McCurdy School was started in 1912, when United Brethren Deaconess Mellie Perkins came to Velarde, New Mexico. The school opened on Oct. 21, 1912, with four students. At that time the mission was the only school of any kind in the Española Valley.
Miss Perkins learned of the need for a school when she travelled to the valley two years earlier. She left New Mexico determined to open a school but needed to learn Spanish to be able to teach. Before Miss Perkins returned to Velarde, she enrolled at Campbell College in Kansas to study Spanish. Her instructor was Edith McCurdy, a recent graduate of Wellesey College. After her untimely death a couple of years later, Miss McCurdy’s parents gave $1,000 to Mellie Perkins in their daughter’s memory, and with the help of that gift, in 1915 Miss Perkins started another school at Santa Cruz, the Edith M. McCurdy Mission which later became known as McCurdy Schools of Northern New Mexico.
Between 1912 and 2012, God called missionaries, volunteers, teachers and staff to the Española Valley to make a difference at McCurdy. McCurdy School educated thousands of children and youth, many of whom have gone on to be leaders in their communities. The school worked closely with United Brethren, then Evangelical United Brethren, and, since 1968, United Methodist Churches in northern New Mexico. McCurdy also began the area’s first fire department, full-service hospital, community recreation program, and post-secondary education program. Residents of the valley frequently say, “We don’t know what this valley would be like without McCurdy!”
For financial and stewardship reasons, as McCurdy Schools of Northern New Mexico entered its second century, the decision was made to apply to open a K-12 public charter school on the McCurdy campus. The charter application was accepted by the State of New Mexico and in August of 2012 McCurdy Charter School opened and now has 543 students in grades K-12 on the McCurdy campus. The charter school continues important McCurdy values by emphasizing academic excellence, character, and service to the community.
Having turned over the education of K-12 grades to the charter school, McCurdy Schools of Northern New Mexico has gone through a visioning process to determine, “What is God calling our United Methodist ministry in Española to do in this time?” Out of this prayerful process it was determined that McCurdy Schools of Northern New Mexico would begin using a new trade name, McCurdy Ministries.
McCurdy Ministries seeks to surround the students and families of the charter school with every kind of ministry possible to help students succeed in their education and in life. McCurdy Ministries is also the landlord for McCurdy Charter School. McCurdy Ministries is a United Methodist National Mission Institution sponsored by the United Methodist Women with supporters all over the United States.
McCurdy Ministries continues to offer many of the signature programs of McCurdy School including: Project Cariño, our mental health counseling program, McCurdy Preschool, After School Care and Camp Stars, our summer camp combining VBS with STEM education, to McCurdy Charter School students. McCurdy Ministries is the landlord for the charter school and the vendor for their breakfast and lunch program.
For 102 years McCurdy has shared the love of Christ in the Española area and because of the plans we are making now we strongly believe we will continue to be the hands of Christ for the next 100 years!
Vaya Con Dios!