History & Traditions


Lighthouse School was founded by Lizbet Carroll Fuller and Elizabeth Edwards Sundell with the intent to create a joyful place for children to learn and grow. In September of 2000, Lighthouse School opened its doors to 12 children and two teachers in the barn at Nantucket Island School of Design and Art (NISDA).

Lizbet Carroll Fuller

Elizabeth Edwards Sundell

In its first five years, Lighthouse School established itself as a unique and dynamic educational choice for island families. The school quickly outgrew two facilities in these years – having started in a rented barn at NISDA before moving to a ranch house on Hooper Farm Road. The school grew with its oldest students through the 5th grade and the older classes were held nearby in a temporary classroom on the Rugged Road site designated for a new schoolhouse.


In 2007, the new building was named The Chace Schoolhouse to honor the members of the Chace family, whose generosity enabled the Lighthouse School to become a reality.


In 2010 Nantucket Lighthouse School launched a middle school program. The school now serves children preschool through 8th grade. Lighthouse School currently houses its preschool through Upper Primary classes at the 1 Rugged Road campus, while classrooms in the St. Paul’s Church Parish House serve as the downtown campus of the 5th through 8th grades.


Throughout its development, Lighthouse School has remained true to its founding curriculum, joyfully educating students through a developmentally appropriate program that engages and challenges the whole child – head, heart and hand.


Some of our most enduring traditions began in these early years including:

Winter Celebration

When each class puts on a play for their parents

Project Presentation Night

An end of year celebration showcasing classroom projects undertaken throughout the year

Yuletide Fair

Our annual holiday celebration featuring heirloom quality gifts and handcrafts

All School Garden

An extension of the classrooms at Lighthouse School