The Roeper School values its history. The roots of the school’s educational model go back to Annemarie Roeper’s parents, Max and Gertrud Bondy, who grew up in the heady ferment of modernist thinking in early 20th century Germany. After experiencing the trauma of World War I firsthand, they decided to become educators. Their ideas, which George and Annemarie grew up with, were tested against the social chaos of the rise of Nazism and the epic and calamitous events of World War II and the Holocaust. After fleeing with the Bondys as refugees to the United States, the Roepers’ ideas continued to evolve against the upheavals of McCarthyism, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, feminism, and the emergence of humanistic psychology. Witnesses to this tumult, the Roepers came to believe that perhaps the most important element of their educational model was its ability to teach children how to adapt to change while maintaining their moral compass.
In this section you can find histories of The Roeper School, including Primary sources written by George and Annemarie, Secondary documents by others who have studied the school, and specific histories of certain topics, such as Buildings.
George and Annemarie were quick to share their ideas in writing but were less likely to record the history of their work. Consequently, we don’t have very many opportunities to hear their story in their own words, but fortunately we do have a few.
In these histories, we have a chance to learn about the history of the school based on the records and interviews.
As George Roeper once noted, “a young student’s environment has a powerful impact upon him, upon his ability to maneuver, and upon the breadth of his notion of identity.” His and Annemarie’s early years at their school in Germany, Marienau, forever shaped their idea of an idyllic environment. Roeper students over the years have cultivated their own attachments to the nooks and crannies, buildings and landscapes of the school’s campuses. Here we share some of the stories behind those spaces