About

History

Emma Hart Willard: A Pioneer for Women’s Education
Emma Hart Willard had always shown an aptitude for academic work. Gender roles were strongly enforced in post-revolutionary America, but Samuel Hart encouraged his daughter to study, often interrupting her domestic duties to listen to different philosophical essays he’d written.
 
At the age of 13 she taught herself geometry and later enrolled in the Berlin Academy, which was essentially a finishing school where she attended for two years before teaching there. In 1807, at the age of 19, she was offered a summer teaching job at a girls’ school in Middlebury, Vermont. The conditions the girls experienced there, paired with family financial hardship, inspired Emma to open a boarding school in her home in Middlebury.

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Emma Willard School: Empowering Girls to Serve and Shape the World Since 1814
Emma Willard School’s commitment to educating motivated, intellectually-curious young women is as strong as ever. In 2002 the school adopted its current mission which continues to guide our educational philosophies and community best practices today.
 
Honoring its founder’s vision, Emma Willard School proudly fosters in each young woman a love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and shape her world.
 
This mission is realized through our commitment to shared fundamental values. 

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100 Years on Mount Ida

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