Annie Wright Schools

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Annie Wright Schools
Annie Wright Sign.jpg

United States
Coordinates47°16′06″N 122°27′35″W / 47.268414°N 122.459641°W / 47.268414; -122.459641Coordinates: 47°16′06″N 122°27′35″W / 47.268414°N 122.459641°W / 47.268414; -122.459641
TypePrivate, day & boarding, college-prep
MottoFrom strength to strength
Head of SchoolsChristian Sullivan[1]
GenderCo-educational (P to grade 8)
Coordinate (single gender) (grades 9–12)
School color(s)Blue and gold

Annie Wright Schools is a private school in Tacoma, Washington, United States. It is subdivided into Annie Wright Lower School (boys and girls in preschool through grade 5), Annie Wright Middle School (boys and girls in grades 6–8), Annie Wright Upper School for Girls (all-girls day and boarding programs for grades 9 through 12), and Annie Wright Upper School for Boys (all-boys day and boarding programs for grades 9, 10 and 11). It was founded in 1884 by Charles Barstow Wright and Bishop John A. Paddock. It has an indoor pool; two gyms; science, design and technology labs; art and music studios; theater; outdoor gardens; play areas; athletic fields and open spaces.


Annie Wright Schools were founded as Annie Wright Seminary by Right Reverend John Adams Paddock and Charles Barstow Wright, who named it for Charles's daughter Annie, to educate the daughters of the pioneers.[2]

In 1884, Annie Wright Seminary opened its doors to 46 students from the Washington Territory, Oregon, British Columbia and Hawaii. At that time, there were ten members of the faculty. The first school catalog outlined the offerings of Annie Wright Seminary: "For board, furnished room, tuition in English branches and Latin, and laundry service, $350 a year."

By the early 1900s, it became apparent that the school building was becoming too small to meet demand. A new location and building were desired to give the school its much needed space. Property was purchased on North Tacoma Avenue where the cornerstone of a new building was laid on June 9, 1924. Construction of the school was completed in time for the start of the 1924–25 school year and the doors opened to students September 18, 1924.

Mary McCarthy wrote of her time at Annie Wright Seminary in her memoirs Memories of a Catholic Girlhood and How I Grew.[3]

In 2009, Annie Wright Schools became an International Baccalaureate World School,[4] offering the IB Diploma Programme, with the first diploma recipients in 2011. In 2015, the school was authorized to offer the IB Primary Years Programme in Preschool through Grade 5. As of 2017, Annie Wright Schools qualified for the Middle Years Programme as well.

In January 2017, Annie Wright Schools announced the decision to launch an Upper School for Boys, which opened on August 30, 2017, with 15 ninth grade boys.[5]

In June 2018, Annie Wright Schools broke ground on two projects: a new academic building for the boys' upper school and a third gym which will have an underground pool. The projects are slated to be completed in 2019; the academic building in August and the gym/pool in fall.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ DEATH OF FORMER TACOMA RESIDENT, in the Tacoma Times; published May 17, 1904 (via Chronicling America)
  3. ^ McCarthy, Mary (1993). Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. How I Grew. Intellectual Memoirs. Quality Paperback Book Club. ASIN B000UTMBU8.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Annie Wright School to add boys high school this fall". thenewstribune. Retrieved 2017-03-10.

External links[edit]