CHARLES L. BIEDENBACH,
“The Father of junior high schools”
Principal, Peralta School, 1889
A graduate of the 1886 class of UC Berekely, Charles Biedenbach is best known and well regarded in the field of education as pioneering advocate for a schooling system in which 12- to 14-year-olds are separated from older kids. Based on that thinking, he established McKinley Junior High in Berkeley in 1910. Subsequently he served as principal of Berkeley High for 20 years in addition to having high profile roles as president of the California High School Teachers’ Association, the California Teachers’ Association; as well as president of the Alameda County board of education.
In the History of Alameda County it is written:
“To Mr. Biedenbach belongs the distinction of having been one of the first persons in the United States to advocate the establishment of junior high schools, which are now regarded as a very desirable feature of our educational system, and he is generally regarded as the father of the idea. A man of sincere purpose, devoted heart and soul to his profession and with a genuine interest in the mental, moral and physical development of the young, he is well worthy of the high place which he holds in the hearts of the people of this city.”
Before Beidenbach was all those thing, he was principal of our Peralta School (1889).