PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public Schools is celebrating Whittier Primary’s 125th anniversary.

The school opened in 1897, and earlier this month, staff hosted guided tours with lots of history.

According to the current principal, Sarah Wadi, Whittier was among the first Illinois schools to have a Black principal. It was also the first “lunch school,” meaning they started offering an in-house meal during the school day– something Wadi said many take for granted today.

The milestone anniversary brought out a lot of school spirit, Wadi said.

“Giving them that moment to honor who they are and where they’re learning, you can just see our kids taking more ownership in Whittier and more pride,” she said. “But also, it’s so cool to see how far we’ve come and everything that Whittier has endured and experienced and persevered through.”

Staff also celebrated by giving away 125 goodie bags of school supplies.