The History of The Wetherill School

The Wetherill School was founded in 1976 by Florence Schmidt, Elwood Schmidt, and Joell Taggart. They wished to create a warm and relaxed first school environment where children could learn about themselves and others as well as begin to explore their world. The founders' vision was to blend Dr. Maria Montessori’s and Jean Piaget’s work on cognitive development with the social and emotional curriculum of traditional early childhood education. It is the school's philosophy that the needs of young children are best served when parents and teachers work closely together. Parents have had an active role at the school since its beginnings.

Florence Schmidt was the school's founding Principal and also a classroom teacher. She died in 1980 but her warmth, nurturance of intellectual curiosity and appreciation of individual learning styles remain. The school is named in honor of Madelyn Wetherill who was a close friend of Florence Schmidt and an advocate of creative early education.

Joell Taggart served as Principal following Florence’s death and served in this role until her retirement in July 2012. Marie Conti became head of school following Joell’s retirement and continues the mission of the original founders.

The school has successfully provided a nurturing, creative early childhood education for children of the Main Line area since its inception. Many alumni have returned to enroll their children and several alumni have served on our Board of Directors.

The Wetherill School The school functions as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors. The school is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Academic Schools and is a member of The American Montessori Society.