Stanwich School cuts ribbon on pre-K classrooms

It was a day of celebration as Wildwood Cottage opened for 35 students. Joining students with their arms in the air to mark this day were, from left, teacher Peggy Dickinson, Head of School Paul Geise, teacher Erica Silbert, Associate Head of School and Head of Lower School Meaghan Mallin, Assistant Head of Lower School Ilana Grady and teachers Traci Oh, Devon Hickey and Gail Althoff.

It was a day of celebration as Wildwood Cottage opened for 35 students. Joining students with their arms in the air to mark this day were, from left, teacher Peggy Dickinson, Head of School Paul Geise, teacher Erica Silbert, Associate Head of School and Head of Lower School Meaghan Mallin, Assistant Head of Lower School Ilana Grady and teachers Traci Oh, Devon Hickey and Gail Althoff.

Stanwich School took another big step forward on Sept. 5 when it officially cut the ribbon on its pre-K and kindergarten classrooms, becoming Greenwich’s first pre-K to 12th grade coedcuational, independent school.

Classes began in all grades on Sept. 3 but the official ribbon-cutting for the new classrooms at Wildwood Cottage was held on Friday, Sept. 5, to start the weekend off right. All pre-K students and kindergarten students were on hand for the ribbon-cutting, which was also attended by parents, school officials and members of the board of trustees. It represented another milestone for Stanwich School, which graduated its first high school class this past May.

Paul Geise, Stanwich’s head of school, told the Post it was a momentous day and the result of a lot of hard work that began with the school’s former head of school and founder Pat Young. He credited the board, the parents, the teachers and the students for working together on this and also thanked the Rev. James McDevitt, pastor of St. Agnes Church, the school’s neighbor and partner. The Wildwood Cottage classrooms are behind the church in the spot that was once used as the carriage house for the estate formerly on the property on Stanwich Road.

“I want to thank everyone who invested their time, talents and treasures to renovate and complete this space so it’s a place of learning, a place of wonder and a place of joy,” Mr. Geise said.

With the new classrooms open, Mr. Geise called it “the beginning of a new foundation” at Stanwich School as the school population continued to expand after starting with just a few students to covering an entire 5,000-square-foot campus and students in every grade.

The new classroom setup not only allows for the kids to have their own space to learn, but to have a library, a kitchen and even animals, including a snake, that many were eager to get the chance to share the school year with.

Associate Head of School Meaghan Mallin spoke directly to the students in the inaugural class at Wildwood Cottage and told them just how important they were as they all worked together to “be your best and help others be their best.”

“You are so special and so lucky,” Ms. Mallin told the kids. “You will always be the first group of students to ever be in Wildwood. So forever and ever and ever, you will be able to say that. We thank all of your parents for sharing this wonderful, terrific journey with us every day.”

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