In 1926, Isabel Greenbaum Stone, the mother of three sons – Donald, Robert and James – discovered a small boarding school in Mamaroneck, N.Y. that had been struggling to establish itself. Mrs. Stone, together with a group of parents, formally incorporated the school, calling it "Windward," because sailing windward requires more skill, effort, and persistence than sailing before the wind.
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 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.