The Winsor School

The Winsor School

Infobox Private School
name = The Winsor School

motto = "Sound Mind in Sound Body
established = 1886
type = Private
religion = None
head_name = Headmistress
head = Rachel Friis Stettler
city = Boston
state = MA
country = USA
campus = Urban, convert|7|acre|m2
enrollment = 430
faculty = 77
class =
ratio = 7:1
mascot = Wildcat
symbol = Lamp of Learning| year =
athletics = 13 sports
35 teams
colors = Red
homepage = []
Founded in 1886, The Winsor School is a girls' college prep school for day students in grades 5-12. The school is located in Boston, Massachusetts and has approximately 432 students representing 57 communities in Massachusetts. The endowment as of July 1st, 2007 was $50,516,000 which is $116,400 per student. [ [ The Winsor School ] ] In late 2007, the Wall Street Journal identified Winsor School as one of the world's top 50 schools for its success in preparing students to enter top American universities.cite web|url=|title=How the Schools Stack Up|publisher="The Wall Street Journal"|date=2007-12-28|author=Staff writer|accessdate=2008-07-25]

From a Student

Winsor is a GREAT place for so many different types of people! I love Winsor!!


The Winsor School is dedicated to developing the individual talents of academically promising and motivated girls in grades five through twelve. It has a rigorous academic curriculum that is complemented by strong offerings in the arts and physical education. The school helps students build a foundation of skills and knowledge to serve as a lifelong base for independent thinking, problem solving, creativity, and wise decision-making.

Winsor students are expected to pursue academic and personal excellence and to show concern and respect for others, for the community of the school, and for the world in which they live. They are encouraged by a dedicated and caring faculty to develop confidence in all areas of study, to express themselves effectively, to become leaders, and to face challenges with courage and integrity.

Committed to diversity in its student body and faculty and to an inclusive curriculum, the school fosters an appreciation of individual and cultural differences along with a recognition of the fundamental interdependence of all people. [ [ The Winsor School | The School | About Winsor | Mission ] ]

More than a century after Winsor's founding, its original goal -- to develop "competent, responsible, generous-minded women" -- remains fresh, valid, and challenging. Winsor has a sister school relationship with both Belmont Hill and Roxbury Latin schools.


In 1886 Miss Mary Pickard Winsor started a six-month school in Boston for her aunt's daughter and friends. Miss Winsor, who had been teaching at her mother's school in Winchester, began with eight little girls in a private home on Beacon Hill. She quickly established a viable and growing school for girls, which bore her name, and began sending its graduates to college in 1895. She established the present structure of eight classes, grades 5-12, offering a ninth, graduate, year (which was discontinued many years ago).

Miss Winsor's School occupied a number of different locations on the Hill until a group of parents asked her to be the director of the school they intended to build. They hoped to secure for children in private schools "at least equivalent advantages given to those in the Public Schools, as to fire-proof construction, light, ventilation, and other sanitary arrangements." They formed a corporation in 1907, bought land on the Fenway, and hired the Boston architect R. Clipston Sturgis to build "the most perfect schoolhouse." It included a library, science laboratories, art studios, and a gymnasium and swimming tank. The students and alumnae insisted that the new school be named for Miss Winsor. President Eliot of Harvard, who was very supportive of the project, suggested the motto "A sound mind in a sound body."

In 1910 The Winsor School opened with 225 students. The lamp, which had been presented by the last class to graduate from Miss Winsor's School at 95-96 Beacon Street, came with them and used to burn on opening day and at graduation. Current fire protocols have prohibited the lighting of the lamp, though the senior class president still carries it, sadly, not burning. Miss Winsor continued as head of the school until 1922. She wanted to prepare women to be self-sufficient, indeed, self-supporting, and hoped they would be competent, responsible, and generous-minded. She left a very strong imprint on her school and showed continued interest in it until her death in 1950.

The school has expanded its facilities over the years, adding a full gymnasium in the 1920s, a science wing in the 1980s, expanding the library more than once, adding classrooms in the 1990s, reconstructing a new dining hall, classrooms, laboratories, and faculty work space in 2004, and most recently, renovating many classrooms, offices, and corridors. There are now 420 students. Seven directors have led the school in its 118-year history, all women, all active and influential in the world of education.

Notable alumnae

*Katherine Sergeant Angell White (1910), editor at The New Yorker and wife of E.B. White, author of "Charlotte's Web" []
*Barbara Cushing Mortimer Paley (1934), debutante, Vogue editor, wife of William Paley, one of Truman Capote's "swans"
*Tenley Albright (1953), Olympic gold medalist (figure skating) and surgeon
*Hilary Birmingham (1985), screen writer and film director (Tully, 2000)
*Jennifer Slingerland Skeele (1971), noted and beloved Winsor English faculty member
*Elizabeth D. Samet, winner of the Los Angeles Book Prize (2007)
*Sarah Quinlan,(1978) hedge fund manager


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