In 1982, Mrs. Sally Campbell Woodhall, Dr. Jonathan A. Woodhall, and a group of friends and colleagues conceived an idea for a school for young men who represented a paradox: they were bright, yet they had not found success. Both Connecticut natives, Dr. and Mrs. Woodhall were life-long educators who had comprehensive teaching and administrative experience in independent education at the secondary and collegiate level. Reflecting the life experience and classical education of the Woodhalls, the philosophy of the school was at once unique and familiar. Grounded in the humanist tradition, The Woodhall School recognized that the education of a young man who was struggling represented not only an intellectual and physical process but also a moral and spiritual imperative. From the beginning, the school embraced a young man whose potential was unrealized.

In the fall of 1983, The Woodhall School, incorporated as a non-profit institution, opened with five students and five teachers who lived and worked in two farmhouses and a scattering of modular buildings. Since then the campus has grown and enrollment has increased, but the mission and philosophy of the school remains unchanged. Where other schools have said “no” to a young man’s potential, Woodhall has said “yes.”