Isabel Greenbaum Stone, Founder
In 1926, Isabel Greenbaum Stone, the mother of three sons – Donald, Robert and James– and with two teachers–Agnes Inglis and Eleanor Foster–formed a progressive day school with 21 students in an old real estate office in New Rochelle. They called it, "Windward," because sailing windward requires more skill, effort, and persistence than sailing before the wind. Careful records were kept and the cooperation between teachers and parents defined the school's philosophy. They believed that every child had their own unique potential and groups were determined by the needs of the child. The school environment was adapted to students' needs and it was more about cooperation than competition.
In the next four years, under Mrs. Stone's careful guidance, student enrollment increased from the initial 21 students to the point where the school outgrew its old farmhouse on Quaker Ridge Road. She then mobilized parents to purchase the property on 13 Windward Avenue in White Plains, N.Y. and built a new school. The original structure is now the “Old Schoolhouse” wing of Windward's main Westchester Lower School building.
During her tenure as Head of School, Mrs. Stone developed a personal philosophy of learning and instruction that was comprehensive and visionary. She was keenly aware of the significance of family-school collaboration, the quality of specific classroom teaching methods, and the benefits of hands-on learning, long before they were accepted in mainstream education. At a time when graduate schools were not yet aware of its importance, Mrs. Stone had established an innovative constructivist educational program. The Windward School of today is the direct beneficiary of her vision.
To honor her, the Stone Foundation created the Isabel Greenbaum Stone Master Teacher Award, which is presented each spring to an outstanding Windward faculty member.