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The Open Air School

The life story of education pioneer Erna Wentzler Achenbach and the legacy of The Open Air School, as told by her daughter Irma Scudder Achenbach.

The Open Air School was the first private school in Orlando.

My mother said that she had to go around and when she saw a bicycle, tricycle or wagons and things she would go in and tell the people what kindergarten was and how good it was. She had been trained in Germany by professionals. So that’s how it started and gradually, gradually people just got used to people going to kindergarten.

Soon the school at 26 W. Steele Street became the school for the mayor’s children and the school pediatricians suggested to mothers in the area for their children.

Mrs. Achenbach who served as a Red Cross nurse during the war caring for the Red Baron and others, would bring that same dedication and care to her students. The school’s reputation in the community was outstanding.

LISTEN (21:08) as Irma Scudder Achenbach tells the history of The Open Air School which she took over as principal when her mother, school founder Erna Wentzler Achenbach retired. Interview conducted on July 25, 2013.

View Photos of the College Park school, the students, instructors and read the history:

Erna Wentzler Achenbach: An Interesting Life: 1896-1996 – part I.

Erna Wentzler Achenbach: An Interesting Life: 1896-1996, part II.

Listen to an archival interview with Erna Wentzler Achenbach conducted on June 25, 1975.

LISTEN Part I. (31:18) and LISTEN Part II (32:40).

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Erna Wentzler Achenbach

Education pioneer Erna Wentzler Achenbach was trained in Germany by Maria Montessori and Friedrich Froebel. She and her husband came to settle...

Interview with Erna Achenbach, part I

Founder and operator of one of the earliest and longest running pre-schools in central Florida, the Open Air School.
We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.




Interview with Erna Achenbach, part II

Founder and operator of one of the earliest and longest running pre-schools in central Florida, the Open Air School.We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.




Oral History Interview with Irma Achenbach Scudder

The life story of education pioneer Erna Wentzler Achenbach and the legacy of The Open Air School, as told by her daughter Irma Achenbach Scudder.
 
Oral history interview with Ms. Scudder on July 25, 2013 at Orlando Lutheran Towers in downtown Orlando.
 

 




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Erna Wentzler Achenbach: An Interesting Life 1896-1996, part I

Erna Wentzler Achenbach: An Interesting Life 1896-1996, part I, pages 1-32.


Erna Wentzler Achenbach: An Interesting Life 1896-1996, part II

Erna Wentzler Achenbach: An interesting Life 1896-1996, part II, pages 32-62.


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