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Mission Statement & School History

Our School Mission Statement

Dexter Southfield School helps boys and girls develop their individual talents and build an ethical foundation for life. Students learn to lead with confidence, serve with compassion, and live by the motto, "Our Best Today, Better Tomorrow."

Dexter Southfield School: Our Shared History

Dexter School for boys opened in 1926 as a successor to the Noble and Greenough lower school, which was discontinued when Nobles moved to Dedham. Dexter continued to occupy the same site in Brookline during the headships of Miss Myra Fiske and the Rev. Francis Caswell. In 1966, under Headmaster William F. Phinney, the School purchased the Newton Street property and began construction of the current campus. Classrooms, athletic facilities, and art studios quickly followed.  

Southfield School was established in 1992 to offer girls the same outstanding education that Dexter boys had long enjoyed. Southfield opened its doors that fall to 81 girls in Pre-Kindergarten through Class 4, far exceeding the planned enrollment. Within four years, Southfield numbered 236 girls through Class 8.

The upper school was established in 2002, providing families with another secondary option in the Boston area, as the School expanded the faculty and facilities to meet this new student population. The addition of interscholastic athletics, Advanced Placement academics, and a rich and diverse array of arts and community service opportunities has enriched our school. 

Mr. and Mrs. Phinney retired in 2011, having spent a combined 93 years of service to the School. Longtime teacher, administrator, and coach Todd Vincent became the fourth Head of School.

In 2013, Dexter Southfield received formal accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Head of School Todd Vincent worked with faculty, staff, and administration during the 18-month accreditation process, which included a lengthy self-study. The study revealed what so many students, alumni/ae, faculty, and families already knew: while the school will always operate under that core belief that boys and girls benefit from distinct paths of learning, we are one family. During Summer 2013, Dexter Southfield unveiled its re-branded school name to reflect the community identity. Today, Dexter Southfield students benefit from single-sex classrooms in Pre-K through 8 and co-education in grades 9 through 12.


Dexter Southfield School • 617-522-5544 •

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20 Newton Street Brookline, Massachusetts 02445 Directions


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