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This site created and maintained by
Karen (Derewianski) Shader
McKay Class of 1973

Francis M.McKay 
 School History

So,.... just who the heck was
“FRANCIS M. MCKAY”?

Francis M. McKay School

Francis M. McKay School

Andersen School

Photo of the H. C. Andersen School at the time that Francis M. McKay served as its Principal
 (early 1900’s)

Francis M. McKay was a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in its early days.  He was prominent in having the original name of that school changed to the “University of Illinois”.

Francis McKay also served as a school principal himself in the early 1900’s.  He was principal of the “Andersen School” in Chicago at the turn of the century.  Named after Hans Christian Andersen, the school stood at the intersection of North Lincoln and West Division --- an address which may sound odd to us now, since street names have since been changed.  At the present time, those two streets don’t even intersect. The Andersen School’s current address is 1148 North Honore, Chicago, IL  60622.

Francis M. McKay Elementary School was originally built in the year 1928.  (...Remember the round holes in our wooden desk tops?... Those used to hold the students’ ink bottles, back before ballpoint pens were available)

The school was chosen to undergo a $15 million renovation in 1997. For example, the “boys playground” is now completely covered by a huge new building addition.

There is also now a preschool program there which has been granted highest honors by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Of the school system’s 326 preschool sites, only 37 have earned NAEYC accreditation and McKay Elementary’s preschool is one of them.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens;
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
                                                                   ---   Helen Keller