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The effort by Deerfield town reformers to seize control of the Dickinson High School, the town's joint venture in high school education with the Deerfield Academy, came at the end of two decades of decline. By 1900, both schools were in poor condition, so much so that many Deerfield families had begun to send their children to Greenfield high schools. This effort would prove to be unsuccessful. Both schools continued to decline until the arrival of a new, young, energetic headmaster, Frank Boyden, in 1902. Through Boyden's leadership, the Deerfield Academy, and its associated Dickinson High School, soon regained its stature as a premier institution of education.