An uncommon education in a joyful environment: Providence, Rhode Island’s preeminent coed Nursery through 12th Grade independent school.
The Wheeler School was founded in 1889 by Mary Colman Wheeler, an artist, educator, and activist with an innovative vision: craft an educational experience grounded in students’ curiosity and passions, combine academic pursuit with hands-on experience, and live out a shared belief that together, they could make the world a better place.
Miss Wheeler’s vibrant vision of what education should look and feel like remains at the core of our approach today, and is, perhaps, even more relevant today than it was more than a century ago.
We give each student the opportunity to learn by doing and collaborating, to explore new interests and grow in their passions, to build their self-awareness and confidence through leadership and service, and to develop the critical thinking and skills they need to be thoughtful, curious, and contributing citizens of the world.
Wheeler’s eighth Head of School, Allison Gaines Pell, joined the Wheeler community in 2017.
Gaines Pell attended Brown University where she graduated cum laude with a BA in English and American Literature in 1996. She also has a Masters from Harvard University in School Leadership and Development. Most notably among her professional accomplishments, Gaines Pell was the 2005 founder and founding Principal of “Arts & Letters,” a diverse and student-centered public school in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Prior to coming to Wheeler, Gaines Pell led the Blue School in Manhattan, a Pre-K through Eighth Grade school founded in 2006. She and her husband, Ben, and children, Miles and Hannah, live on the campus in Baker House.