The History of St. Timothy's
St. Timothy’s charter, which established us as a school with the state of Maryland in 1832, began with the founding of Hannah More Academy. The origin of St. Timothy’s School commenced 50 years later, when the school opened in Catonsville, Maryland, as “a select school for young ladies.” The school was founded by Sarah Randolph Carter, or Miss Sally, a gifted mathematician and linguist and a graduate of the University of Virginia. She was 23 years old when she founded St. Timothy’s. She was joined a year later by her older sister, Mary Coles Carter (Miss Polly), and the two guided the school with great skill and ambition during its first 30 years. The Carter Sisters developed a European-style curriculum, extolled the virtues of hard work and imagination, and championed the importance of learning beyond classroom walls – students traveled by rail to look at art in Washington, D.C., and by steamship for an outing in Jamestown, Virginia.
From its inception, St. Timothy’s School stood out sharply from the other schools for girls. Unlike so many of the first girls schools that were finishing schools, St. Timothy’s viewed its mission as having a much larger purpose. The Carter sisters founded St. Timothy’s as an institution to prepare girls academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. The wanted to ensure their pupils were informed about the world and prepared for lives of meaning, purpose and consequence.
St. Timothy’s thrived in the early years of the 20th century, weathered the Depression in good health, and became one of the first schools to offer physics, which was taught by a former student of Marie Curie’s. The second half of the 20th century saw the school expand its academic profile, broaden its international focus, and take greater advantage of surrounding resources. The school moved from Catonsville to Stevenson in 1952 to what had been Twiford Farm, the home of Clarence and Martha Wheelwright. Its three original buildings – Carter House, Fowler House and Heath House – remain in use today (though Fowler House expanded significantly in 2013 with the addition of Dixon Hall). The passage of Title ix in 1972 rejuvenated competitive sports. Hannah More Academy, the Anglican School for Girls in Maryland and another school that championed excellence for girls, merged with St. Timothy’s in 1974.
In 2003 St. Timothy’s welcomed current Head of School Randy Stevens, and he has been the chief architect of an ambitious effort that has resulted in St. Timothy’s becoming the nation’s first all-girls boarding and day school to offer the rigorous International Baccalaureate diploma. St. Timothy’s today has the most students in its history, and they come from more places around the globe than ever before. Indeed, with the IB, a growing Global Immersion program, and other new initiatives, the school is more global than ever. World leaders such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former President of Ireland Mary Robinson; Dr. Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns; u.s. Ambassador Frank G. Wisner; U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Melanne Verveer; U.S. Ambassador Swaneee Hunt; U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk; His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the U.S.; Iranian author Azar Nafisi; and Rwandan hero Paul Rusesabagina have come to campus to speak to – and engage with – the students.