NYT Profiles Brooklyn Heights’ Packer Institute

“As a Private School in Brooklyn Raises Its Profile, Questions of Identity Arise.” That’s the exploratory headline for a Sunday New York Times profile of Packer Collegiate Institute, the Brooklyn Heights K-12 prep school that’s been located at 170 Joralemon Street since its founding in 1845.

The 1,100-word NYT story explores the growing pains of the historic locale, as demand increases for private schools, combined with millions of dollars in program upgrades, raising the profile of Packer and making it competitive with some of the city’s best-known private schools.

“Think of Packer as having two personalities: intimate, cozy and warm, with its Brooklyn roots, and ever-expanding and state-of-the-art,” the NYT reports, with a quote from Bruce L. Dennis, Packer’s head of school: “We’re becoming more of a New York City school located in Brooklyn than a Brooklyn school.”

(Photo: Wikipedia; Below: Bruce Dennis by Chang W. Lee/New York Times)

Share this Story:

, , ,

  • harumph

    While I don’t love the quote “We’re becoming more of a New York City school located in Brooklyn than a Brooklyn school,” I do think there is a clear cut change in the ‘demographic’, if you will, of the incoming classes. As a long-time Packer parent I am curious how this overt desire for incoming city money will change the community of the school in the future. As for now, Packer is still ‘nice’.

  • Reggie

    Whatever the demographic, I have never felt that Packer considered itself a part of the neighborhood it is in, as opposed to merely located there.

  • harumph

    @Reggie, the same could be said for any school. But Packer is very aware of its location, and prides itself in teaching neighborhood studies in lower school, and school-wide community projects.

  • weegee

    I’m still appreciative of Mrs. Houston’s local history unit in 2nd grade, which included trips to the main post office, Green-wood Cemetery, and the BHS; and making a diorama of the battle of Brooklyn, and writing a report about Neil Diamond. And the following year’s Dutch studies with Mrs. Copland.

    It IS Teacher Appreciation Week, after all!

    (While we’re at it, thanks also to Ms. Devitt who didn’t mind letting me run around and cover my first spot-news stories in the name of the school’s paper!)