We're getting nostalgic in 2024!

Whether you were one of the 84 students walking through the doors on September 13th, 1965, or you're a recent grad who captured your class's Commencement with a bunch of Instagram selfies, we want to celebrate together this year. There is no community like ours, and as you click through the pictures below we hope you reflect not only on your own Prairie experience, but how much our school – your school – has accomplished in the last 59 years, as well as all the good things yet to come.

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Coming of age during an enigmatic time filled with tensions both home and abroad, Prairie is filled with teachers and students who want to make the world a better place. Societal issues are analyzed, debated, and discussed. Children are taught to be empathetic. Further, right from the beginning TPS establishes itself as a community where individuals of different backgrounds can culminate and learn together. In this way, the Prairie of today remains much the place it was in 1965 when starting as a single, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired circle in a Wind Point field. In 1975, the school's tenth anniversary, a fire ravages much of the campus. Many feared it was the end of Prairie. However, the school was rebuilt. The community bonded. Prairie came back better, stronger, ready to take on the next ten years.


It's the 80s and things are getting big – the hair, the cars, the computers, the campus. The decade is bookended by a pair of major additions: the Performing Arts Center (1980) and the the Student Research Center (1990), both of which remain two of the most beloved and utilized spaces on campus. In between their arrival, the school's ambition and accomplishments also continue to grow as Prairie welcomes its first state basketball championship (1982), debate team (1983), homecoming celebration (1986), and literary magazine (1987).


Our school is officially middle-aged! Prairie embodies the ethos of the '90s, a decade generally marked by peace, prosperity, and the Internet. At times, the Fieldhouse even smells like teen spirit... Our community's lifelong focus on communication blossoms with the advent of the World Wide Web.


The new millennium ushers in many new spaces at Prairie. By the middle of the decade, the school facility has gained ten additions, including the two-story, 25,000-square-foot Johnson Athletic Center, appended to the existing Fieldhouse. This coincides with a period of great success for the Prairie Hawks, who find their stride in athletics with several local and state-level championship teams. As the world around us seemingly grows due to globalization, Prairie remains on the cutting edge, introducing more high-level STEM curriculum and expanding programming for students' social-emotional learning.


Celebrations have shaped this decade of our school's history. Prairie marked its 50th anniversary, a joyful occasion for the entire community. We also said goodbye to many important figures in the school's history, most notably our beloved founder, Imogene Powers Johnson. From the passing of our matriarch to the addition of a new Head of School, this decade proved transformative and ushered in a new generation of leadership, poising the school for a period of change and growth in the years to come.

The Prairie School has a national community of alumni, who are actively shaping the world. In 1970, our first graduating class of 19 students began their endeavors as young adults. Since then we’ve graduated close to 1,800 students. From authors to musicians, doctors and lawyers, we’re amazed with the journeys and experiences our students have after graduating. Our alumni constitute a valued and important part of our school community. We celebrate this richness and encourage alumni to remain in touch.

What Are You Doing These Days?

Drop us a line and let us know what’s new . We’d love to feature you and your accomplishments in the next issue of Prairie, or here on the alumni blog.

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