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St. Hilda's School for Girls

The development of St. Hilda’s School began in 1889 under the direction of Bishop Pinkham. It was the only Protestant Girls' School in the Territories and one of the first private schools in Calgary.

st hildas school for girls 1In 1905, St. Hilda’s College, as it was then known, opened its doors with 20 day students and 20 boarders, all girls. For 44 years the school building occupied most of the block at 8th Street and 12th Avenue, in Calgary. The School followed the English example of training young women in fine arts and higher education under the direction of Caroline Gerrie-Smith of Toronto. 

st hildas school for girls 2By 1912, Mrs. Gerrie-Smith had retired and been replaced by Miss Shibly who managed the now 80 students enrolled in the School with the help of some necessary renovations made on the buildings. Through World War I, the enrollment dropped to 35 students and the School felt the effects. With Dorothy Cleveland now at the helm, St. Hilda’s College was renamed St. Hilda’s School for Girls, gained its independence from the Anglican Church by transferring control to a Board of Governors; thus, it became the first independent school in Calgary. During World War II, the School’s enrollment increased quite dramatically as students from war-torn England dominated the boarding facilities. At one point in the 1940s, the enrollment stood at 135 pupils with a staff of 12 teachers. In March 1949, the Board of Governors announced the closure of St. Hilda’s effective June of that year.

The relationship between STS and St. Hilda’s has been one of people, ideals and financial support. We find among the present STS family many connections to St. Hilda’s through parents and grandparents and other family relations who continue to support independent school education and whose ideals are perpetuated at STS. It was, in part, a substantial donation from the St. Hilda’s Trust Fund in 1971, which assisted in establishing STS at its present location. This trust continues to grow through the generosity of St. Hilda’s Alumnae.