Wooster School

Wooster School is a private, co-educational, college-preparatory school (grades 5 through 12) in Danbury, Connecticut.[2] The school was founded in 1926 by Episcopal priest Aaron Coburn.[1] It is named for General David Wooster, who fought at the Battle of Ridgefield for the Patriot side in the American Revolution.[3] Girls were first admitted to the school in the fall of 1970.[4] In 1990, Wooster School phased out from being a boarding school, as it had been since its inception, to being a day school.[5]

Wooster School
Wooster Logo 240x240.jpg
United States
TypePrivate, Co-ed
Religious affiliation(s)Episcopal
FounderRev. Dr. Aaron C. Coburn[1]
Head of schoolMatt Byrnes
Enrollment336 (as of 2021)
Student to teacher ratio5:1
CampusSuburban, 125 acres
Color(s)White, maroon, and black
Athleticsinterscholastic sports teams Housatonic Valley Athletic League
MascotThe General
Team nameGenerals

Its motto is Ex Quoque Potestate, Cuique Pro Necessitate, roughly, "From each according to ability, to each according to need".

Notable alumni include award-winning folk singer and guitarist Tracy Chapman;[6][7] the painter Andrew Stevovich;[8] trial attorney Cyrus Mehri;[9] developer Marc Vandenhoeck;,[10] Griffin Anthony, singer and songwriter,[11] Zachary Cole Smith, singer and frontman of DIIV;[12] and Neil Rudenstine, president of Harvard University for a decade in the 1990s.[13][14]

The school has earned 5 stars on the "Great Schools" web site.[15] It is a member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools,[16] and other prep school groups.[17]

The school was the first prep school to actively recruit minority candidates as a "feeder system" for elite Ivy League colleges, such as Harvard University.[18]

The ArtsEdit

  • Theatre
  • Art
  • Music

Sports programsEdit


Charitable programsEdit

  • Full Court Peace
  • Blue Lollipop
  • Equity and Justice Center (EJC)
  • Annual Turkey Drive
  • Catwalk For a Cure
  • YRTA (Youth Reacting to AIDS)

Recent noticeEdit

From 2001 to 2004, Wooster School made some improvements to its physical plant, notably the addition of a new gymnasium and a middle school.[19][20]

One of the National Association of Episcopal Schools' top two educator awards is named for former School Head John D. Verdery.[21][22]

2014: The school's library received a grant of over $6,000 from U.S. Senator Chris Dodd's office to improve its Internet access through the E-rate grants.[23]

Wooster School students co-founded, and are hosts to, YRTA (Youth Reacting to AIDS), the first teen-run organization to increase awareness of AIDS and to assist persons living with AIDS.[24]

2020: Wooster changes grades from k-12 to 4-12

2021: Wooster changes to grades 5-12

Self Help ProgramEdit

Self-help has been one of the fundamental principles at Wooster since the School's founding in 1926. It is a philosophy that places total responsibility for the physical environment of the school on the students.

Students are not only responsible for cleaning and maintaining the campus, but also for the program's organization and management.

As students in the Lower School progress through the grades, they assume more responsibility for their classrooms and the Lower School building. Students in the Middle and Upper Schools (grades 6 - 12) are in charge at all times of the upkeep of the whole school. This is called the Jobs Program. In the middle school there's an 8th grade job captain assigned to your space whether its a classroom, terrace or in the kitchen cleaning plates the student community pitches in. In the high school, you have a Senior job captain assigned to your area with senior grounds over seeing the collective upper campus whether cleaning the gyms, classrooms or lockerrooms, the students are given a form of responsibility outside normal schoolwork to better their community.

Senior Internship Programs (SiS)Edit

In addition to self-help and volunteering, Upper School students meet the requirement of 100 hours of community service outside the Wooster community, which can be completed between the summer before freshman year and graduation.

Seniors are required to participate in the Senior Independent Study (SIS) program the last six weeks of their senior year, at which time they may pursue a community service project or career interest as a job off campus. Upon completion of SIS, each student submits a written report and makes an oral presentation to the faculty and senior classmates about what he or she learned.


  1. ^ a b "Aaron Cutler Coburn, Priest". The Living Church. Vol. 25. December 20, 1942. p. 17. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Wooster School Wooster School official website
  3. ^ Danbury Historical Society web site
  4. ^ "History -- Wooster School". Wooster School. 2019.
  5. ^ Polk, Nancy (1991). "Private Schools Struggle to Survive". The New York Times. p. 12.
  6. ^ Darling, Cary. "Doing it her way: Tracy Chapman goes against the grain with her reflective songs", The Orange County Register, May 25, 1990. Accessed October 19, 2007. "She was a student at Wooster High School in Danbury, Conn., with a budding taste for folk music and a flair for songwriting who corralled her courage and hit the pavement."
  7. ^ About Tracy Chapmen, official biography web site. Accessed October 22, 2007.
  8. ^ Diehl, Carol (2007). Andrew Stevovich: Essential Elements. Anita Shreve, John Sacret Young, Valerie Ann Leeds. Lenox, MA: Hard Press Editions. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-889097-70-1.
  9. ^ FindJustice.com web site. Retrieved October 22, 2007. "His parents' educational aspirations led Mr. Mehri to the Wooster School. 'My years there had a formative influence on me,' he says. 'There probably isn't another prep school that has such a genuine commitment to diversity. Wooster really led the way in that respect. They had already integrated by the 1950s and the idea of diversity was embedded in the culture.' "
  10. ^ New Jersey News story on school board candidates. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  11. ^ "Danbury native returns for concert". 3 January 2013.
  12. ^ "How Does It Feel: DIIV's Zachary Cole Smith Rolls on". 28 July 2014.
  13. ^ Gewertz, Ken. "Rudenstine's journey to Harvard began at 14", Harvard Gazette, May 17, 2001. Accessed October 20, 2007. "Now he was about to enter the Wooster School, a private, college-preparatory institution. Although it was located in Danbury, Conn., his hometown, he would live at the school rather than at home."
  14. ^ Catherine E. Shoichet, Rudenstine's Book Hits Shelves, June 05, 2001, found at Harvard Crimson web site. Accessed October 22, 2007. "In a 1998 speech given at the Belmont Hill School in Belmont, Mass., Rudenstine spoke of the root of his passion for reading—a meeting with a high school adviser during his first term as a scholarship student at the Wooster School in Danbury, Connecticut. “I don’t remember trying to articulate for myself, at the time, what this entire experience actually meant to me,” he says."
  15. ^ Great Schools web site
  16. ^ Connecticut Association of Independent Schools web site
  17. ^ Private School Report web page
  18. ^ Michael Lerner, Plan Seeks Applications From Southern Negroes, Harvard Crimson, February 20, 1963, found at The Crimson web site. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  19. ^ TSKP Architecture Firm web site
  20. ^ The Stamford Hospital Web site. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  21. ^ Daphne Mack, Episcopal educators gathered in Hollywood for biennial conference: Peter Cheney roasted and three educators honored, Episcopal News Service, November 28, 2006, found at Episcopal Church, USA, Official web site. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  22. ^ National Association of Episcopal Schools, Awards, found at NAES official web site. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  23. ^ Senator Chris Dodd's Government official web site. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  24. ^ Danbury Community Network official web site, YRTA page. Retrieved October 22, 2007.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°21′59″N 73°29′58″W / 41.3663°N 73.4994°W / 41.3663; -73.4994