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School History


 Veterans Memorial Elementary School opened in 1953 to serve the influx of Veterans moving to the East Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield. Since 1953, out school has had a reputation of providing an excellent, rigorous curriculum to the students that they serve. In 1994, Veterans Memorial Elementary School was renamed to Mary A. Dryden Veterans Memorial Elementary School to honor a lifelong educator of the Springfield Public Schools, Mary A. Dryden. 

Mary A. Dryden was a 38-year Springfield educator who served as the first and at the time, only principal of the 1,200-pupil German Gerena Community School, formerly the New North School, which she had helped to plan. A graduate of Cathedral High School in 1950, Dryden received a bachelor of arts degree from Elms College in Chicopee in 1954. After graduation, she taught at Memorial Elementary School by day while working toward a master's degree in education at American International College at night. She received that master's degree in 1960, and then a certificate of advanced graduate study in public school administration from Springfield College in 1967.During her distinguished career, she taught every elementary grade. She taught at Memorial Elementary School for 15 years. She was the author and first director of the city school system's initial bilingual program at Carew Street Elementary School. She served as assistant principal at Washington Elementary School, and was principal of Tapley Elementary School when she was tapped to become the first principal of the New North School when it opened in 1975. She had served on the planning committee for the development of the latter school since 1967. The Gerena school opened originally as a Grades 5-6 facility, but changed to a kindergarten-through-Grade 5 later on.

In June 2011, Dryden School was hit by the tornado that severely impacted many areas in the City of Springfield. Dryden went through a full school renovation and currently has state of the art features. 

To this day, Mary A. Dryden Veterans Memorial Elementary School serves students in the East Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield and greater Springfield area. 

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