History of Prichard Preparatory School
Dr. Ruby Eldridge, Pastor of Pure Word Ministries in Eight Mile, AL, founded Prichard Prep in 2005. Having watched her grandson attend UMS-Wright Preparatory School and then graduate to Spring Hill College in Mobile, "Miss Ruby" saw the powerful effect his strong education had on his opportunities in life. Realizing the desperate need other bright children in her community had for these same chances, she started Pure Word Academy at her church. She had no money but was determined to serve a handful of children, and Miss Ruby faced many hardships and challenges in the first few years.
In 2008 Miss Ruby was able to share her passion with local business leaders and got them involved. The number one supporter of the school was Sandy Stimpson (Mobile's current mayor), who helped fundraise and gather investors to help the school grow to the next level. Pure Word Academy then changed its name to Prichard Preparatory School and moved from Miss Ruby's church into a little red brick house. Prichard Prep had grown from a handful of students to 25 students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade.
Still needing to develop the school's academic rigor in 2010, Mayor Stimpson hired a well-established principal who had recently retired from the Mobile County Public School System. She brought a team of highly successful teachers with her to Prichard Prep, and the school quickly grew too big for the little red brick house.
Having outgrown the facility, PPS moved into its current building, the former Martha Thomas Elementary School building in Whistler, AL, just north of Prichard. Since moving to the Whistler location, Prichard Prep has grown to approximately 170 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5th, with goals to add one class per grade each year through 2020.
The founding purpose of Prichard Prep was to provide its students with a strong academic foundation in order for them to transition into college preparatory and magnet schools, with the ultimate goal of them attending college. It is the school's hope that upon graduating college, Prichard Prep graduates will return to Mobile and become the area's future leaders, helping this community develop into a safer, more economically sustainable place to live. The Board of Directors firmly believes that by investing in Prichard Prep, the school is working to improve the quality of life and well-being for this community in the long run.