DID YOU KNOW...that
the George Washington High School of Alexandria, Virginia opened in 1935?
This photo was reproduced fromthe
1936 GW yearbook - 'The Compass'
'Alma Mater' by Philip Lester © 1947
Automatically plays once, then
(If you don't hear it...Sorry..Youmust
need a MIDI plug-in)
ALEXANDRIA HIGH SCHOOLS:
THE EARLY HISTORY
Prior to September 1935,
Alexandria had three 4-year high schools.
ALEXANDRIA HIGH SCHOOL, was located in the 1400
block of Cameron St.. Adjacent to Alexandria High was Jefferson Elementary
School, at 300 No.West St. where Jefferson-Houston Elementary now stands.
GEORGE MASON HIGH SCHOOL, was housed in the Mt.
Vernon Elementary School Annex. It was located at 2500 Mt.Vernon
Ave., and is now known as Mt. Vernon Elementary.
PARKER-GRAY HIGH SCHOOL, which later became the
Parker-Gray Middle School was originally located on Madison Street.
In September 1935, the student bodies of Alexandria High School and
George Mason High School were merged and the GEORGE WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
opened. The old Alexandria High building became an annex to Jefferson Elementary
School, while the old George Mason High became an annex to Mt.Vernon Elementary.
Mr. Henry T. Moncure was named as the first
Principal of GW and began with a Student Body of approximately 1200 and
a faculty of 35.
Photo from 1936 GW Yearbook
Photo from 1936 GW Yearbook
At this time, both the School Board and
theSuperintendent (Mr. T.C. Williams) were openly criticized for having
built a school so large that there would never be a student body large
enough to use the entire facility
However, it soon became apparent that the
BUILDING was not large enough.
The distinctive, Art Deco style main building was first expanded
by the addition of a south wing. This wing housed the
classrooms which were used for shop classes.
The student body continued to grow.
A separate shop facility was constructed.
A full Industrial Arts Annex was added. And, the GW
Memorial Stadium, with a capacity to seat 14,800 persons, was constructed.
A north wing was built, that housed the library, classrooms, and
an extension to the cafeteria.
A second four-year high school, Francis Hammond High,was opened.
The student body was reduced at George WashingtonHigh.
The gymnasium facilities at GW were so inadequate that the Tulloch
Memorial Gymnasium was created. At that time, the old gymnasium
was converted into two music rooms and the old locker rooms were converted
into classrooms 119, 121, 123,and 125.
A third high school, T.C. Williams High, was opened and again George
Washington students were re-assigned according to geographical boundaries.
THE END asa
FOUR-YEAR HIGH SCHOOL
In the fall of 1971, following a secondary school reorganization, George
Washington became a 9th and 10th grade school, as did Francis Hammond High
School. At this time, T.C. Williams was reorganized to house only
the 11th and 12th grades.
As a four-year high school, GWHS had the following Principal's
GW High Principals
Henry T. Moncure
Edgar G. Pruet
Robert (Gus) Garner
and MIDDLE SCHOOL:
THE NEW BEGINNING
In September, 1979, after the second reorganization of the secondary
schools within eight years, George Washington opened as a junior high school,as
did Francis Hammond, housing grades seven through nine.
T.C. Williams continued as the city's only high school with grades
ten through twelve.
In September, 1993, a third reorganization of the secondary schools,
converted George Washington and Francis C. Hammond, into "middle" schools,
housing grades six through eight.
A new school, Minnie Howard School, opened housing the 9th grade.
Currently, George Washington is in its 8th year as a middle school, and
its' 66nd year as a school building.
Above article was adapted from Vol. 1 of “On GW”,(GWAA’sNewsletter)
and from the GWAA 1st Annual Meeting handout... Photos
from 1936 GW Yearbook 'The Compass'
Our GW Fight Song
GW!, On GW!
hard for that line!
the ball around opponents,
sure this time...
will bring us fame...
win this ga-a-ame!!
(in RealAudio format)
Entire Song: 28.8
The GW Fight Song was actually based on
the original music for "On, Wisconsin!", which was composed in 1909 by
William T. Purdy. It was later acclaimed by world famous composer and bandmaster,John
Philip Sousa, as the best college song he had ever heard...
On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin
Plunge right throughthat
Run the ball...
Clear down the field,boys
Touchdown sure thistime
On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin
Fight on for her fame,
Fight, Fight, Fight
We'll win this game!.
always looking for new information and updates from GWHS grads (any
and all years)...
|The tune was originally composed in1909
by Chicago's William Purdy, and the words were written by Carl Beck.
Purdy and Beck had been fraternity brothers at Hamilton College (Clinton,N.Y.)
and were roommates in Chicago. Purdy was going to submit the song
for a $100 prize the University of Minnesota was offering for a new football
song. When Beck heard the music, he offered to
write words and suggested that Purdy offer it to Wisconsin, where Beck
had once studied. The song was an instant hit on campus and spread
throughout the world. It was especially popular with military bands.
Some 2,500 schools and colleges have adopted the music and changed the
words to suit their needs. "On, Wisconsin" was sung for the first time
at the 1909 homecoming game between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The
music was adapted by current Band Director Michael Leckrone in 1969.
The original version had been played
virtually unchanged since its inception. "I got a lot of flak for that,"Leckrone
said. "The old version was one you had to wait on. I wanted to generate
immediate crowd reaction, so I stepped it up a bit."
Copyright © 1995, University of Wisconsin -Madison,
Intercollegiate Athletics ...
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address, phone #, eMail address, and any other pertinent info.
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site was created in March of 1997 by Dave Beach, Class of '55,for the Alumni
of George Washington High School, Alexandria, Virginia, USA. All
images and pages are ©1997,1998,1999 dbProductions
Last Updated: (Mon) Apr 30, 2001 [11:05:25 AM]