The Harvey School
A co-ed college preparatory school serving grades 6 - 12
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The Harvey School was founded by Dr. Herbert Carter and his wife Mabel Carter in 1916 as a residential school for boys, enrolling students through the secondary grades. Dr. Carter, a New York City pediatrician, built the school at his farm in Hawthorne, New York. His intention was to provide a country environment and an educational program for his son, Herbert Swift Carter, Jr., who had some physical limitation due to scarlet fever as a child.

The school was named for Sir William Harvey (1578-1657), personal physician of King Charles I, who claimed to be the first to describe the mechanics of blood circulation. Dr. Harvey’s discoveries and methods established him as one of the fathers of modern medical science.

John L. Miner was appointed as the school’s first headmaster when its doors opened in October 1916, with an enrollment of four boys. Mr. Miner served the school for 10 years before leaving to establish Greenwich Country Day School, originally known as The Harvey School of Greenwich. Herbert Carter, Jr. graduated from Harvey in 1919, and from Princeton University in 1923. Following a year at Oxford, he returned to Harvey to teach English, and in 1926, he succeeded Mr. Miner as Headmaster.

After Dr. Carter died in 1927, the educational emphasis was placed on providing a curriculum for boys from grades four through eight and preparing them for the leading eastern secondary boarding schools. The Harvey School soon established a reputation for providing a sound, traditional education in the style of the English prep school in a small residential setting.

In 1938, the school came under the leadership of Mr. Leverett T. Smith who served until 1963. In 1947, the Carter family sold the school, established a board of trustees and joined the ranks of private independent schools operating as a not-for-profit organization. The school continued operating at the Hawthorne location until 1959 when construction of a highway cloverleaf interchange pre-empted the school’s property. The search for a new site led to the former Sylvan Weil Estate in Katonah, where the school resides today on more than 120 acres.

The new campus was provided with boarding facilities for 60 residential students, while the day student population continued to expand total enrollment. As the school began transitioning to being primarily a day school, Harry A. Dawe was appointed Headmaster in 1969; it was his objective to continue the transition and the growth of enrollment while retaining the residential environment.

In 1970 the school added a ninth grade, and in 1979 the remaining secondary grades were established. Harvey began admitting girls as day students when it began operating as a full high school; this transition, which served as a challenge to the administration and trustees, was further complicated by a fire that destroyed the school’s central building.

The current focus is a traditional college prep (coed grades 6-12) curriculum with a range of courses through advanced placement; mix of science, humanities, arts, languages, athletics and extracurricular activities.

During the 30-year tenure (1986-2016) of school head Barry W. Fenstermacher, the school's enrollment more than doubled and an international student program was added. The campus facilities were improved dramatically and new land for athletic fields was acquired. The addition of the Krasne Middle School building allowed the Middle School, grades 6-8, to expand and to move into attractive and well-designed classrooms in 2001. The construction of the award-winning Walker Center for the Arts in 2005 has provided unmatched learning space for studio, music and dramatic-arts education. It also provides outreach to the community through its programming and performance spaces. The Barry W. Fenstermacher Athletic Center, completed in 2012, features two basketball courts, a new fitness room, expanded locker room space and a state-of-the-art trainer's room. This center not only provides ample facilities for Harvey’s athletes, but also has allowed the school to expand its community outreach.

As Harvey begins its second hundred years, it does so with a new head of school, William J. Knauer, who holds two master’s degrees, one in English and another in education. He also has a certification from Columbia University in computer technology and a Diploma de Cultura from the University of Madrid. Bill comes to Harvey after serving four years as head of the Benjamin Franklin International School, a coed day school of 670 students in Barcelona, Spain.

Founded in 1916 with just four boys in a farmhouse at Hawthorne, New York, The Harvey School in Katonah, New York, has grown today into a thriving community of more than 450 faculty, staff and students.

Heads of School

  • John L. Miner (1916–1926)
  • Herbert Swift Carter II (1926–1938)
  • Leverett T. Smith (1938–1963)
  • Frank M. Perrine* (1963–1964)
  • E. Bradley Richardson (1964–1969)
  • Harry A. Dawe (1969–1984)
  • Thomas J. Fulton* (1984–1985)
  • Barry W. Fenstermacher (1986–2016)
  • William J. Knauer (2016–present)

* interim head

Harvey Family

Throughout its history, The Harvey School has upheld the belief that a talented faculty is the key to a quality education. Dedicated to helping students, our teachers devote extraordinary amounts of time to support the learning process. Many alumni have credited their teachers at Harvey as the most influential forces in shaping their lives.

Previous Service 15+ Years
  • Irene A. Anderson (1956–1983)
  • Minna Bacher (1935–1960)
  • Rose W. Baldwin (1951–1973)
  • Julia Beck (1982-2015)
  • Richard S. Beck (1969–1993)
  • Jane Beckmann (1968–1987)
  • Alice V. Bennett (1982–1997)
  • Carole Bonicelli (1982–2013)
  • Eddie Bonilla (1992–2008)
  • Mabel Carter (1916–1957)
  • Cecile S. Clark (1939–1959)
  • Susan S. Daily (1990–2010)
  • Harry A. Dawe (1969–1984)
  • Arthur J. Deeks (1967–1993)
  • Sandra DeSena (1988–2008)
  • Kathleen DeVinney (1954–1985)
  • Daniel Dickinson (1916–1935)
  • J. Michael Drude (1994)
  • Barry Fenstermacher (1986-2016)
  • James C. Forbes (1916–1935)
  • Robert S. Gale (1994–2013)
  • John Gobel (1969–1984, 1993-97)
  • Carroll V. Howes (1943–1967)
  • Milton P. Hunter (1944–1960)
  • Max Lange (1940–1961)
  • Michael A. Lopes (1983–2000)
  • Mitchell Lyon (1946–1963)
  • Mona Watts Lyon (1934–1963)
  • Geraldine McGrath (1982–2010)
  • John P. McMahon (1962–2001)
  • Howard McManus (2000)
  • May McTeigue (1943–1972)
  • Patricia Morton (1986–2005)
  • Nancy Nitcher-Liedtke (1981–1997)
  • Karen O'Connor (1981–2001)
  • Theodore O'Connor (1980–2001)
  • Paul Paaske (1926–1942)
  • Goncalo Pinheiro (1972–2014)
  • Mary D. Power (1979-2015)
  • Jeanne Puchir (2001-2016)
  • Christine Reardon (1985–2002)
  • Robert F. Shattuck (1971–1993)
  • John A. Shea (1945–1967)
  • Eleanor H. Smith (1936–1963)
  • Leverett T. Smith (1936–1963)
  • Virginia C. Smith (1968–1994)
  • Charmaine Stark (1977-2015)
  • Timothy Stark (1977-2015)
  • Herman Storvik (1938–1962)
  • Susan Tannenbaum(1983-2015)
  • Gudmund Tweiten (1927–1971)
  • Dorothy A. Vincent (1960–1978)
  • Sophie Zinn (1965–1982)

Current Service 15+ Years
  • Thomas C. Banca (1979)
  • Lesley Boltz (1999)
  • Brendan Byrne (1999)
  • Chris Del Campo (1996)
  • Robert Cook (2001)
  • Charles J. Hill (2001)
  • Marcie Hajem (1998)
  • G. Chris Kelly (1993)
  • Philip J. Lazzaro (1994)
  • Dianne Mahony (1987)
  • Alexander H. Morse (2001)
  • Bruce C. Osborne (1976)
  • Dale Osborne (1996)
  • Douglas Plaskett (1997)
  • Laura Prichard (2000)
  • Lee A. Robinson (1997)
  • Chris Romanowicz (1998)
  • Judy Ryerson (1983)
  • Richard Ryerson (1983)
  • Samuel Schursky (1999)
  • Denise L. Smith (2000)
  • John Wahlers (1997)
  • Richard Wyland (1993)

Key Dates

Boys of any age or grade admitted

Herbert S. Carter ’19 began teaching at Harvey

Herbert S. Carter ’19 became Headmaster, with focus on grades 4-8

Carter family sold the school; established Board of Trustees

NY State pre-empted school land for interchange of Taconic and Sprain parkways

School moved to current location in Katonah for the fall of 1959 at the former Sylvan Weil Estate, consisting of more than 100 acres

Larger proportion of day students added

Ninth grade added

Nov 4 fire destroyed Sylvan Hall, the Carter House predecessor. Most records were lost.

1979 (Fall)
Tenth grade added; girls admitted to Upper School

1980 (Fall)
Eleventh grade added

1981 (Fall)
Twelfth grades added, began five years of transitioning into full high school (Sept ‘83 dropped 4th grade, Sept ‘84 dropped 5th grade)

1982 (Spring)
First graduating senior class, including girls

1984 (Fall)
Middle School began accepting girls

Barry Fenstermacher appointed Headmaster; 6 students in Harvey’s Middle School, with only four girls.

Over 100 Middle School students, with girls and boys in equal measure; Middle School addition was completed on time and under budget.

Walker Center for the Arts Opened

Faculty Endowment reached $2 million

Enrollment reached 345

Athletic Center Opened

NYSAIS Accreditation received with High Marks

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260 Jay Street
Katonah, NY 10536
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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