History of Mary B. Austin School
Mary B. Austin School began as Spring Hill School just prior to 1900 on a site across Stein Street from our present location. The main building was opened on the present site in September, 1910, with a principal and two teachers. Additions were made in 1929 to the small building. In 1943, the name was changed at the request of the parents to honor Miss Mary B. Austin, who had served for over 20 years as principal.
The school system built the "annex" in 1946 with parents adding the cafeteria in 1947. The PTA added two extra classrooms in 1959. The facilities were last renovated in 1967. Seven portables have been added since that time. The original Spring Hill School wood frame building was moved onto the campus by the PTA in 1988 to house kindergarten classes. In addition to Miss Austin, principals have included Miss Catherine Lining (1943-1966), Miss Flora Mary Pearson (1966-1978), Mrs. Glenys Mason (1978-1989), Mrs Lexie Barnett (1989-1999) and Mrs. Jackie Zeigler (present).
Austin School is accredited by the state of Alabama (1978) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Austin has been a Partner in Education with Springhill Memorial Hospital since 1988. Other partners include Mobile Museum of Art, Bank Trust, St. Paul's Episcopal School, Springhill Medical Center, Regions Bank, Murphy High School, Springhill Presbyterian Church, Zeas Restaurant, Elizabeth's Garden, Alabama Art Supply, Morgan Keegan and Company, , Jumps-a-lot, ICS Communications, Inc., Al's 5 & 10, Home Depot, Harvest Church, AT&T, Zoghby Uniforms, Pump It Up, Springhill College Department of Education, Springhill College Department of Athletics.
Austin serves a student body of racial, economic and cultural diversity. Many prominent citizens are Austin alumni who retain fond memories of "Old Ann," Play Day, and excellent teachers. Austin is noted for achieving a high rate of academic success for its students in an atmosphere of caring concern for each individual and with the involvement of the parents, community and staff, past and present.
In 2002, Austin was placed in a new two-story building in September. A new administration, media center and classroom addition was completed and opened March 2003. The original Springhill School was totally renovated and serves as an open classroom for our student body.
Bricks and cornices from the original main building were saved before its demolition and are now incorporated into the school sign located at Stein an Provident.
For the School Year 2006-2007, Austin received the prestigious national award of NCLB-Blue Ribbon School by the Us Department of Education. We were one of only two schools in Alabama to be recognized for this honor. NCLB_Blue Ribbon Award honors schools that are academically superior and/or have shown dramatic gains in student achievement. Austin was selected because we helped close the achievement gap and achieved gains and have received recognition by Alabama State Department of Education of exceeding AYP scores and closing the achievement gap.