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Tweedsmuir: An Academic School for Girls

Tweedsmuir: An Academic School for Girls was first opened in 1959 in a house located at 3034 Elbow Drive S.W. Initial enrollment totaled 27 girls in Grades 7 to 9 under headmistress Mrs. Ingeburg Aitken.

tweedsmuir academic school for girlsThe School’s mission was to fulfill the need for an academic education in preparation for entrance into university. Mrs. Aitken’s objective was to offer an enriched curriculum in the humanities and sciences as well as teaching deportment, social graces, courtesy and manners. Before Mrs. Aitken left in 1962, the School established an excellent academic program. During this time, the House system was also put in place (Buchan, Burns and Dover), the School was provided with its motto - Nil Nisi Optimum - and the Blackwatch tartan was designated as the fabric for school uniforms.

tweedsmuir 1959In 1962, Mrs. Winnifred Witherspoon became the second headmistress at Tweedsmuir. It was during this time that the School moved to 3636 – 7th Street S.W. which was the old Elbow Park Cottage School site. This allowed for the continued development of programs with much improved facilities. Enrollment reached 75 girls by 1965 when Mrs. Margaret McWilliam became the new headmistress. A sense of family continued to be developed within the School as well as a strong academic program in addition to physical education and religious studies. Mrs. McWilliam showed her love of teaching and influenced both her students and her teachers to provide the best opportunities possible for all.

By 1968, the School’s enrollment had reached 110 and since the facilities were being stretched to the limit, it was not long before discussions of amalgamation with Strathcona School for Boys were taking place.