of School at Providence’s Moses Brown School. Burnham holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Massachusetts.
  • Everett J. Wilson (1991-1995)

    "Doc" Wilson spent more than 20 years in independent education, including seven years at St. Andrew's in the 1970s. He served as interim headmaster at Shore Country Day School and taught at Rocky Hill School in addition to serving as assistant to the headmaster.
  • Stephen G. Waters (1970-1991)

    Until his passing on April 5 2019, Mr. Waters lived with his wife Jane in New Hampshire and remained involved with the School. Upon his retirement from St. Andrew's, Mr. Waters said, "I am most proud that St. Andrew's has been able to modify its Mission to reflect changes in society at large without compromising its essential purpose. Co-education, resource and tutorial programs, a middle school, full health services, the rehabilitation of virtually all major buildings, the construction of a learning center, diverse cultural and athletic opportunities, and ongoing curriculum development are meaningful manifestations of the process of change."

    The Stephen G. Waters Fund was established in June 1991, and honors Steve's 20+ years of service to St. Andrew's School on the occasion of his departure. Learn more about the Stephen Waters Fund, and read Steve's obituary, here.
  • Herbert W. Spink (1947-1970)

    Mr. Spink gave 22 years of faithful and devoted service to the School and its students. Formerly a teacher in the Providence Public Schools, he came to St. Andrew's at the time that the Rev. Owings Stone of St. John's Church was appointed Chaplain. It was during Mr. Spink's tenure that the School became accredited, day students were first enrolled, and the Karl P. Jones Gymnasium was built.
  • The Rev. Irving Andrew Evans (1937-1947)

    Rev. Evans helped to keep the School community's spirits up during the difficult years that followed the Depression and during World War II. It was during his tenure that St. Andrew's graduated its first class with a high school diploma (1940) and Chapin Chapel was built (1945).
  • The Rev. Albert Crabtree (1922-1937)

    Under Rev. Crabtree's guidance, the School doubled its plant and financial strength. During his 15 years as headmaster, Gardiner Hall, Perry Hall, the 19-acre Peterman Farm, and land and a bathhouse on the Barrington River were added, as well as an addition to Hardy Hall and the remodeling of Clark Hall.
  • The Rev. William Merrick Chapin (1893-1922)

    Father Chapin was Rector of St. John's Church in Barrington when he established St. Andrew's Industrial School in a barn on Rumstick Road with "no money, no friends, and one boy." The School's first headmaster was "truly a father to all the boys and every boy knew this. He possessed an overflowing humor, a deep but unobtrusive piety, an interest in people, and above all, a feeling of sympathy and understanding." Among Father Chapin's friends were Zechariah and Mary Chafee, who gave the School its first 17 acres on Federal Road.
Rhode Island’s perspective and possibility widening boarding and day school, grades 6-12 and postgraduate