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Westtown School

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Type  Private
Established  1799 C.E.
Faculty  80
Phone  +1 610-399-0123
Founded  1799
Religious affiliation(s)  Quaker
Head of school  John Baird
Enrollment  638
Mascot  Moose
Number of students  638
Westtown School
Address  975 Westtown Rd, West Chester, PA 19382, USA
Similar  The Episcopal Academy, Malvern Preparato School, The Shipley School, The Phelps School, Villa Maria Academy High Sch

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Westtown School is a Quaker, coeducational, college preparatory day and boarding school for students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade, located in eastern Pennsylvania.


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About Westtown School

Founded in 1799 by the Religious Society of Friends, Westtown’s Campus is located in Chester County, PA, 25 miles west of Philadelphia.

Westtown is a Quaker school affiliated with the Friends General Conference branch of the Religious Society of Friends. All students are required to attend Meeting for Worship together with adults in the community who voluntarily attend (boarding students are required to attend Westtown Monthly Meeting on Sundays as well). Westtown uses the traditional Quaker practice of coming to unity in making some high-level decisions.

Westtown has been a coeducational school since its founding in 1799. Students come from many states and foreign countries.


Westtown School first opened in May 1799. It was founded by Philadelphia Quakers who raised the money to build a boarding school and purchased land a full day’s carriage ride from Philadelphia—where they could provide a “guarded education in a healthy environment" away from the secular influences of the city. For many years, Westtown was nearly self-sufficient, with the campus providing raw materials used in the construction of its buildings and food for the people who lived and worked at the school.

Boys and girls had separate classes until about 1870. Boys learned useful skills such as woodshop, surveying, and bookkeeping, and girls had classes like sewing. However, Westtown eventually recognized that students of both genders should know basic academic subjects such as reading, penmanship, grammar, mathematics, geography, and science.

The 1880s brought physical changes to Westtown. The main building was replaced with a structure designed by architect Addison Hutton, which was completed in 1888 and is still in use today. During the 20th century, the student body and the curriculum both became more diverse. Visual and performing arts were added, for example, and non-Quakers, African-American, and international students were finally admitted.

Westtown’s Esther Duke Archives is a facility dedicated to collecting and maintaining materials relating to the people and history of the school. Students and historians alike use the Archives for historical research.

Westtown's Campus

Westtown is located on a campus in southern Pennsylvania. The campus is 600 acres.

Notable alumni

  • Samuel Leeds Allen (May 5, 1841 – March 28, 1918), inventor of the Flexible Flyer, the world's first steerable runner sled
  • Marysol Castro (b. September 29, 1976) is the weather anchor for ABC's Good Morning America Weekend Edition; since 2005, she has been the street reporter for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
  • Jim Fowler, Class of 1947, Conservationist and wildlife correspondent/show host - Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
  • Richard T. James (1914–1974), with his wife, invented the Slinky
  • Herb Pennock, Class of 1915, Major League Baseball player and manager, baseball Hall of Fame
  • Holland Taylor (born January 14, 1943) is an Emmy Award-winning American actress, known for her film, television and theatre work. She is perhaps best known for her roles as Ruth Dunbar in Bosom Buddies, as Judge Roberta Kittleson in The Practice and as Evelyn Harper in Two and a Half Men
  • Garrick Utley, Class of 1957, the correspondent for CNN’s New York bureau, after serving three years as ABC News’ chief foreign correspondent and 30 years covering international news with NBC News
  • Don Wildman, Class of 1979, the current host and narrator of Cities of the Underworld on History
  • Anthony H. Williams, Class of 1975, Pennsylvania State Senator, 8th District
  • Daniel Ochefu, Class of 2012, NCAA Basketball Champion, Villanova Wildcats
  • References

    Westtown School Wikipedia

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