Girls' school celebrates 40 years in Brooklandville

St. Paul's holds assembly, releases book on history

April 17, 1999|By Jennifer Sullivan | Jennifer Sullivan,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Normally, entering the bright, clean gym would mean talking, gossiping and giggling, but yesterday, the hundreds of girls in short, mint-green skirts, scuffed Doc Marten oxfords and white polo shirts shuffled silently into the athletic center single file, for a different kind of assembly.

Former and current faculty, students and members of the Board of Trustee gathered on the sprawling campus yesterday for the St. Paul's School for Girls' 40th birthday in Brooklandville. More than 400 people listened to the school's choir and heard three former headmistresses reminisce about their tenures at the private Episcopal school.

According to Headmistress Evelyn Flory, when the school opened in September 1959, it had 86 students, tuition was $725, and its one playfield was filled with rocks. The faculty and students toiled to make the school what it is today, which makes celebrating "Founders' Day" so important.

"It's hard to imagine now how primitive things were and that it took a lot to get going," said Flory.

Remembering the school's history is especially important to archivist Mary Bready.

Bready, a former head of grades nine through 12, is the author of "Through All Our Days, A History of St. Paul's School for Girls." Her book was released after yesterday's 90-minute ceremony. It tells the school's history, which she traces back to 1799.

For nearly 150 years, as St. Paul's Girls' School, it bounced around various locations in Baltimore. The earlier schools, funded by Baltimore's St. Paul's Church, were homes "for girls from broken homes," Bready said. The last of the orphanage schools, near what is now Coppin State College, closed in 1951. Eight years later, the tuition-based college preparatory institution replaced it at its current location.

There are now 333 girls in grades five through 12 enrolled at the Baltimore County school. The school grounds include three playfields, five science laboratories, a nature trail and a fine arts center, shared with the St. Paul's School for Boys next door.

In addition to the Founders' Day celebration, yesterday also marked the fifth anniversary of the school's link with its sister school in Yokohama, Japan. Two faculty members from the Yokohama International Girls' Institute, arrived in Baltimore on Wednesday to help celebrate the anniversary.

Pub Date: 4/17/99

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