The McTernan School


In 1910, Mr. Charles McTernan recognized the need for an independent school that would prepare local boys to enter college preparatory schools.

Mr. Frederick Chase of Waterbury had hired Charles McTernan to tutor his sons. In 1912, under his ownership and with financial assistance from such prominent benefactors as Mr. Chase, Mr. Merriman and Dr. Munger, the McTernan School was established.

After establishing his own school in a rented building behind St. Margaret's School at Cooke and Grove Streets, Mr. McTernan was aided by several local businessmen  in purchasing land on Columbia Boulevard.

In 1916 a new school building was erected.

In 1917, a house was built to the rear of the new school to house faculty and the McTernan family; in 1925, the Headmaster's Wing was constructed to provide accommodations for a small boarding department. From 1928 to the 1950s these three buildings, which had been connected, were used as one facility. Many boys had been students at St. Margaret's "Little School" for kindergarten through the second grade, and then attended the McTernan School for grades three through eight.

In 1938, Mr. McTernan deeded his school to a Board of Trustees to be operated as a nonprofit institution.

Charles McTernan continued as Headmaster of the McTernan School until his retirement in 1945.

Mr. Berkely Hotchkiss, a McTernan School graduate and teacher, was appointed Headmaster in 1946. He instituted language training and athletics into the curriculum and built a new gymnasium in 1955 after a successful capital fund drive.

Groundbreaking Ceremonies The McTernan School June, 1961

Mr. Winston Ranft, teacher and coach who had been appointed Assistant Headmaster in 1952, was appointed Headmaster to succeed Mr. Hotchkiss. During his tenure as Headmaster, the McTernan School expanded through the purchase of St. Margaret's "Little School" and restructured to accommodate boys from kindergarten through grade nine and girls from kindergarten through grade four. Mr. Ranft directed the school until 1970 when he moved to Flordia.

In 1970, Mr. Clayton B. Spencer succeeded Mr. Ranft as Headmaster and continued in that capacity until 1972 when he was appointed Headmaster of the newly merged St. Margaret's-McTernan School.



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565 Chase Parkway Waterbury, CT 06708
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