Changes In Our Schools

As told by Barbara Norman to Greg McMullen

Port Grahamís first school was started back in early 1931 according to information received in an interview Greg McMullen conducted with his grandmother, Barbara Norman.

When Barbara and Harry Norman returned to Port Graham from Anchorage in 1930, there was no school here. Harry got the first school going for the village in an old pool hall down by the ways. It was a building about the size of Barbaraís house, approximately 40x20 feet.

The first students were all grown-ups. Marvin Norman was the young one to go to school when he was six or seven.

A Mrs. Switland from Homer was the first teacher. She came to Port Graham on a boat as there were no planes at that time.

Mrs. Nicholas was teaching here a long time. She and Mrs. Smith taught here four to six years each. Mrs. Starneilson was here two or three years. When she got stuck here she stayed in a little house near the missionaryís home.

When a school was later built it was just one room with another smaller room on the back of it.

The second year, Mrs. Bob Smith taught here. She came up from Passage Islands where her husband had a fox farm.

During the early days in school here, there wasnít much playing around during recesses. It was all grown-ups going to school. They used to have classes like there are now, but when students were done they usually didnít go anywhere else for schooling.



Copyright 1983,Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.All rights reserved