A Century Later

  • The History of The Grand Canyon Unified School District

    The Grand Canyon Pioneer's Society (now known as The Grand Canyon Historical Society) published an article by Hubert Lauzon, on the History of the Grand Canyon School. Excerpts are provided for you to enjoy as we celebrate the rich heritage of our public schools.

    "The first school at the Grand Canyon was started July 10, 1911, one year before Statehood. Ralph and Niles Cameron loaned the use of a building they owned south of the present head of Bright Angel Trail. Locally it was known as Cameron's Green House. Miss Grace Miller was the first teacher and when she left after the spring term, Miss Hammil took over the rest of the term. Judge Layton, the county circuit judge acted as school superintendent and recommended Miss Mayflower as the next teacher. W.W. Bass provided funds for lumber and labor to erect another school building that had a classroom and quarters for the teacher. The building was completed July 27, 1913. Miss Minnie Webb from Payson, Arizona, who had taught several years in China was the first teacher. The 1914-15 school year opened with 29 pupils. In 1916, the county built the next school with county funds. This building still stands on the hill south of the Fred Harvey Garage. The school board chose this location because of the proximity to water and sewer lines. Grand Canyon Village's first permanent schoolhouse was bought by Bert Lauzon in 1917 and it was moved to his homestead where it stands today.

    A Parent Teachers Association was organized in 1920 and through this organization a lot of improvements came about in the way of playground equipment and entertainment for the school and community.

    With the help of Senator Carl Hayden and other congressman and the Park Service, funds were secured for the present elementary school which was finished in 1940. It has been enlarged and improved over a period of time. Since 1940, the high school was built and many other additions and improvements have been made." - Hubert Louzon, November 1992

    Today, the Grand Canyon Unified School District serves over 300 students K-12. It is the only K-12 school district that is located inside a national park. Just as in its beginnings when it relied on strong community support, the current school district continues to rely on positive relationships with local businesses, the National Park, Kaibab National Forest and other government entities, creating unique learning opportunities for our students.

    Each year students in the performing and fine arts enjoy School of Rock, Arts in our Park and participate in the Park's Artist-in-Residence Program. The elementary students consistently represent Arizona at O.M. Nationals. The elementary regularly offers three levels of O.M. competition for selected students. The fourth grade enjoys an annual trip to the Arizona Science Museum and an overnight stay at the Phoenix Zoo while sixth grade traditionally spends a week at an Outdoor Educational Camp learning a lot about environmental education, leadership, and character.

    The school district offers a comprehensive K-12 education that includes advanced placement classes for high school students, K-12 Spanish, Career and Technical Education classes to a complement of core academic offerings.