Academy at Penguin Hall

Courtesy photo. A new all-girls Catholic high school is opening in Wenham at the Penguin Hall estate off Essex Street.

WENHAM — A new all-girls Catholic high school is coming to the North Shore.

The Academy at Penguin Hall is scheduled to open in September on the grounds of the Penguin Hall estate on Essex Street in Wenham, according to the school's website.

The school bought the 50-acre estate for $10.35 million from James Mullen on Jan. 26, according to deed records. Mullen ran the Mullen Communications advertising agency on the property for 20 years until 2009.

School officials declined to comment for this story.

According to its website, the school president is Molly Martins. Martins is a Wenham resident and vice president of The Martins Companies, a real estate development and construction company in Danvers. She is also the former chairwoman of the Wenham Board of Selectmen.

In her welcoming letter on the website, Martins said the school will be "rooted in the Catholic tradition of education" and will serve students from more than 40 communities. Tuition is $22,000.

"For years we have known that young women in Essex County and the surrounding towns would benefit from an all-girls secondary school," Martins wrote. "We are thrilled to offer a unique opportunity that has not been available to girls in our community until now with the opening of The Academy at Penguin Hall in September 2016."

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or

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