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History of Eastern

The history of Eastern Senior High School dates back to the year 1890, when the District of Columbia outgrew its only white secondary school. Three branch schools were organized as a result of the overpopulation. One of the branch schools was the Capitol High School, located at 5th & C Streets, SE, in what is now Peabody Elementary School. Later, the name was changed to Eastern High School because of its location in the eastern section of the city.
 
In its first year, Eastern had an enrollment of 170 students and a staff consisting of a principal and seven teachers.  The second year enrollment increased to 260 students, and four additional teachers were added to the faculty. In the fall of 1892, the school moved to a new building located at 7th & C Streets, SE. That building was torn down to make way for the new Hine Junior High School. The enrollment continued to increase and in March 1923, when the school moved to its present site at 17th & East Capitol Streets, the student enrollment had grown to over 1,000.
 
During the Depression years, Eastern reached a peak enrollment of more than 3,330 students. For several years the school operated on a double shift. After World War II, enrollment declined due mainly to shifts in ethnic population. From1952-1962, Eastern became a junior-senior high school when students from Eliot Junior High moved into the building. Since the 1954 Supreme Court ruling on school desegregation, Eastern has welcomed members of all races to its student body and faculty.
 
PRINCIPALS OF EASTERN:
 
1964 - Madison W. Tignor (The first African American principal to serve at Eastern)
1979 - Mrs. Eva Rousseau
1979 - Dennis L. Jackson
1984 - Ralph H. Neal
1997 - Dewey A. Reeves
1998 - Courtney Fletcher
2000 - Jerome Shelton
2002 - Louis P. Sheppard
2003 - Norman S. Smith
2004 - Wilma Bonner (August)
2004 - Jacqueline Williams (November)
2006 - Shawn A. Hearn (August)
2006 - Willie Lamb and Richard Bachman (November)
2007 - Monica A. Taylor
2008 - William C. Chiselom
 
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