Andersen Junior High School (AJHS) is situated close to the center of northern Chandler, Arizona, and reflects the finest of what Chandler has to give. When John M. Andersen gave his property to create the school, he made a difference in this town. The AJHS staff dedicates itself to continuing its legacy by improving students’ quality of life and society at large. We aim to assist students in taking charge of their academic performance and becoming a source of strength for their families and communities.
In Arizona Middle Schools, Andersen Junior High School placed #390. Schools are assessed based on their students’ performance on state-mandated exams, graduation percentage, and how well they prepare their students for high school.
History & Namesake
In 1898, Johannes Marinus Andersen, then 18 years old, traveled from Denmark to Tempe and was hired by A.J. Petersen, a well-established farmer of Danish ancestry.
In 1906, Andersen became a citizen of the United States and used John as his Americanized name. He was wedded to Karen Christine, who coincidentally shares the same surname Andersen. At first, they lived in Tempe but decided to pioneer and buy property north of Chandler since the soil was less alkaline and had better drainage.
By 1917, Andersen was elected into a position in the Board of Trustees for School District No. 57, which he retained for the next 12 years. While he was on the Chandler School Board, he traveled to Redlands, California, to collect designs for Chandler High School. It was finished in 1922 and is still operational today.
His son John Andersen, Jr. continued on the same endeavor after his father died in 1941. Andersen, Jr. wedded Zola Follet, who was born in Pima, a small town between Globe and Safford, in 1942. Mrs. Andersen’s family relocated to the Valley during the Great Depression, where her father found employment as a carpenter and subsequently assisted in the construction of Willams Air Force Base.
Mrs. Andersen operated the property for six more years when Mr. Andersen, Jr. died in 1979, with the support of her family and Jack Henry, a farm foreman for almost 50 years. Andersen Springs has been a planned community in Chandler since 1985, when the government purchased Andersen’s acreage. Two schools have been built on the property to commemorate the Andersen family’s contribution to the community: one named after John M. Andersen, and the other a junior high in honor of his son which is now known as Andersen Junior High School.
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