Zaragoza American School History

Opened: March 1956
Closed: 1960

In March 1956, Zaragoza Dependents' School was first established at Ruisenores, a section of the American Armed Forces offices in the city. Mr. Carhart was the only teacher for the school. The school was located in the building formerly occupied by the hospital. The total enrollment of this first school was twenty-eight with the school's population almost evenly distributed through grades one to eight. The only high school student was Klara Smith, a ninth grader. The original school mascot was the Zebra.

During the summer months several other high school pupils arrived. Classes for the school year 1956-1957 were held at the base in the warehouse later occupied by Civilian Personnel. There were two classrooms which accommodated fifteen students in grades seven through twelve. The faculty consisted of two teachers one who taught typing and supervised the correspondence courses for seniors. The only senior was William Anger.

For the 1957-58 school year the classes were in the new school building on the Air Force Base. There were seventy-six pupils. In the high school there were six students: a ninth grader, four tenth graders, and one twelfth grader. With the exception of typing classes, all high school classes were by correspondence, from the Extension Department of the University of Nebraska, and were supervised by Mrs. Shanks. A Spanish conversation class was taught by Senorita Redondo, and written lessons were submitted to the University of Nebraska, to establish credit in the language. The principal was Joseph McCormick, and the lone senior was James C. Smith. The school had an instrumental group with five students, a vocal group of five students, and a student council. All participants in these activities were female.

The third year of the school, the high school had seven teachers, with an addition ten to twelve teachers for the lower grades. Approximately fifty students enrolled in the high school during the school year. A student council was set up and the school systems began to take on the appearance of a normal school.

There were 460 students in kindergarten through grade twelve for the 1958-59 school year. By the 1959-60 school year the enrollment reached a peak of 160 students in the upper grades and five hundred in the lower grades.

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