History of Birchwood

On April 1, 1958, Birchwood High School welcomed its first students. Approximately 800 students from Grades 7 to10 came from Queen Square and Rochford Square schools. Colonel Leo F. MacDonald became the Principal of this new co-educational school and Sister Alice Campbell was the first Vice-Principal.

Birchwood remained a high school until 1966, when Colonel Gray High School opened. When Birchwood first became a junior high school it had over 600 Grade 7, 8, and 9 students in attendance, with Mr. Tom Bradley as Principal.

In 1978, Mr. George MacDonald became Principal. Throughout the late 1980s, Birchwood’s programs were expanded to include late French Immersion, which is a very successful program today. Also in the 1980s, the Special Education program broadened its focus with the addition of students from St. Jean and West Kent schools. The Special Education program has since developed into a well-integrated program in the school.

The structure of the school remained the same until October 3, 1988, when major renovations and construction began. A massive $6 million project added an extension to Birchwood which included a modern computerized library, a new gymnasium area, Special Education facilities, and more classroom space. “Old” space was reconstructed to create a large band room area with rehearsal rooms, a science laboratory that was to be a prototype for any others on P.E.I., Industrial Arts facilities which incorporated the latest technologies were established, a very comfortable staff room, and a spacious and versatile cafeteria/auditorium were in place. In recent years a computer lab has been added to the school as well.

In September 1994, Mr Gordon Ellis became Principal of Birchwood Intermediate School. Mr. Ellis retired on June 30, 2003.

Mr. Doug Currie, former vice-principal of L.M. Montgomery Elementary and of Birchwood Intermediate, was the Principal of Birchwood Intermediate School from July 2003 to June 2007. Mr. Currie currently holds the provincial portfolio of Minister of Health, Welfare, Social Services, and Seniors.

Currently Ms. Luanne Inman, is the Principal of Birchwood Intermediate School. Some of the teachers have taught at the School for 25 or more years. As a result, there are strong links with families in the community, a rich culture has developed and professional friendships have been made. This is complimented by the energy and enthusiasm contributed by newer staff members.