The American School for Girls
Monastir was first occupied as a mission station in 1873. The American School for Girls was opened by Kate M. Jenney in about 1878. It was very small at first, with 15 boarding students and 30 day scholars.
Together the students studied religion, algebra, physiology, botany, geology, English, and Bulgarian, among other subjects. Mary Matthews wrote that of the students who attended the school, there were seven nationalities represented: "26 Bulgarians, 3 Albanians, 1 Greek, 5 Roumanian, 1 Serbian, 3 Gipsey, and 1 Jew." There was a maximum capacity of 25 boarders at a time attending the school with day pupils numbering about twice that. Students came from Monastir or as far away as a day's worth of travel.
Notable graduates included Effa Busheva, Athena Delinusheva, Parashka Stamenova, and Yordanka Beleva. Busheva was a teacher in the Macdeonian region for over 40 years, under the Monastir Mission's name. Delinusheva was in charge of the Mission Orphanage for several years, became a translator at Ellis Island for over 25 years and spoke over seven different languages. Stamenova was an assistant teacher at the Monastir school. She later trained in Canada as a nurse. Finally, Beleva had quite a dramatic time at school. In her senior year at the school she led a strike and then was forced to leave the school. A year later she apparently repented and joined the Christian community.
During the World War I years, the school's activities carried on, albeit greatly disturbed. Mary Matthews, by 1916/1917, was the only American missionary in Monastir. Rada Pavlova, her Bulgarian assistant teacher and friend, could not remain at the school after Monastir was returned to Serbia due to her heritage. In 1920, Matthews left the school, which was taken over by Beatrice Mann. Post-1921, however, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions dropped work in that region. From then on it became difficult to find teachers and keep the school open. It closed around 1924, at the end of Mann's five-year term.