History

Aspen High School received the name Robert E. Peary from the sixth graders at Aspen Hill Elementary School during the 1959-60 school year.

Because the high school was located on Arctic Avenue, the sixth graders researched the Arctic area for prominent persons and themes associated with it. They made their choice and received permission from the Peary family to name the school after the famous Arctic explorer.

Those same students, who entered the seventh grade at Peary in September of 1960, were the first graduates of the school they had named who attended the school from opening day through graduation (the first actual graduates of Peary were the Class of ’63, who were sophomores when the school opened).

Due to declining enrollment, Montgomery County closed the school in 1984 and the building sat, deteriorating for almost 16 years. The building was renovated and leased by the Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington, opening in fall 1999.

The Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy assumed full ownership of the former Robert E. Peary High School in 2010. Vistors are welcome, and facilities may be rented if available. Please call in advance: 301-962-9400, www.mjbha.org.