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Westover School

Westover School

Westover School

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Westover School

1237 Whittemore Rd, Middlebury, CT 06762, USA


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Westover School

The School Estate consists of homestead, meadow and woodland. In the general character of the building the endeavor has been to combine appropriateness with beauty, so that the charm and dignity of the academic and domestic atmosphere shall be an unconscious but elevating influence endearing the place to all coming under its associations." - From Westover's first catalogue "Be quiet and let your spirit fill the buildings." - Theodate Pope Riddle to Mary Robbins Hillard Mary Robbins Hillard was the daughter of a clergyman, teacher for six years and Assistant Headmistress of the Collegiate School, and Headmistress when it became St. Margaret's. While she was Headmistress, she decided to plan a new school west and over the hill from Waterbury, thus escaping the confinements of the city. In the words of one of her sisters, "She wanted to manage young people and set them on the right paths, impressing her girls with a sense of the real values of life." Crossways was used by the students to learn how to prepare a meal. Plays ranged from those written by students themselves to classics such as "She Stoops To Conquer" by Goldsmith and Sheridan's "The Rivals", Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Aria Da Capo", and adaptations from Dickens and Lewis Carroll. Students were also priviliged to hear many distinguished musicians and lecturers on such subjects as balloons, literature, and the Russian Revolution, just starting. The Nativity Play was an annual tradition. Sports have always been an important part of the day at Westover. The students at this time were involved in field hockey, ice hockey, basketball, tennis, and skiing. There was also a tobogganing ramp for snowy winters. The team sports were played between the West, Over, and Senior teams, as there were no other schools close enough to play against at that time. "When the war was declared the girls began doing surgical dressings and working for the Red Cross ... They subscribed to war stamps and bonds; there were gassless Sundays...and candyless Sunday dinners ... In 1918 Westover was asked to join a Red Cross parade in Waterbury." "It [the parade] went very well, and the remarks from the gutters were great. 'Look at them march- and they're all girls!' 'Not a man to keep them straight!' "'They must have regular training out there!' 'Look at the way they stand up!'" - excerpt from the diary of C. Rachel Trowbridge, Class of 1918 The curriculum consisted of Mathematics, English, Latin, Science, French, Italian, Music (piano, violin, and singing), Drawing, and History. History of Art and of Architecture were soon added, as was Psychology. Later Italian was dropped and German had an intermittent career.
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