The Winston story began in 1966, when a passionate and determined mother with a son who had learning challenges helped to create a school. She collaborated with local educators, psychologists and medical doctors and affirmed a mission of advocacy for children who were struggling in school. A “Community Board of Directors” came into being and alliances were built with local public school districts; local school Superintendents; and Heads of neighboring independent schools. Dedication, insight and fervor characterized the spirit behind the first class of five children at a Church in Morristown. The school, referred to in those days as the Glenn Kirk School, moved often to various facilities in Chatham and then Madison.
By 1980, with the economy in a downturn, funding from the local public schools had dried up and the Glenn Kirk School sought to declare its independence both economically and programmatically from the public school districts. Thus, The Winston School was created. The Board sought to form an independent school, free from all state mandates that would experiment freely, innovate and create its own program vision on behalf of Winston students. There was then, as today, a wonderful pioneer spirit of creating and sustaining exemplary programs for the classroom.
Over time, Winston evolved and moved from its adolescence into a mature school community. Former Board members recall, “No one really knew what learning disabilities were all about and Winston was in many ways educating the public…” After a successful decade at the First Presbyterian Church in Summit, Winston moved in 1991 to its present home at 30 East Lane, Short Hills New Jersey.
Winston today is a testament to the vision and abiding ethos of the pioneering founders who brought Winston to life three decades ago. These founders were acutely aware of the risks involved in not making the intervention to help guide and train the students under our care. And these founders recognized the importance of educating those students within the context of three core values: potential (to learn); optimism (to continue learning); and confidence to approach learning challenges over time with positive determination and self-awareness. Our graduates become successful in their lives after Winston; they are determined, self-aware, and optimistic as to their future aspirations and achievements.