When Miss Bertha Wilson’s school, which was an all-girl school geared for college preparation, announced its closing for the 1929-1930 fiscal year, there was a great deal of concern regarding a replacement with the same type of above-average quality. Therefore, on July 15, 1929, Margaret Holloway (pictured right), Margurite E. MacGregor, Clara W. Rogers, Charles F. Paul, Jr. and Kent B. Hall incorporated The Wheeling Country Day School.
The school was to be at Clara W. Rogers’ house at 9 Hamilton Avenue in Wheeling. However, it never was located there. The first location of WCDS was a few rooms of the lower floor in a house in Woodsdale, 1153 National Road, where the Produce Basket (now defunct) was located.
Each year WCDS founder Mrs. Holloway and the art teacher would take the older students to the International Art Exhibit at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. This is a photo of Mrs. Holloway and students preparing to depart for on of those trips.
Miss Virginia K. Heinlein
Head of School 1933-1965
After one year, the school was relocated to the lower floor of a duplex house at 136 Edgington Lane. In 1933, WCDS rented the Russell House, 111 Poplar Avenue. In 1937, when the Board of Directors saw there was a definite interest and future for WCDS, a permanent building was bought at 30 Edgewood Street. In 1941, the Board realized that more students would enroll the following year and the house was already crowded with 50 students, so January 7, 1942, the Parent House (where the gymnasium stands) and the barn (where the administrative building stands), both at 8 Park Road, were purchased from Mr. James Rogers Ewing, a Wheeling attorney. Mrs. Sarah Caldwell purchased the Darien House (where the science building currently stands) and the quadrangle from General Riley and donated it to the school in 1944. In 1967 the Parent House and Darien House were razed and replaced by the gymnasium and aluminum buildings, respectively. A kindergarten building at 5 Hamilton Avenue was purchased. Mr. George Weaver, Jr., was chairman of that campaign. A new kindergarten-2nd grade building made the kindergarten building on Hamilton Avenue unnecessary, so it was sold to William Valentino. The project had Mr. Stuart Bloch as acting chairman of the building project.
The administrative structure has virtually remained the same through the years, governed by a headmaster/headmistress and a Board of Directors. Heads of School have included:
Mrs. Jack Adams :
Miss Virginia K. Heinlein :
Mrs. Rhea Rogerson :
Mr. Paul Mercer :
Mr. Jerry Whitson :
Mr. Tim Holbrook :
Mr. Fred Kellogg :
Mr. Nick Shepard :
Ms. Jane Vieweg :
Mr. H. Wayne Dickison :
Mrs. Elizabeth Day :
Mrs. Marge Sims (acting head) :
Mr. Richard Kammer :
Mr. Jesse (Jack) Morgan :
Mrs. Barbara Biglan :
Mrs. Linda Kerr :
Mrs. Pat Pockl :
Mrs. Elizabeth Hofreuter-Landini :
During its eighty-year history, WCDS has changed in class range. In 1929, WCDS consisted of grades 1st-8th for girls only. In 1936, the school was opened to boys, but only through fourth grade. The fourth grade boys “graduated” with the eighth grade girls and, instead of receiving a diploma, received a “certificate”, which stated that the boy had completed the fourth grade at WCDS. In 1944, a kindergarten program was added, and in 1966 the boys were permitted to go through the eight grade. Finally, in 1967 the school started a ninth grade for both sexes, with Peggy Hogan as the only person in that first, ninth grade class.
Growing from a student body of seven young ladies in 1929, today the school now has 153 students that is more socioeconomically and culturally diverse and enrolls boys and girls in junior kindergarten through fifth grade. Today the school consists of six buildings: a gymnasium/multi-purpose building, a media center/administration/fine arts building, and four classroom buildings. The campus occupies six acres in the Woodsdale area of Wheeling, West Virginia, and serves families in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio as well. It is the purpose of WCDS to nurture the intellectual, creative, and ethical growth of children from diverse backgrounds. Students’ individual and cooperative efforts are developed through a program that balances academic basics, fine arts, physical development, and critical thinking. In a positive environment, children are taught to be self-reliant, motivated, and resourceful learners. They are challenged and rewarded for their best efforts, ambition, and accomplishment. Personalized instruction using a variety of methods and materials contributes to the total experience. Learning opportunities are enriched with a wide variety of activities beyond the classroom. The goal of Wheeling Country Day School is to promote independent thinking, instill a love of learning, fulfill intellectual potential, and help children become socially and morally responsible citizens.