Greenwich Time: Greenwich school founder was a natural educator

By Emilie Munson

Fred Wierdsma is remembered for walking around the Greenwich preschool he founded with a lamb trailing after him.

An iconic photo shows a chicken pecking on his desk while he talks on the phone. One teacher recalled that he was incubating eggs in his office when he hired her.

The avid outdoorsman involved nature in almost everything he did — including the education he provided for students at Putnam Indian Field School. Wierdsma took children canoeing and on nature walks through the woods. He brought students to his local farm to press apple cider, tap maple trees and meet his pigs and sheep.

“His master plan was to get kids to experience nature by going on canoe trips in the outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing,” said Chace Wierdsma, Fred’s son who is now a teacher and head of the nature programs at the school on Indian Field Road. “It just transitioned into the way he wanted to build a school.”
Read more…

In a photo from the early 1980s, Fred Wierdsma, works at his desk with his famous chicken "Chippy" close by at the Putnam Indian Field School in Greenwich. Wierdsma founded the Putnam School in 1973 and then later merged it with the Indian Field School where he was the headmaster until his retirement in 2001. Wierdsma passed away in January.

In a photo from the early 1980s, Fred Wierdsma, works at his desk with his famous chicken “Chippy” close by at the Putnam Indian Field School in Greenwich. Wierdsma founded the Putnam School in 1973 and then later merged it with the Indian Field School where he was the headmaster until his retirement in 2001. Wierdsma passed away in January.

 

Contact Us & Directions

101 Indian Field Road
Greenwich, CT 06830
203.661.4629

Sitemap-Privacy Policy