Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs


Ann Piper

Publication Date



During the years 1945-1953, what were the historical, social, economic, and political influences exerted on the planning and opening of Albuquerque Public Schools' (APS's) second high school, Highland High? From 1881 until 1949, Albuquerque High was Albuquerque's only public high school. This study highlights a convergence of circumstances that reveals an educational and cultural story unique in the United States. Utilizing a qualitative study design, data emerged from open coding of documents, artifacts and personal interviews. Findings demonstrate that major influences on Highland's opening include: the end of World War II, a patterning of Highland after Albuquerque High, a divide in curricular and activities standards for genders, a two-school rivalry in the city, housing patterns resulting in a dominantly Anglo Highland population, an increase in income and leisure time, a homogenous American dream, an influx of money to Albuquerque, a rise in tourism, an increase in small businesses, a plentiful water supply, fierce nationalism, fear of Communism, explosive population and annexation to the city limits, and two strong leaders (Clyde Tingley and John Milne) with significant influence and leadership longevity. Findings lend national implications for practicing educators including honoring the past, engaging community, establishing collaborative relationships, seeking financial resources, and exhibiting strong leadership. This study begins to fill a specific gap in the recorded history of APS and reconstructs a tiny piece of the shifting sand of the American Southwest. In Albuquerque, in 1949, a line in the sand was drawn that both divided and defined two high school communities.


Albuquerque history, Highland High, Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque High School

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Alicia F. Chávez

Second Committee Member

Arlie Woodrum

Third Committee Member

Durwood Ball

Fourth Committee Member

Ernest Stapleton

Fifth Committee Member

Jack Bobroff