Our Founder

Our Founder

The Prairie School was founded in 1965 by two women with a vision. Imogene Powers Johnson and Willie Hilpert believed that the Racine community needed and would benefit greatly from an independent day school that would provide love of learning, attention to the individual student, a diverse student body, high academic standards to promote individual achievement, a good physical education department, and a creative learning environment.

Today, over five decades later, that vision continues to hold strong. Since first opening its doors on September 13, 1965 with a student body of 84, Prairie has grown to be one of the Midwest’s finest independent schools, with a top-notch faculty, challenging academics, unique educational offerings, and a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright architecturally-styled campus whose unique prairie design and curved hallways inspire learning.

Founder’s Intent

“The Prairie School exists to enhance the educational options for Racine and surrounding  communities, to provide an excellent independent ES-12th grade college preparatory educational institution and to serve as a key catalyst to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Imogene P. Johnson

Approved by The Prairie School Board of Trustees January 24th, 2018

Imogene P. Johnson at the groundbreaking ceremony for Prairie in 1965.