Green Hedges Timeline / History

August 12

Frances and Kenton Kilmer

1941 – Frances and Kenton Kilmer find that the Arlington public schools do not offer the curriculum they want for their children and decide to start their own school.

May 12

Kilmers hire teacher Charlotte Mathias

1942 – Kilmers hire teacher Charlotte Mathias and Green Hedges opens with 10 students in the Kilmer home in June 1942. Its curriculum includes French, music, drama, and painting in addition to conventional academic subjects.



1946 –Four years after opening, Green Hedges had 36 students in grades K-Grade 3.

1949 – Eleven students are in the first graduating class at Green Hedges School.

1955 –The Kilmers and the School, now comprised of 60 students, move to Vienna, Virginia.

1958 –Virginia provides tuition vouchers to help public school students pay to attend private school. Often these are used allow white children to leave desegregated public schools. For this reason, the Kilmers refuse to use the voucher system.

1960 –Learning that African Americans were not allowed to use the Vienna Town Library, a group of Vienna neighbors forms ‘Friends of the Library’ to raise funds for a county library that by law must be integrated. Kenton Kilmer is named president. By this date, the group has raised sufficient funds to ensure an integrated library will be established in Vienna by Fairfax County.

1961 –First African American student is admitted to Green Hedges.

1967 –Frances Kilmer announces her decision to retire the following year,
and GHS families decide if and how Green Hedges will continue.

1968 – Green Hedges is incorporated as a not-for-profit School.

1968 – Charles Wright becomes the 2nd Head of School

1971 — Triumvirate of administrators Head the School following resignation of Mr. Wright: Kathleen Battaglia, Mary Scott Davis, Mary Ober

1971 –International Day is established to celebrate the diversity of the GHS community

1974 – Kathleen Battaglia becomes the 3rd Head of School

1975 – Montessori program for ages 3 – 5 is established

1976 – The Dragon is adopted as the School’s mascot.

1978 – Green Hedges School Inc. purchases the campus and buildings from the Kilmers.

1981 – Home at 427 Windover Avenue is purchased and renovated for use as classrooms for Grades 5-8.

1988 – Dedication of Kilmer Hall; enrollment is now 180.

1989 – Computer Lab is operating along with associated curriculum

1990 – The stage in Kilmer Hall’s auditorium is completed.

1991 — George Schumacher becomes the 4th Head of School

1994 – Green Hedges earns accreditation from the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS).

1995 – Kenton Kilmer, Green Hedges co-founder, poet and lifelong activist, dies at the age of 85.

1997 – Scott Votey becomes the 5th Head of School

1998 – Frances Kilmer, Green Hedges co-founder and Headmistress for 26 years, dies at the age of 84.

1999 – Montessori wing is constructed; the Charlotte Mathias Library moves to its new location in the heart of the School.

2000 – Dedication of a renovated Kilmer House as the administrative offices of the School.

2001 – Dedication of the Rice Arts Building

2003 – Fred Williams becomes 6th Head of School

2009 – Robert E. Gregg III becomes 7th Head of School

2014 – Dedication of the Karen Wiechelt Stable

2015 – Purchase of 202 Lewis property to use for the expanding GHS science program

2016 –Launch of the School’s 75th Year Celebration