Adjust, but don’t conform

Windsor Mountain began by founders Max and Gertrude (pictured) Bondy as a progressive school in the 1920s in Germany shortly after the end of WWI called Marienau near Hamburg. From the start it was co-educational and focused on the social, emotional and academic preparing children for a full and satisfying life, personally and as part of a community. Had Hitler and the Nazis party not come to power, it is unlikely the Bondys would have migrated to America where they finally acquired the former Winthrop estate in Lenox in 1944 which was the final home of the school through to the closing in 1975.

For those who did not experience Windsor, it was considered by locals as a strange place, unusual in both a diverse student and staff population, and toward the end simply known as the “Hippy School.” However to those of us who attended and taught there, it was a sanctuary, an escape from compliant education models, social strictures, racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and most diseases of our society that torture and scar children. For most of us who went to Windsor we remember it with great love, passion, and the fondest of memories … it is likely the only education experience we feel this about. And yes, it is hard to think that it no longer exists, but there are other similar models such as Montessori that come close, but Windsor was unique and no doubt be welcomed today as we face an uncertain future both in America and the world.

This web page is dedicated to the memories and people of Windsor Mountain School, and for those who seek to learn more about its history. If you are a student or faculty and want to submit stories or pictures or ideas to improve the website (join our committee?) please email to