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Sound Mind in Sound Body
|Boston, MA, USA|
|Type||Private Girls' School|
|Headmistress||Rachel Friis Stettler|
|Student to teacher ratio||7:1|
|Campus||Urban, 7 acres (28,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Red and White|
|Rival||Dana Hall School|
The Winsor School is a girls' college prep school for day students in grades 5-12 founded in 1886. The school is located at 103 Pilgrim Rd. in Boston, Massachusetts and has approximately 432 students representing 57 communities in Massachusetts. The endowment as of July 1, 2007 was $50,516,000 which is $110,640 per student. 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. In April 2010, the Winsor School was named one of the top 10 prep schools in America by Forbes.
In 1886 Mary Pickard Winsor started a six-month school in Boston for her aunt's daughter and friends. 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 requested 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 during formal assemblies and commencement. Winsor continued as head of the school until 1922. She wanted to prepare women to be self-sufficient and self-supporting, and hoped they would be competent, responsible, and generous-minded. She influenced the growth of her school and showed continued interest in it until her death in 1950.
The school has expanded its facilities over the years, including a turf playing field in 2008, 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. The Winsor Dining Services are Green Restaurant Certified. There are now 420 students. Seven directors have led the school in its 126-year history, all of which have been women.
There are now plans for a renovation which will build a new gymnasium and fine arts building, to begin construction in early 2013.
Class IV Shakespeare Play: Every year the entire eighth grade helps produce the Shakespeare play. In recent years they have changed this from producing one play to producing scenes from several plays which all contain the same theme, such as Aspects of Love or Power. The theme is chosen the year before by the English and Theatre departments collaboratively. The students read and analyze a single play, usually, A Midsummer Night's Dream, in their English courses, and they audition for roles during scheduled "Shakespeare blocks". The students construct the sets in Art classes, and learn the musical score in Music class. The play is performed in the Winter by the entire grade without exception.
Class rings: Each Winsor Junior who chooses to purchase a ring is presented with her class ring by a voluntary member of the Senior class. There's a small ceremony organized by the Senior class, usually involving baked goods and singing. Students can choose to purchase either a silver, gold, or white gold class ring, all of which are engraved with the Lamp of Learning. Additionally, a student can have her initials and year of graduation engraved inside the ring.
Banner: The Sophomore class sews and designs a banner to celebrate the Senior class. The banner is revealed at a ceremony, with parents and faculty in attendance, in which a photo slideshow, class T-shirts, and a song chosen and sung by the Sophomore class is presented. The theme of the banner is a well-kept secret, and only the Sophomore class knows the theme until the banner is presented.
Spirit Week: A week in October, which gives students and teachers alike an opportunity to dress up in various themed outfits (i.e. Wild West Day, Superhero Day, Inanimate Object Day). The final day of the week is always Red Day, a day in which everything from red facepaint to red hairdye is used.
Under the Lights: An event which concludes spirit week on a Friday. The Soccer and Field Hockey teams play a rival school; this event is often revered as the school's "homecoming."
Senior Prank: The Seniors pull a prank. It is now generally in April as this is the last month of classes for the seniors. In previous years the prank has included covering the stairs with cupcakes and setting up a moonbounce in the cafeteria.
Teacher Talent Show: A bi-yearly tradition where the teachers put on a humorous talent show. Much beloved by students and teachers alike, it is often one of the highlights of the year.
Placement into reputable academic institutions is one of Winsor's most coveted successes, with an "Ivy Pipeline" of approximately 31%. However, some people have also chosen to not go to college immediately, instead taking periods of time to travel, study abroad, or engage in public service projects such as City Year. Winsor's college counseling program provides frequent individualized guidance to students and their families in choosing the right Academic Institution after Winsor. The past five classes at Winsor have most often matriculated into the following colleges and universities:
- Harvard University – 24
- Boston College – 15
- Vanderbilt University – 11
- Yale University – 11
- Brown University – 9
- Dartmouth College – 9
- The George Washington University – 9
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 8
- Columbia University – 7
- Duke University – 7
- Georgetown University – 7
- University of Pennsylvania – 7
- Wesleyan University – 7
- New York University – 6
- Northwestern University – 6
- Amherst College – 5
- Carleton College – 5
- Johns Hopkins University – 5
- Princeton University – 5
- Stanford University – 5
- Swarthmore College – 5
- Trinity College– 5
- Tufts University – 5
True to Winsor's mission statement of producing "responsible, generous-minded Winsor women," the following alumnae are worthy of note
- Helenka Adamowska Pantaleoni (1918), silent film actress, humanitarian, and founder/long-time head of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF.
- Barbara Cushing Mortimer Paley (1934), debutante and Vogue editor
- Tenley Albright (1953), 1952 Olympic silver and 1956 gold medalist (singles' figure skating), and surgeon
- Martha Field (1961), first female law clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court and professor at Harvard Law School
- Lisa Monaco (1968) Director of Homeland Security Council
- Hilary Birmingham (1985), film writer and director (Tully, 2000)
- Leslie Dewan (2002), inventor and co-founder of Transatomic Power
- Genevra "Gevvie" Stone (2003), member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team (women's single sculling)
- The Winsor School
- Staff writer (2007-12-28). "How the Schools Stack Up". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Laneri, Raquel. "In Pictures: America's Best Prep Schools". Forbes.
- "The Making of the Shakespeare Play". Winsor School. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- "Best Prep Schools in America: Top 10". The Winsor School. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- "College Counseling and Placement". Winsor School. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Lisa Monaco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
- The Winsor School. "Inventor Leslie Dewan ’02 Speaks with Students". Retrieved 24 January 2014.