“A territorial school at last”


From a column by editor Rusty Bellringer in the Knik Arm Courier, Aug. 17, 1960:


Continued from last week’s column…

Students from Chugiak and Eagle River had to ride a commercial bus to Anchorage to attend that city’s one school that handled grades one through twelve. Parents and students both complained about the long hours spent traveling. Parents were also concerned about the fact that children often had to contend with fellow passengers who were inebriated.

Taking their case to the Alaska Territorial Legislature, parents convinced them to build the area’s first school. Chugiak Territorial School opened in October, 1951. Built to hold 50 students, 75 children showed up on the first day of school. The school taught grades one through eight. Area high school students continued to commute to Anchorage.

By 1954, Eagle River was growing at a record pace. Once again, the Legislature responded and built Eagle River Elementary School. People in the area soon tired of sending their high school students to Anchorage. Since most of them had to catch the bus, area students were not able to take part in school sports or participate in other extracurricular activities.


** Next week we will give you the school bus schedule for those high school students that had to attend Anchorage High School in 1960.


This column is provided by the Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society. Reach them at info@cerhs.org or leave a message at 688-4706.

Reader Comments:
Feb 14, 2014 05:29 pm
 Posted by  Eileen

Wow! What a blast from the past. I attended Chugiak Territorial School from 4th grade through 7th grade. 1956 - 1960. We originally lived in Eagle River trailer park, then moved to Birchwood. Some of my memories:

Playing softball with our 5th grade teacher, Mr. Money from Palatka, Fl. Our classroom was in a church a short walk from the school. He always walked around the classroom with a yardstick which he tapped on the back of his neck. If he wanted to get a students attention he would snap that yardstick on the desk, and always got everyone's attention!

So many fond memories!

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