Yorktown History from Jim Allen

Yorktown High School

(Rev. 6/29/02)

In September of 1960 the "New School" in Arlington opened its doors for the first time to students and staff. As a young biology teacher I shared with many of you the excitement of that time, something I continued to do until my retirement in l995 as the last original staff member.

During those 35 years I saw many changes to the building, staff, and curriculum. In the late 1960's a new library was built in the center court. The big locust tree there, affectionately known as "Elihu Fribble", came down for this but a cross-section of her trunk and her picture still hang in the library. The swimming pool was constructed in the early 1970's next to the tennis courts. A general renovation of the main building took place in the early 1990's. This included new windows and ceilings and central air conditioning. Yorktown is currently getting a $1 million new roof.

The staff has fluctuated in size and makeup over time depending upon enrollment and course offerings. The Title IX legislation required hiring more coaches because the athletic program doubled in size with the addition of girls' sports. Even though the program doubled, the facilities to accommodate the practices and contests have remained the same as they were in 1960.

In 1978 the 9th Grade was moved to the high school which resulted in increased staff and course offerings to accommodate four grade levels. Currently the need for more classrooms is tied not only to increased student enrollment but also to more specialized courses requiring smaller class size.

We were saddened by the death of our first principal, W. Ralph Kier, in 1996 at the age of 78. He had an active and productive retirement. Our second principal, Steve Kurcis, is retired and doing well in spite of several health problems.* Steve was followed by Mark Frankle for two years. Mike Durso then served as principal from 1990 until the Fall of 1996 when he took a principalship in Maryland. After a year of national search, Dr. Raymond Pasi took over at Yorktown just this past summer and seems to be off to a great start.

We welcome information and inquiries from you, particularly concerning your reunion plans. Many calls come to Yorktown seeking information on reunions. If you send information in care of Jim Allen to Yorktown High School, 5201 North 28th Street, Arlington, Va. 22207, I will see that it gets to the correct person or group.

I have had the good fortune to be associated with Yorktown High School since its beginning as a staff member and also as a parent. All three of our children were graduated from Yorktown. I am pleased that the Allen tradition continues at Yorktown as my nephew, Mike Allen, and his wife, Cecelia, are now both on the staff.

I look forward to many more years of involvement and hope that you will join us in developing and supporting our new alumni association, Alumni and Friends of Yorktown, Inc.. Our association will assist Yorktown in continuing the excellence and pride that has been established over the years.


Jim Allen, YHS Ret.