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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]
Average SAT scores 680 [Math] 660 [Reading] 690 [Writing] 2030 [Composite][3]
Yearbook Gyre

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.[4]


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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

The first Wheeler Field Day was celebrated in 1915 and is the oldest continuously-celebrated tradition at the School.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

The Hamilton School at Wheeler opened in 1988 to its first group of 35 students in grades 1-6.[4]

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.[4]

Wheeler was the Providence site of the Summerbridge National program in 1992.[4]

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.[4]

The school today[when?] has nearly 800 students[5] 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. ^ https://k12.niche.com/wheeler-school-providence-ri/
  4. ^ 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>.
  5. ^ 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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652243 videos foundNext > 

Wheeler School Class of 2015 Senior Video

Congratulations Class of 2015!

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."

16 "School Day"@"Mr.Wheeler&Friends" CARtoons

Today is Speedy Andy, Razy Kelly, Sporty Joey,Towie Cobie and Choppy Tony first day of school, Andy haven't got up, still sleeping, Mr.Wheeler & friends how ...

Cheryl Wheeler - School Girls

Cheryl Wheeler - School Girls; from the album Mrs. Pinocci's Guitar.

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.

Fire breaks out inside Wheeler School overnight

Crews were able to bring the fire under control fairly quickly.

High School. Quarterfinal. Huntington Prep - Wheeler 02.04.15

Wheeler School 2015 Senior Project Places to Visit

2015 Senior Project, Wheeler School in Providence RI . All Pictures were taken in Providence RI or Seekonk MA. The music was created using GarageBand.

Wheeler School Chorus Sings in Downcity Providence

652243 videos foundNext > 

650 news items

The Providence Journal
Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:37:30 -0800

Chazan Gallery at Wheeler: Wheeler School, 228 Angell St., Providence. 421-9230, chazangallery.org. "Scratching the Surface — Rhode Island College Printmaking," works by Yizhak Elyashiv, Stephen Fisher, John Rapczak and Crandon Whitsitt-Lynch.
Norwich Bulletin
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:53:03 -0800

Friday's Games. Boys. Basketball. Ellis Tech at Achievement First, 5 p.m.. Grasso Tech at Norwich Tech, 6 p.m.. Ledyard at Woodstock Academy, 7 p.m.. East Lyme at NFA, 7 p.m.. Lyman at Windham, 7 p.m.. Montville at Killingly, 7 p.m.. Putnam at Windham ...

WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

WPRI 12 Eyewitness News
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 03:50:51 -0700

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Crews were called early Friday morning following reports of a fire. It started just after 2 a.m. on Angell Street at The Wheeler School. Crews were able to bring the fire under control fairly quickly. School officials said ...
The Providence Journal
Wed, 27 Jan 2016 21:03:45 -0800

Chazan Gallery at Wheeler: Wheeler School, 228 Angell St., Providence. 421-9230, chazangallery.org. "Scratching the Surface — Rhode Island College Printmaking," works by Yizhak Elyashiv, Stephen Fisher, John Rapczak and Crandon Whitsitt-Lynch.

Plainville Citizen

Plainville Citizen
Mon, 01 Feb 2016 06:15:16 -0800

The first three sessions will be held indoors at the Wheeler school and the final two will move to the North Ridge Golf Club, weather permitting. The clinic is geared to adults and is for both beginner and intermediate golfers. “The first sessions ...
The Providence Journal
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 08:56:15 -0700

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --Fire damaged an art room at the Wheeler School early Friday morning when a kiln set fire to wooden flooring, according to the Fire Department. Firefighters, who responded at 1:55 a.m., had some difficulty accessing the complex, which ...

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe
Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:14:24 -0800

30, from 7 to 9 p.m. In addition to St. Mark's, this year's festival will include choral groups from the Pomfret School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Algonquin Regional High School, Wellesley College, Middlesex School, Roxbury Latin, Wheeler School, Noble ...
Norwich Bulletin
Tue, 26 Jan 2016 19:33:45 -0800

Wheeler School (R.I.) 67. WOODSTOCK — Rodney Ray totaled 19 points, 12 rebounds and three assists to move the Wolfpack back above .500. Jordan Burney had 21 points and eight rebounds for Hyde (7-6) and Eamonn Joyce Jr. added 12 points and ...

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