Menaul School has a rich and relevant history that dates back to the late 19th century.
What started out as a Presbyterian boarding school for Spanish speaking boys has evolved into a co-educational boarding and day school with students and graduates from all across the world.
In exploring Menaul’s history, it is apparent that it ties closely with the history of Northern New Mexico itself. For more information than what is presented below, please contact the Menaul Historical Library, located on campus in Bennett Hall.
According to 1904 records of the Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church, as well as a paper published in the Journal of Presbyterian History, it is our understanding that Reverend Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian minister, opened the Pueblo Training School (PTS) in Albuquerque, NM under a contract with the U.S. government. The PTS was originally located in the Duranes area, at what is now the junction of Rio Grande Boulevard and Indian School Road, just north of Old Town in Albuquerque. In 1882, a group of citizens of Albuquerque purchased 66.67 acres of land and donated it to the U.S. government “for an industrial boarding school for the Pueblo Indians”, this being the property at what is now Indian School Road and 12th Street.
In 1884, the Pueblo Training School purchased additional land with funds donated by a group of Albuquerque citizens. The U.S. government erected two buildings on the site, one of which is still standing, Old Brick. This land was then turned over to the Presbyterian Home Mission Board and now makes up the campus of Menaul School. The PTS began school there the following year. Although, this did not mark the founding of Menaul School, it marked the establishment of Presbyterian-related education in Albuquerque. In 1891, the school was closed because “the Home Mission Board felt that the government was adequately caring for the educational needs of the Indians”. After five years without students, the campus was reinhabited and Menaul School was officially founded in 1896.
The Presbyterian Church issued an apology for schools of these kinds. They are now focused on listening to stories from people affected by these schools.
Purchased by Reverend James Menaul using funds obtained by the Presbyterian General Assembly, the campus was intended as a Boarding School for Spanish speaking boys. On January 1st, 1896, the school opened with a core of elementary school boarding students of all ages from the Presbyterian Boarding School in Las Vegas, NM.
Menaul School graduated its first class, from 11th grade.
Harper C. Donaldson (left) became superintendent. He stayed in this position until 1953. During his 37-year tenure at Menaul School, many young men and women were beneficiaries of an academic, spiritual, and sportsmanship education that led many alumni to illustrious careers in Law, Medicine, the Arts, Science, Government, the Ministry, and entrepreneurship.
The Panther is first used for the athletic logo, and remains the school mascot to this day.
Menaul School graduated its first co-educational class when girls from Allison James School in Santa Fe, NM, grades 10-12, came to Menaul.
Menaul had its first Homecoming celebration and festivities. The first person to hold the title of homecoming queen was Regina “Sandy” Sandoval (pictured).
Menaul School campus was conveyed from the Presbyterian Board of National Missions to an elected Board of Trustees. The first president of the Board is Izar Martinez (pictured).
Longtime football coach, Dave Tomlinson (pictured), was named “Coach of the Year” after the team finishes with an undefeated season.
Lindsey Gilbert is named ‘Head of School’ and currently remains in this position.
Menaul School reopens its Boarding Program after a ten year hiatus. Boarding students are primarily international students, and this helps to sustain Menaul as an internationally focused school.
All information acquired from the Menaul Historical Library. For more information, please call (505) 343-7480.