Our Founder, Helen Bush
“Education is an active process, not a passive one. This school subscribes to the philosophy of ‘learning to do by doing.’ As far as possible the children are allowed to set up their own goals – with the understanding that one of the functions of the teacher is to help them to evaluate these goals and to help them create new ones.”
Head of School, Percy L. Abram
“The Bush School provides a progressive, inquiry-based, student-centered program focused on participatory learning. This engaging learning environment is designed to produce caring and informed students, artists, athletes, thinkers, and citizens who aspire to live rewarding and purposeful lives. Bush students engage with our challenging and robust academic programs, guided by expert teachers who care about their intellectual engagement as well as their development into creative, compassionate, and ethical community members.”
Helen Bush held the first kindergarten class in the living room of her home on Dorffel Drive.
The home still stands and is a private residence.
In 1939, Helen Bush and Marjorie Livengood were forced to hurry a group of students home from a European study abroad before the outbreak of WWII.
They drove all night to the French port of Le Havre, and made it home aboard a ship crowded with refugees and tense with rumors of submarine attacks.
The school became the Helen Bush-Parkside School in 1930, when Helen Bush rented buildings vacated by The Lakeside School.
Lakeside's rental agreement stipulated that any grades above six be all-girls, so as not to compete with their all-boys enrollment.
In 1933, Helen Bush bought property near Snoqualmie Pass, where instructors held weekend ski classes.
The building was designed by Carl F. Gould, a Bush parent and architect. It was sold during WWII.
THIS YEAR, WE’LL TELL THE STORY OF ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF THE BUSH SCHOOL THROUGH THE VOICES OF BUSH COMMUNITY MEMBERS PAST AND PRESENT.
Experience Magazine 2024
Experience Magazine 2024 will capture one hundred voices (and then some) telling the story of one hundred years of The Bush School. Add your voice by commenting on any of the timeline items, or submit a story or memory to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment on our Who, What, Where social media posts to improve our historical record
Visit @bushalumni on Instagram or Bush Alum on Facebook.
Share your own story for inclusion in Experience 2024
Email email@example.com and share your story or set up a time to visit us and record an oral history.
THE BUSH ARCHIVE DIGITAL COLLECTION WILL LAUNCH EARLY 2024 TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE BUSH COMMUNITY.
Tykoe, the student yearbook publication, was released with the first graduating class, in 1935. The Bush Archive is home to a full collection of Tykoe-every issue from 1935 to 2023.
The Bush Archive is home to photos, plans, Board notes, and blueprints for many of the buildings that are or have been a part of The Bush School campus.
The Bush School Archive
Coming Early 2024
Bush community members can explore thousands of items, including photos, uniforms, yearbooks, historical documents, blueprints, ephemera, letters, gifts to the school, and more.
Donate or Loan to the Bush Archive
Contribute your own ephemera, photos, and more.
Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Volunteer in the archive!
Identify the people, places, & events in photos in the Bush Archive.
Email email@example.com for more information about this virtual volunteer opportunity.
ART HAS BEEN A COMPONENT OF A BUSH EDUCATION SINCE THE SCHOOL’S FOUNDING IN 1924. EXPLORE THE VAST ART COLLECTION BELOW, AND TAKE A PEEK AT THE CENTENNIAL CAMPUS INSTALLATIONS, MANY OF WHICH FEATURE ART BY BUSH ALUM CAMERON MARTIN ’89.
The Bush School is home to a vast collection of art—some gifted to the school, some created by faculty and student artists. Explore the map above to learn more about some of the notable art pieces at Bush, as well as the artists who made them.
Installations throughout campus showcase the one hundred year history of The Bush School.
September Archive Exhibit: Helen Bush
October Archive Exhibit: International Education
NO ONE TELLS THE HISTORY OF THE BUSH SCHOOL LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED IT FIRSTHAND. CLICK ON ANY OF THE TIMELINE ITEMS BELOW TO ADD YOUR MEMORIES AND READ WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY.
This Helen Bush School ring was donated to the Bush Archive by alumna Anne Croco '69.
Loan your items to be featured in an exhibit. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Helen Bush School puppy was donated back to the school by alumna Alice (Parsons) Petrich '59.
Donate or loan your Bush ephemera, photos, documents, artwork, etc. to the Bush Archive.
The standard uniform for Upper School students.
Uniforms were introduced in the 1930's and changed little until they were ousted in 1970. Students led the charge against uniforms, successfully petitioning the Mothers' Club for an end to the policy.
This Bush branded bolt was donated by Middle School Administrative Assistant Victoria D'Amelio.
The bolt was found and kept safe after an unknown building renovation.
CEMENT YOUR PLACE IN BUSH HISTORY BY PURCHASING A PERSONALIZED BRICK TO BE LAID IN THE COURTYARD OUTSIDE OF GRACEMONT ALUMNI HALL. BRICK PURCHASES SUPPORT THE BUSH ENDOWMENT, ALLOWING YOU TO MAKE A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT IN THE BUSH SCHOOL.
John Cage, a world-renowned composer, taught at Bush in 1940.
He followed another well-known colleague, Bonnie Bird, in leaving teaching positions at The Cornish School.
In 2019, Bush faculty members Jay Wyatt '04, Marilina Kim, and James Batey, participated and won the television competition show "Race to the Center of the Earth."
The teachers were not permitted to share openly about their win until it was announced, several months later!
Renowned artist Dennis Evans taught at Bush from 1975 to 2000.
Dennis' works and accomplishments are explored in a recently published book entitled Apocrypha: The Work of Dennis Evans.
Bonnie Bird, an American modern dancer was educated at The Cornish School from 1927 to 1930
She taught at The Bush School with John Cage.
ALL MEMBERS OF THE BUSH COMMUNITY ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE THE ONE HUNDREDTH YEAR WITH US. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AT A FEW OF THE EVENTS BELOW!
Fall Festival with Alums
Alums returned to campus to join this annual tradition alongside current students.
Blazers of Color | Mentorship
Leaders from the Bush community shared their experiences and thoughts on mentorship with alums, faculty, staff, and families.
100 Years of Leadership Dinner
Celebrating heads of school, Board presidents, trustees, FA presidents, and others who provided leadership throughout our first one hundred years.