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Wheeler School
The Spirit Giveth Life
216 Hope Street
Providence, Rhode Island, 02906
United States
Coordinates 41°49′44″N 71°23′52″W / 41.828954°N 71.397875°W / 41.828954; -71.397875Coordinates: 41°49′44″N 71°23′52″W / 41.828954°N 71.397875°W / 41.828954; -71.397875
Type Private
Established 1889
CEEB Code 400170
NCES School ID Wheeler: 01258081[1]
Hamilton: A9300828[2]
Head of School Dan Miller
Faculty Wheeler: 123[1]
Hamilton 16.3[2]
Enrollment Wheeler: 788[1]
Hamilton: 72[2]
Student to teacher ratio 6.2:1
Campus Urban, 12 acres (4.9 ha)
Farm, 120 acres (49 ha)
Color(s)      Purple
Athletics SENE and Rhode Island Interscholastic League
Mascot The Warrior
Accreditation NAIS[1]

The Wheeler School is a coeducational independent day school located on the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island, United States. The school serves students from the nursery level through twelfth-grade.[3]


Mary C. Wheeler[edit]

School founder, Mary Colman Wheeler was born in Concord, Massachusetts, on May 15, 1846. She graduated from Concord High School and Abbot Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. She began her educational career teaching mathematics and Latin in the Concord school system. In 1868, she moved to Providence, Rhode Island to teach at Miss Shaw's, a finishing school for young ladies. In the 1870s, Wheeler twice traveled to Europe to study art and painting and between her trips enrolled in a variety of art history courses taught by Brown University professors. In 1882, she opened an art studio in the Waterman Building on North Main Street in Providence. Two years later she moved into a house and studio she built at 24 Cabot Street and began to offer painting classes for young women three days a week, and for children on Saturdays. In addition she held an evening lecture series on Greek literature and early American history.[3]

In 1887, Wheeler took a group of young women to Giverny, France for a summer of painting, art history and French. These trips were repeated many times through the next two decades and link Wheeler to a number of American Impressionist artists as well as French Impressionist Claude Monet.[3]

Early history[edit]

In 1900, adding an academic college preparatory curriculum to her art instruction, Mary Wheeler accepted ten female students as boarders and officially founded The Mary C. Wheeler School. A building on Brook Street was purchased in 1898 to house girls enrolled in the preparatory program for her Cabot Street School.[3]

In 1910, Hope Building was constructed to provide living and dining facilities required by a growing student body and faculty. In 1912 the original Fresh Air Building was completed, though it was later rebuilt. The Mary C. Wheeler School thus became one of the first American schools to use the principles of Dr. Montessori in its kindergarten instruction. Wheeler also purchased the Froebel Kindergarten School and the School admitted boys into its pre-primary grades until the 1950s.[3]

The daughter of a farmer, Wheeler continued on to acquire a 78-acre (32 ha) farm and house in Seekonk, Massachusetts in 1912-13. She subsequently purchased an adjoining farm and buildings, bringing the total land holdings to slightly more than 120 acres (49 ha). At one point, she advertised her school in Vogue as The Mary C. Wheeler Town & Country School.[3]

Mary Helena Dey was hired in 1914 to reorder the school’s curriculum. As a result, the school became a pioneer in the educational theories of John Dewey. Through Dey’s contacts, such notables as Carl Sandburg came to campus to meet with students or in Sandburg’s case, deliver the graduation address.[3]

The first Wheeler Field Day was celebrated in 1915 and is the oldest continuously-celebrated tradition at the School.[3]

Middle years: 1920-1980[edit]

Wheeler died in 1920 at the age of 73. In her will she established a Board of Trustees to oversee her school. Mary Helena Dey, who had studied under educational theorist John Dewey at the University of Chicago, was named headmistress. In the mid-20s, the Farm facilities were expanded at a cost of $4,400 to include a field hockey field and two tennis courts. The “swimming hole” was enlarged and deepened. Later an arboretum featuring several hundred unusual plants and trees was established at the Farm in Dey's name, but has been lost to time.[3]

In 1940 Mabel Van Norman was appointed the third headmistress on the retirement of Dey, Van Norman continued the school through the years of World War II and spent time visiting war-torn schools in the Netherlands and Belgium which Wheeler students helped to support with food and supplies. In 1950 she was succeeded by S. Rowland “Rowly” Morgan, Jr. upon her retirement.[3]

Morgan became the first male to lead the School and a Head’s residence was purchased at 211 Hope Street to provide a home outside of the girls' dormitory for his family. In 1952, the Wheeler Annual Fund was established to support the School through donations by alumni, family and friends.[3]

In 1968 Hugh A. Madden was named headmaster on the retirement of Rowly Morgan. Coeducation was approved for the lower grades in 1973 and expanded to include the entire school in 1975. The name of the school officially changed to The Wheeler School. The boarding program phased out in 1979.


A typical graduation ring from the Wheeler School

William C. Prescott, Jr. succeeded Hugh Madden in 1980.[3]

The Hamilton School at Wheeler opened in 1988 to its first group of 35 students in grades 1-6.[3]

In 1990 a new library was constructed. The building was designed by Schwartz/Silver Architects of Boston. A large division of the Library is named in memory of third headmistress Mabel Van Norman.[3]

Wheeler was the Providence site of the Summerbridge National program in 1992.[3]

WELH- FM (Wheeler's radio station at FM 88.1) went on the air in 1994 at the end of a 10-year process begun as an Aerie student project. At present, it broadcasts Spanish-language programming in the morning and a golden oldies format in the afternoon. The station streams via the internet. Students also use the facilities to record news programs and interviews.[3]

The school today[when?] has nearly 800 students[4] with 200 faculty and staff. In addition to its main campus in Providence, the School has a 120-acre (49 ha) Farm facility for athletics, its Sixth Grade Farm Program, summer camp, ropes course, sports programs and environmental research.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Search for Private Schools - School Detail for Wheeler School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved Oct 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Search for Private Schools - School Detail for Hamilton School At Wheeler". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved Oct 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Flynn, Laurie, comp. "History of the School." The Wheeler School. The Wheeler School, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2010. <http://www.wheelerschool.org/podium/default.aspx?t=112097&rc=0>.
  4. ^ Miller, Dan. "Head of School's Welcome." The Wheeler School. The Wheeler School, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2010.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler_School — Please support Wikipedia.
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432391 videos foundNext > 


The Wheeler School Presents: The Pink Glove Dance

The Wheeler School's very own pink glove dance video.

"Take Up The Song" 2014 Wheeler School Holiday Festival

Join nearly 1000 Wheeler students, alumni, faculty and staff as they rehearse for the annual Holiday Festival with the traditional finale, "Take Up The Song."

Wheeler High School Beats Miller Grove High School

BallGame Media was able to cover the NIke Explosion Tournament at Wheeler High School. Nationally Ranked Wheeler High School led by Jaylen Brown and Daniel Giddens beat Miller Grove Follow.

High School. Quarterfinal. Huntington Prep - Wheeler 02.04.15

Cheryl Wheeler - School Girls

Cheryl Wheeler sings School Girls in Portsmouth, RI 5/11 Music and Lyrics by Cheryl Wheeler Kenny White accompanies on keyboard.

2014 Wheeler High School Basketball Pep Rally MC Performance

The MC performance in the 2014 basketball pep rally.

Wheeler Vs Walton Region Championship game

wheeler high school basketball team defeats walton high school. WHS vs WHS Extra Tags: Elijah Staley, Avery Patterson, Jaylen Brown, Jb, Daniel Giddens, Joseph Wheeler High School, Basketball,...

9/11 memorial by Wheeler School students

Each year students of the Wheeler School in Providence place approximately 3000 American flags on the school's East Campus to commemorate the attacks of September 11th, 2001. Each flag ...

Wheeler School does the Harlem Shake

432391 videos foundNext > 

615 news items


Tue, 07 Apr 2015 11:47:03 -0700

The Wheeler School's a cappella group, "18 Wheelers," will be competing in the 2015 International Championship of High School A Cappella. The event takes place in New York City on Friday, April 17, and it features the best high school a cappella groups ...
Norwich Bulletin
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 18:30:00 -0700

Marianapolis at Wheeler School, 3:30 p.m.. Lacrosse. Stonington at Woodstock, 4 p.m.. Bacon Academy at Fitch, 4 p.m.. St. Bernard-Wheeler at Ledyard, 4 p.m.. NFA at Montville, 5 p.m.. Waterford at East Lyme, 7 p.m.. Tennis. NFA at Bacon Academy, 3:45 ...
Valley Breeze
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 22:37:30 -0700

Instead, they entered this week at .500, no thanks to an 11-10 loss to Cranston West in their second game of the season and disappointing defeats to Narragansett and the Wheeler School late last week. Last Thursday, the Clippers carried a one-goal lead ...
Plainville Citizen
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 06:50:58 -0700

He was on the Building and Grounds Committees for the Wheeler school, Trask school and Toffolon school renovations. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army for four years. In addition, he was a benefactor and friend to the Plainville Choral ...

The Providence Journal

The Providence Journal
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 21:07:30 -0700

... p.m. at Dryden Gallery, Providence Picture Frame, 27 Dryden Lane, Providence. Wines provided by Nikki's, food and cheese pairings prepared by Julian's, and a performance by The Wheeler School Jazz Ensemble are featured. Tickets are $40 in advance, ...
The Sun Chronicle
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 11:45:00 -0700

Traces of the Trade, A Story from the Deep North, April 30, 7 to 9 p.m., Wheeler School's Gilder Center for the Arts, 216 Hope St. (Hope and Angell), Providence. Award-winning documentary about DeWolf family, who discovered its R.I. ancestors were the ...

Providence Media

Providence Media
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:15:00 -0700

Spring into a New Wardrobe With the spring months upon us, it's time for some post-spring cleaning shopping to freshen up your life. And what better place to do so than the annual Wheeler School Clothing & More Sale? Offering everything from gently ...

The Providence Journal

The Providence Journal
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:03:45 -0700

Bomba is the director of unity and diversity at The Wheeler School and has served as an educational services coordinator for the state Department of Children, Youth and Families. She is a member of the board of Youth in Action and formerly served as a ...

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