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WCS – Woodstock Country School, A History of Institutional Denial

Photo by William Emmons III

The Woodstock Country School's Vermont farm setting in South Woodstock from 1955 until the school's demise in 1980. WCS moved from Greenhithe, its original campus in Woodstock, five miles to the north, after a fire destroyed the main classroom building.

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$39.95

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WCS – Woodstock Country School, A History of Institutional Denial

WCS – Woodstock Country School, A History of Institutional Denial by William Boardman will be published this coming September, but you can purchase your copy at the prepublication sale price of $39.95 (plus applicable taxes and $8 for shipping and handling) . . . and save $10.

The Woodstock Country School rose on the wave of American energy and idealism following World War II. For more than 20 years, the school was an exciting, successful, esteemed experiment in American education – one that could still be thriving now.

This remarkable history, written by an alumnus and former teacher at the school, reads like a novel, as dozens of characters struggle first to build the school, then to save it. Despite their good intentions, the 15-year effort foundered on their frailties, irresponsibilities, and a fatally imperfect understanding of what made the school so magical for so many.

"You could call it a Rorschach history," says Boardman, who attended WCS from 1952 to 1956 and taught there from 1971 to 1976, "or maybe a collage, since there are hundreds of voices telling the story, each from his or her own perspective, yet there is a remarkable shared perspective of an essentially ineffable institution."

WCS tells the story of the school's rise and flourishing, even as it relied on charismatic headmaster David Bailey, whose charisma and dominance shaped the institutional denial that proved too strong to allow the school to survive.


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