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History & Campus

History

In 1912 a local resident of Woodmere, Clarence G. Galston, sought to establish a neighborhood school with higher educational standards and a commitment to individualized attention for all students. Along with six other families, Mr. Galston founded a new private school located in a house on the corner of Woodmere Boulevard and Central Avenue in Woodmere, New York on the South Shore of Long Island. The school was called Woodmere Academy.  The founders adopted a motto of Disce Servire, or “Learn to Serve.”

At the time there was another private school located just a few miles away known as the Lawrence School, later to be known as the Lawrence Country Day School. This school had been founded in 1891.

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Margaret Brasor, who had been a teacher at the Ethical Culture School in New York City, was hired to oversee the start of Woodmere Academy.  Leading just three faculty members, five kindergarten students and thirteen first graders, Ms. Brasor began her tenure as being “on loan” from the Ethical Culture School. She was to lead Woodmere Academy for ten years until the first official Headmaster, Charles Burton Walsh, was appointed in 1922. Headmaster Walsh was the first of twelve Headmasters during the school’s 101 year history. The twelfth and current Headmaster is now in his tenth year.

The school opened with just eighteen students but three years later had grown to 67 students and a new school building was created on two acres bordering Woodmere Boulevard, just a few blocks away from the house where the school began. This campus, located at 336 Woodmere Boulevard is where the school exists today.  Soon the school expanded to include upper grades and a second building was created in the fall of 1921, resulting in a campus of seven acres.

In 1990 the Lawrence Country Day School merged with Woodmere Academy and Woodmere Academy became known as Lawrence Woodmere Academy. The school’s motto was expanded to Veritas, Integritas and Servitium – “Truth, Integrity and Service.”   Lawrence Woodmere Academy, or LWA, became the only non-sectarian college preparatory independent school located on the South Shore of Long Island.

Today the school is far more than a neighborhood school, with students from over fifty different zip codes and five countries. The founding mission of academic excellence, individualized attention and commitment to service remains at the very core of today’s Academy mission.

Campus

Lawrence Woodmere Academy is located just 21 miles from Manhattan and only a few miles from the Queens County line on the South Shore of Long Island. The beautiful 7-acre campus features two outdoor soccer fields, a baseball field, outdoor tennis courts, two playgrounds, and a swimming pool used for our summer program.

The indoor facilities, all of which are connected, feature a historical main building, dedicated in 1921, a large gymnasium, a modern library/technology center, an historic auditorium known as Hessel Hall which was originally built in 1929 and refurbished several years ago. With over 30 classrooms, Lawrence Woodmere Academy features interactive white board technology in most every teaching space in a wireless environment.

The indoor facilities, all of which are connected, feature a historical main building, dedicated in 1921, a large gymnasium, a modern library/technology center, an historic auditorium known as Hessel Hall which was originally built in 1929 and refurbished several years ago. With over 30 classrooms, Lawrence Woodmere Academy features interactive white board technology in most every teaching space in a wireless environment.