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History of our School

Way back in the beginning before there was an American School in Peking, the Peking Mothers' Club organized the Peking Primary School for the purpose of educating foreign students from kindergarten through the fifth grade. In 1915 Miss Ruth Johnson was made principal and the next year Miss Stuart was placed in charge. With an enrollment of about forty children the school covered the needs of that day.

In 1918 the job was turned over to a school board made up of men and women representing the different organizations of Peking. Soon it became necessary to organize a high school, and Mr. Gill was made principal. The student body rapidly out grew the grounds and in 1921 funds for a new building were asked for. Construction began as soon as plans could be drawn up and, in the fall of 1923, the new building was ready for use.

The graduating class of 1923 was all of two students large. In 1924 life in the new school got off to a good start. Melsom S. Tuttle was the principal and Mary A . Nourse, a now famous authoress, was on the faculty.

Alice Moore became the principal in 1926 and has held that position ever since. Another "old timer" we found in 1928 when Un Ling rang the bell for them as he docs for us now. Girls and boys athletics were well organized with N. C. A. S as the main rivals. Dramatics in 1930 seemed to be going strong with "Christmas Carol" their main production. Scout troops for both boys and girls were well organized in 1931. A student council in 1932 was not as successful as ours has been this year. Twelve members in the graduating class of 1933 makes it look gigantic compared to that of 1923. In the eighth-grade class of 1934 we found our beloved teacher, Miss Li. In 1935 another student council was organized which seemed a little more successful than the previous one. Socials and sports in 1937 hit an all-time high. Many of our present students entered P. A. S. in 1938 and their pictures may be found in the 1939 annual.

On December 9, 1941, after war was declared, the Japanese arrived at school and the students were ordered to leave. Then followed a series of meetings with authorities who promised from month to month, that we should be allowed to reopen our school. Exasperated at continued delay, Miss Moore decided that we should function as an underground school with classes meeting in the teachers' homes In June a graduation was held in the residence of one of the students with Miss Moore, the only foreigner, present. The following September with Japanese permission school was opened in the Oriental Mission. Here it was operated until March, 1943 when the foreign population of Peiping was moved to Weihsien. For two and a half years Miss Moore carried on in camp and when she returned to Peiping in September, 1945, she immediately reopened the school. The enrollment was small but has grown until this year it reached a peak of 202 students.

Last summer Miss Moore left us for a year's leave of absence. During her absence Miss Ruth Kunkel has been principal and will continue to the next year. We owe both of then many thanks for their devoted service to the school.


Miss. Ruth Kunkel at grotto entrance ...