|Ensworth School was chartered in 1958 and opened September 10 that year with 152 students in 8 grades and 10 teachers. The school had its origin in the desire of several dedicated Nashville parents for an independent, coeducational school that would provide challenging academics, small classes, and a nurturing environment for elementary and middle school children. A large Tudor-style home, called Red Gables, was purchased for the school, and John Comfort was named first Headmaster.|
By 1959, Ensworth's tradition of strong parent involvement and support was already in evidence with the first Ensworth Auction conducted to fund necessities for the young school. In that year, also, a kindergarten, now called Pre-First Grade, was added to the Ensworth program.
Through the next three decades the school attracted more students, added facilities including a gymnasium, library, and dining room, and began development efforts. The first Annual Fund was inaugurated in 1973, the Endowment Fund was established in 1977, and the first alumni gathering was held in 1979.
Programming increased to include class trips, a Life Skills program, computer education, and participation in athletics. Ensworth's athletic director and administration were instrumental in establishing the Harpeth Valley Athletic Conference that continues to provide avenues for middle school students to take part in varsity sports competitions. Latin and Spanish were added to the foreign language choices, enhancing the French program begun in the school's early years. Faculty-driven initiatives in technology integration and curriculum review and the administration's commitment to professional development have further strengthened the teaching program. The availability of funds for financial aid enabled the school to attract students with more diverse backgrounds.
Capital campaigns in 1992 and 1996 enabled Ensworth to renovate spaces and add major new facilities including Frist Hall for music education, performances, and special events. The $60 million Campaign for Ensworth, begun in 2002, had as its objectives the construction of a new academic building for the middle school, a new library, renovated spaces for art and science, the addition of classrooms to bring class sizes down to 16 throughout Ensworth's nine grades, and the expansion of Ensworth's program to include grades 9-12 on a new campus.
Patton Hall middle school building and the new Hortense B. Ingram Library, along with the Hart Discovery Center for Science and Art, were officially dedicated in September 2003, marking the achievement of the objectives for the P1-8th grade campus. The Ensworth High School, located on 127 acres of historic property adjacent to Edwin Warner Park and the Harpeth River, opened in August 2004 with its charter class of 9th graders.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school's founding, the 2007-08 year was highlighted by a major Birthday project: Ensworth built four homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity on a cul de sac named Tiger Circle in honor of the school's mascot. More than 800 volunteers from all parts of the Ensworth community, along with students at all grade levels, participated in the building activities during March-April 2008. At the close of the 50th Birthday year, the High School graduated its first senior class May 30, 2008.
In 2008-2009 a 643-seat theater was completed and opened at the Devon Farm campus, providing an exciting venue for the visual and performing arts as well as a gathering place for assemblies and programs. The school worked with Dr. Rich Milner, Ensworth's first Scholar-in-Residence, as he worked with students, faculty, and parents to enhance the efforts of the Diversity Council. High School students and faculty traveled to Peru, and faculty began the groundwork in Kenya, Africa, for service learning opportunities in the future. A new athletic center for the Red Gables campus was completed in spring 2011, and the fourth and final Cornerstone Class graduated from the high school.
Ensworth began the 2011-2012 school year with 1,053 students representing 48 zip codes and a faculty-staff of 200. The school's first exchange student, a junior from China, attended Ensworth. In January 2013, an Aquatics program was initiated with the opening of the Natatorium on the High School campus. David J. Braemer begins his second year as Head of School as the 2013-2014 school year gets underway with an expanded fifth grade program and a total enrollment of 1,072 students representing 48 zip codes.