University School | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
On February 26, 1874, a model school department was created by the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois Normal College to provide practice teaching experience in elementary curriculum and in high school preparation. The Model School consisted of two departments, the Normal Department and the Preparatory School, with no separate High School. Julia Mason was head of the Model School from September 6, 1874 until 1876. After her resignation in 1876, the Model School was discontinued until 1882, when it was reestablished under Professor John Hull. Professor John Hull served as both superintendent of teacher training and professor of higher mathematics.
By 1890, the training school staff had expanded to include a principal of primary grades and a principal of the intermediate and high schools, both assistants to the superintendent. A High School was established separately of the Normal School. Miss Ann C. Anderson was the first primary principal, and George W. Smith became the first principal of the high school.
In 1892, under President Hull, W.F. Rocheleau became superintendent of the training school. James Kirk succeeded him as superintendent in 1894. In 1909, the training school was moved into its own building, the Allyn Building, and became known as the Allyn Training School. The University School has been known at various times as the Model School, the Practice School, the Training School, the Laboratory School and University School.
The University School's modern history began in 1950, as a laboratory school from kindergarten to high school, replacing the previous laboratory school. John C. Mees was the first principal. In 1967 the four-year high school was discontinued, and eventually in 1971 the grade school ceased operating.