Winsor School

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Winsor School
Winsor School - DSC09885.JPG
Coordinates42°20′26″N 71°6′26″W / 42.34056°N 71.10722°W / 42.34056; -71.10722Coordinates: 42°20′26″N 71°6′26″W / 42.34056°N 71.10722°W / 42.34056; -71.10722
TypePrivate Girls' School
MottoSound Mind in Sound Body
Sister schoolBelmont Hill School, Roxbury Latin School
HeadmistressSarah Pelmas
Student to teacher ratio7:1
Campus size7 acres (28,000 m2)
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)Red and White
Song"Lamp of Learning"
Athletics13 sports, 35 teams

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 Road 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.[1] 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.[2] In April 2010, the Winsor School was named one of the top 10 prep schools in America by Forbes.[3]


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 has since been discontinued).

"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. 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 My School Dining. There are now 420 students. Seven directors, all women, have led the school in its 126-year history.

They have recently finished building a new addition to the school, costing upwards of $80,000,000. This addition has included a new gym, workout facilities, as well as new music and performing arts facilities. This building is called The Lubin O'Donnell Center for the Performing Arts, Athletics and Wellness.

The Winsor School is featured on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail.[4]

Notable alumnae[edit]


  1. ^ The Winsor School
  2. ^ Staff writer (2007-12-28). "How the Schools Stack Up". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
  3. ^ Laneri, Raquel. "In Pictures: America's Best Prep Schools". Forbes.
  4. ^ "Back Bay East". Boston Women's Heritage Trail.
  5. ^ The Winsor School. "Inventor Leslie Dewan '02 Speaks with Students". Retrieved 24 January 2014.