The Tome School’s roots lie in the vision of Jacob Tome (1810-1898), a merchant, banker, and philanthropist who lived most of his life in Cecil County, Maryland, and desired a means to give back to the community. He set out to create a school that would offer the finest of education to students willing to undergo its regimen, regardless of their families’ ability to pay the cost. His commitment to this vision was so passionate that he donated much of his considerable wealth to the creation of Tome. In announcing his preliminary plans in 1889, Mr. Tome said, “I have lived for fifty-six years in Port Deposit and have made my money there. I think it is only right that I should spend some of it for the good of the people there. My purpose is to erect and equip the necessary schools and laboratories for 500 children. I want to give them a practical education to fit them for the duties of life.”
The Tome School was built and flourished – eventually outgrowing its original buildings in Port Deposit. In 1971, the school moved to a hundred-acre property in North East, MD, and a new addition was put on the building in 2004. Today Tome School serves 500 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The school today continues to faithfully reflect its founder’s aims. The curriculum differs in many important respects, particularly in rigor, from that of typical American elementary and secondary education. Additionally, Tome was the founding school for the Cum Laude Society in 1906. It continues to value honor and academic excellence, balancing that with a wide variety of extracurricular activities, community service opportunities, and athletics.