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Denver's oldest middle school turns 100 years old

Morey Middle School opened in 1921
Morey Middle School_Denver's oldest middle school turns 100 years old
Posted at 8:04 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 10:31:49-04

DENVER — Denver’s oldest middle school is celebrating its 100th birthday.

Morey Middle School opened in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in 1921. As a junior high school, it was the first school in the city serving 7th and 8th graders. That was later expanded to include 6th graders.

Assistant Principal MJ Roberts-Gibson worked with students to form a centennial council. They’ve collected old yearbooks stories and photos from Morey alumni.

“I’ve worked at other schools in Denver and what I really love is our students and our community’s investment in Morey’s history,” Roberts-Gibson said.

Morey’s distinguished alumni include the Madeleine Albright, the country’s first female Secretary of State. Famous Denver leaders Marie Greenwood and John Amesse also attended the school.

Morey Principal Hillary Niebauer said the school’s central location meant that it pulled students from all areas of the city.

“If you lived in Denver or grew up here, chances are you know somebody who went to Morey Middle School,” Niebauer said.

Roberts-Gibson pointed out that Morey is located in a historically Black neighborhood and has always been diverse.

“Now that the demographics are shifting in Denver and choice is an option, it’s an honor to be able to continue to pull diverse groups to Morey,” she said.

While the building itself has been upgraded, many features are nearly a hundred years old. The school’s auditorium walls are decorated with murals donated by classes in the 1930s. The school is also one of a few in Denver that has a swimming pool.

Morey was also the site of a 1961 school shooting. Two male students got into a fight and 14-year-old Deborah Humphrey was accidentally struck by a bullet.

Students today say they appreciate learning about the positive and negative history and seeing the progress Morey has made over time.

“It’s beautiful to see what happened before I was alive,” said 8th grader Mya Means.

The school will host a 100th birthday celebration on Saturday, Sep. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Morey alumni are encouraged to visit this website to share their memories.