Opportunities to Lead & Grow

Interested in voice lessons, soccer, student government, community service projects, or classical Indian dance?

We have something for everyone at Purnell.

We encourage you to discover and pursue your interests outside the classroom and develop leadership skills that will prepare you for the future.

Clubs & Activities

Leadership Opportunities

student leaders at purnell

  • Peer Leaders
  • Dorm Floor Leaders
  • Student Council Officers & Representatives
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Student Store
  • Big Sisters

Performing Arts

    performing art students
  • Adlibbers (acting troupe)
  • Bharathanatyam (classical Indian Dance)
  • Music PLUS
  • Private Lessons
  • Shoots & Strawberries (choir)
  • Technical Theatre
  • Dance Synthesis (see below)

Studio Arts

    studio art student at Purnell
  • Art Activity (guided projects and open studio)

Other Activities

    community service
  • Coding Club (computer programming)
  • Hot Topics (current issues & events)
  • Multicultural Club
  • Purnell Greens (environmental club)
  • Roots & Shoots (community service)
  • Kelea Café
  • Wordsmith Club
  • Yearbook


group of athletes at Purnell
Purnell Athletics Philosophy

Sports have long been considered to be positive for boys and girls. Until Title IX, however, girls have not enjoyed the same access as boys. At Purnell, girls can enjoy both team and lifelong sports. Team sports such as soccer, basketball, and softball provide our girls with the opportunity to work together as a team and travel to compete with other schools. Purnell’s LifeSports program focuses on sports that are all-inclusive and can be enjoyed throughout one’s life. Purnell introduces girls to lifelong sports such as hiking, golf, fly-fishing, and skiing. The older students serve as mentors and coach the younger girls as they develop their leadership skills. Purnell understands that teaching 21st century skills does not end at the schoolhouse door and through intentional design sports can be a positive platform for positive development.

High Class Athletic Facilities

Our athletic facilities include five outdoor tennis courts, two sports fields, the Sessions softball field and outdoor batting cage, a ropes course, and an indoor athletic center. The Moran Athletics Center boasts a 1,000 square foot gymnasium, an aerobics studio, a cardio/weight room, and a dedicated dance studio.

Purnell competes in the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools Athletics Association.

Team SportsLifeSports
Dance Synthesis
Weights & Cardio Training
Horseback Riding (see below)
Ropes Course (see below)

Dance Synthesis

dance synthesis purnell program

Dance Synthesis is Purnell’s auditioned dance company. While run through the Performing Arts department, practice takes place during sports time. The goals of the ensemble are to develop and maintain a technical dance foundation, treat their bodies with respect and proper alignment, and explore a wide scope of dance backgrounds including ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and hip hop. As performers, the members of Dance Synthesis perform on the Carney Center stage for Family Weekends, Winter Performing Arts Nights, and Spring Performing Arts Nights. In addition, Dance Synthesis participates and performs in dance workshops throughout New York and New Jersey, and Somerset County's Teen Arts Festival every spring.


horse riding program at purnell

Our Riding program occurs off-campus at Redfield Farms, a nearby top show facility. Here qualified instructors teach beginning through advanced hunt seat equitation in indoor and outdoor riding facilities.

Students are able to participate in local horse shows and are allowed to bring their own horse and board it at Redfield Farms. We provide transportation to Redfield Farms four times per week during the sports meeting time in the afternoon. Students who sign up for riding are expected to attend all sessions and must have an ASTM/SEI approved riding hat, simple riding clothes, and shoes or boots made specifically for riding.

For more information about Purnell's Riding Program please contact Donna Martin at (908) 439-4017 or dmartin@purnell.org.

"Purnell has helped me succeed as a student, and as an individual. I love to ride horses, but I've also found an interest in acting. I'm involved in Adlibbers Acting Troupe and Technical Theater. And I'm also a part of Roots and Shoots, a community service group."

Join the Club

How will you enrich your Purnell experience? You’re a click away from taking the next step.


Meet Alexandra

New Jersey/9th Grade

"I joined the soccer team and became the starting goalie. I never thought I'd have this much fun playing soccer or that I'd improve as much as I have at the sport. Purnell has helped to make me more confident in so many ways."

alex has adhd and auditory processing disorder. she has found success in purnell's small classes and with a supportive faculty that truly understands her learning style.

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