Upi Elementary School History

Upi Elementary School stands on 17 acres near the back gate of Andersen Air Force Base along route 15 north of Mt. Santa Rosa. The original building was constructed in 1959. It replaced Hilaan Elementary as the school where military dependent children would attend.

Originally called Andersen, the elementary school was named after General James Roy Andersen. As a colonel in 1944, Andersen was in Hawaii as Chief of Staff, Headquarters, Army Air Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas. He was the principal planner for the move of the headquarters to Guam in January 1945. That same month he was promoted to Brigadier General.

On February 26, 1945 General Andersen and Lt. Gen. Millard F. Harmon, commanding general of AAF/POA were lost at sea. The two men had been on their way to Hawaii for a high-level meeting on plans for the final assault on Japan.

From 1958-59 Charles Clark was the principal of Andersen Elementary. He died in an auto accident in 1967. Between the years 1966-1968 Andersen Elementary had nearly two thousand students. Ten temporary buildings were erected. In 1967 the cafeteria was enlarged and renovated. At the expense of P.T.A., the library was air conditioned. There were 50 teachers teaching grades K-6.

During these years the curriculum included instruction in P.E., Music, and Art. The students created large mosaics which they donated to Yigo School library, and Andersen Air Force Base. There was a student honor guard and softball tournaments for teachers as well as students. The Andersen Air Force Base school newspaper was called the "Uncorked Imagination."

More permanent buildings were added in 1968. In the late 70's Andersen Elementary serviced kindergarten thru third. Yigo Elementary serviced fourth thru sixth. In the mid 80's the school was K-6 when a redistricting occurred. It is now K-5 and includes Headstart and Special Education Programs.

In 1990 the school name was changed to Upi Elementary. It is named for a cluster of houses that used to stand near Tarague beach on what is now Andersen Air Force Base. The students and faculty protested the name change, asking for "Mt. Santa Rosa" or the name of a famous historical figure on Guam. The request was denied and the school's name was made official.

Currently in 1996, Upi Elementary School has a population of nearly 1,100 students, 70 faculty and 35 staff members. Six temporary classrooms were completed in 1991. Construction of six permanent classrooms began in August 1993 and was completed in February 1994. In May of 1994 construction of five temporary wooden classrooms and four permanent classrooms began and were completed in November 1994. At the end of SY 1994-95 air conditioners were installed in all our classrooms. We have currently just completed installing an air conditioning system in our school cafeteria. There is a 60 station computer lab of IBM computers for our students' use. The student body is still made up primarily of military dependents.

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