The History of Menaul

In 1896, Rev. James A. Menaul, a Presbyterian minister sought and received Presbyterian mission funding for a boarding school that would serve Spanish speaking boys from New Mexico, primarily from the northern portion of the state.

Although the roots of Menaul School go back to 1881, when Rev. Sheldon Jackson, a Presbyterian minister, opened "The Pueblo Training School" (PTS) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, under a contract with the U.S. Government, that did not mark the founding of Menaul School. Instead, it marked the establishment of "Presbyterian-related" education in Albuquerque. The PTS was originally located in the Duranes area, just north of Old Town in Albuquerque. In 1882, the site that is now the current Menaul School campus, was purchased through the efforts of local Presbyterians and served as the site of the PTS. In 1891, the government ended the contract with the Presbyterians, resumed the direct operation of the Indian school, and relocated PTS west of the Menaul School campus.

Many students came from Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, where public education was nearly non-existent in those early days. It was not unusual for parents to contribute to their children's education with grain or livestock. These contributions were in turn used on the school's farm, which kept the students well fed.

The grades taught at Menaul School have fluctuated from primary school to high school throughout its history. The first students to complete high school comprised the Class of 1906. In 1934, Menaul became co-educational. Throughout the years, Menaul, as a school grounded in the reformed Christian tradition, gained a reputation for educating good students with excellent values, ethics and moral character.

In 1972, the Presbyterian Church relinquished control over, and financing of, Menaul School to an independent and volunteer Board of Trustees. Though the school remains related to the Presbyterian Church, its only major support from the national organization is from a portion of a special Christmas offering taken each year throughout the churches of the denomination.

Beginning in the 1970s, the changes in society and the further development of the public school system resulted in a gradual decline in the number of boarding students from around the state. At the same time, more families in the Albuquerque area sought out the school for its high quality, values-centered educational program. By May 2000, with fewer than a dozen students participating, the Board of Trustees closed the boarding program.

Today, Menaul School is an independent school for grades 6-12 (a full middle school program was added in 1992). Menaul School is also re-instating the boarding program effective Fall 2010 for grades 9-12. The curriculum at Menaul School is a college preparatory academic program with an emphasis on preparing its students for success in college, teaching them to engage the world as lifelong learners and ethical leaders in service to the community, and respecting the Christian tradition.

Menaul School has graduated more than 3,000 students. Graduates excel in all walks of life, serving their communities throughout the world. Since its first graduating class in 1906, more than 90% of Menaul graduates have gone on to higher education. In more recent years, that number has increased to 95% of graduates continuing their post-secondary school education.

Menaul School is proud of its tradition of educating students in New Mexico. Today it accepts students from all cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Fifty percent of students receive financial assistance and more than 60 percent are self-identified as racial and ethnic minority persons.