The History of the Ipswich Public Schools
by William E. Waitt, Jr. Bs. Ed., MAT, Ed.M.
About the Author
William Waitt began as a fifth grade teacher of all subjects in 1951 at the “old” Winthrop School. He taught 5th & 6th grades for several years and was then transferred to grade 7, science, in 1956, when there was no room at Winthrop. He returned to grade 6 when the new Winthrop was finished in 1956 and assumed duties as administrative assistant and acting principal for the last months of 1959. In the fall of 1959, he was promoted to principal and transferred to the Burley and Shatswell Schools as principal of all primary grades. During this time he assumed principalship of grades housed in Boone Hall and St. Stanislaus Church.
In 1965, he was transferred to the new Linebrook School to be principal for grades 1-5, then K-6 in 1967. He was transferred to Ipswich Junior High for the first 6 months of 1967 to temporarily fill-in. He returned to Doyon School and completed his career in 1987 after 36 years of service.
During his career he worked for 6 of the 12 superintendents there had been, and worked in all schools, during that time, except the High School. He is well qualified to write about the history of the schools.
Part I: The History of the Ipswich Public Schools: Chronology
Ipswich, Massachusetts 1635-2006
by William E. Waitt, Jr.
Ever since the beginning of the Colonies, Ipswich citizens have had a strong interest in the free public schools. They were very strong in this belief and throughout history have strongly supported the idea verbally, if not always financially. Since early colonial times, school education has been an important part of the life of the Town, at a time when education was not important for work because life was very simple; work on the family farm, clamming, fishing or as an apprentice in a trade. Learning was, as a result, very simple as well in that the average person would typically have only a third grade education so as to be able to sign his name or read a simple passage from the scriptures. Serious education was reserved for the clergy to allow them to interpret the scriptures to their flock.
From my more than 35 years as a teacher and administrator in the schools (from 1951-1987) combined with extensive research on the subject, I have put together this humble report. Much of the research has been through extensive study of the various Town Reports, Water’s History Of Ipswich, Volumes 1 and 11, the pamphlet “Three Hundred and Fifty Years of the History of Ipswich,” by Conley, Newton and Keenan, and from stories in The Ipswich Chronicle by Keenan, Bowen and Dolan. It was mainly at the insistence of Mary Conley that I compiled this information in a digital format that could be shared.
This series has been written in two parts to give a more complete and recognizable form to the work: first, a chronological listing of the major items; and second, a narrative of the major schools and events over the centuries.
1630 Eleven ships in the Winthrop Fleet bring more than 800 Puritan colonists to the new world. They began the settlements in Salem, Boston, Charlestown, Medford, Watertown, Newtown (Cambridge), Roxbury, Dorchester and Lynn. John Winthrop was their Governor.
1633 Agawam (Ipswich) is settled by John Winthrop, Jr. The “Dame School” is established in the colonies and the towns’ foremost citizens who did not attend grammar schools are in attendance. Goodwife Collins dedicates more than 30 years to teaching in this first important step towards education.
1634 The town is incorporated and given the new name of Ipswich in honor of the merchants of Ipswich, England, who were the financial backers of this expedition.
1636 A grammar school is first established in this thriving colony, but for some unknown reason it fails. (Waters pg. 146)
1642 “The first third day of the 9th in 1642, it is granted that shal be a free schole.” (Water’s vol. 1, pg. 146.) It is also noted that one of the first nine graduates from Harvard College, in the class of 1642, is an Ipswich man. This man was William Hubbard.
1649 The first graduate from the Ipswich Free School, John Rogers, graduates from Harvard College.
1650 The Feoffees of the Grammar School are formed to supervise the public lands of the Great Neck. Surplus monies are used to support the schools. The land originally belonged to Robert and William Paine and was willed to the Feoffees (an old English term meaning trustee.)
1650 TOTAL MALE POPULATION EST. 500
1651 According to an early Town Report, a grammar school was established (January, 1651) and endowed, which was known as The Feoffees of the Grammar School. Mr. Robert Paine, according to another source, built the schoolhouse, completed in 1653, near the corner of County Road and Linden Street, facing the green, and it continued in use for a half century. Teachers at the school were: Mr. Ezekiel Cheever, 1653-1660, (the first teacher and occupant of the house), Mr. Andrews, with 23 years of service, 1660-1683, Mr. Russell, 1683-1686, and finally Mr. Rogers 1686-1715. Mr. Paine held title to the property until 1683, when he turned it over to the Feoffees. (Water’s pg. 149.)
1653 Another source indicated the above school was not completed until 1653.
1700 TOWN POPULATION 1,800
1702 In this year, in July, permission was given to the inhabitants of Chebacco (Essex) “to sett a schoolhouse upon some convenient place of common for ye encouraging of learning among them.” No small children or girls were allowed to attend. They were allowed to attend the Dame schools that were set up in private homes.
1704 The need for a new schoolhouse and a new Town Hall was apparent (because of an increase in population) so a Town Hall with a schoolhouse under it was built on Town Hill.
1714 Because the Town made contributions to the Feoffees of the Grammar School fund, the Town demanded a say in school affairs. It was voted on April 8, 1714 to give 25 pounds to the Feoffees for support of the Grammar school and to require the students of the Town to attend absolutely free. It was also voted to improve the watch house to teach young children to read. This was the germ of the idea of the public schools.
1715 Mr. Rogers resigned his position and became a judge. In his long period he enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing many of his students take their degree at Harvard commencements. Mr. Ebenezer Gay (Harvard Class of 1714) succeeds him. Mr. Benjamin Crocker, Harvard Class of 1713, was chosen school master in 1717.
1728 Mr. Henry Wise, son of the Reverend Henry Wise and Harvard Class of 1717, was hired as school master. He was followed by Mr. Thomas Norton, Harvard Class of 1725, who was school master in the years 1729-1748. The grammar school was located in the Town House until 1794, according to Mr. Felt’s History of Ipswich.
1734 The town voted to have the schoolhouse inspected each quarter, thus the School Committee became an established town board, with prominent citizens serving as part of this distinguished group.
1738 In this year money was set aside to carry on reading and writing instruction in each of three parishes in the town (Chebbaco (Essex), Hamilton & Ipswich.) School masters were: 1738 Mr. Daniel Staniford; Mr. Benjamin Crocker from March, 1745-March 6, 1753.
1742 Linebrook School established in the outer Linebrook area (known at the time as the first parish).
1755 Mr. Samuel Wigglesworth, Harvard 1752, was hired as schoolmaster and served until 1759. Benjamin Crocker succeeded him 1759 and served for 1760 and 1761. Mr. Joseph Howe took over and served only in 1762, because of poor health. He was followed by Edward Kneeland in from 1762-1764. He was followed by John Caldwell.
1765 By special act of the Legislature the Town owns the land (at Little Neck) and the Feoffees administer it.
1780 The original proprietors of the school house were: Daniel Lumus, Jeremiah Lord, Richard Shatswell, Jr., Moses Lord, Nath Lord, Nath Kimball, Aaron Kimball, Benjamin Kimball, Nath Lord Hatter, Joseph Fowler, Jeremiah Kimball, Thomas Smith, Daniel Rindge and William Baker.
1783 District schools are established and the district lines were firmly established. All taxpayers constituted a kind of cooperation, providing its own schools, hiring teachers, and drawing funds from the treasury to support the schools as needed. The amount billed on taxable property was equally divided amongst the districts.
1784 A new school house was built near the Town House, which occupied the small triangular plot in front of the present Methodist Church. It was noted that Mr. Daniel Noyes was succeeded by Thomas Burnham, Harvard 1772, as master, and he taught until 1777 when he joined the Revolutionary Army. He returned to teaching in 1786 and taught for five more years (1791).
1794 The grammar school was located in the Town House, on Town Hill, according Mr. Felt’s History of Ipswich. A new schoolhouse was built in the school orchard, which was located at the corner of County and Argilla Roads.
1800 TOWN POPULATION: 3,305
1802 The North District decides to construct a schoolhouse with public subscription. Dr. Manning gave half the funds for its construction. The building was one story. This was the beginning of the Payne School in Lord Square.
1808 The Argilla District builds a schoolhouse.
1810 The new stone County Jail is finally completed on Green Street. The population of the town is 3,369.
1811 The first report of the District schools is given to the Town, including the enrollment of 581 students.
1813 Just two years later, in a report written by Nathaniel Lord, was the following:
- The North District (Payne) 115 students
- The West District (Linebrook) 65 students
- The Middle District (Dennison) 100 students
- The South District (Cogswell) 58 students
- The Southwest District (Appleton) 31 students
- The South Eight District (Candlewood) 63 students
- The North/North District (The Village) no report
with a total enrollment of 783 students.
1822 Captain William Burley dies in Beverly on December 22, 1822. He bequeaths $50.00 annually for ten years to educate Ipswich children in reading and religion. This was the beginning of the Burley Fund that is in use today. (The balance of this fund, according to the 2005 Town report is $41,396.84 as of 1/01/05).
1828 The Trustees, on Town Hill, incorporated the Ipswich Female Seminary. By January of 1828, Miss Zilpah Polly Grant and Miss Mary Lyon (hired a year later) are hired. (In later years Miss Lyons founded Mt. Holyoke College.) The school was able to open by April of this year.
The Town voted to build a second floor to the schoolhouse located in the school orchard.
1838 Miss Zilpah Grant of the Ipswich Seminary ends her years of teaching and marries the Hon. William B. Bannister.
1839 On Mon. May 8, 1839 a new seminary opened on the North Green directly opposite the Ipswich Seminary. Caroline Stanwood and Lucretia Wade were the teachers. Not much is known of the school, but it is presumed to have failed due to lack of enrollment.
1840 The high school is formed from the old Latin Grammar School. The trustees of the Manning Trust are formed to build The Manning High School. The schoolmasters were: 1840 Dan Weed, 1841 Ebenezer S. Stevens, 1842-1845 Dan Weed again, 1846 George Tewksbury, 1847 Carl W. Gale, 1848-1850 Caleb Lamson, 1850 John F. Cowles, 1851-1852 Benjamin P. Chute, 1853-1856 Joseph A. Shores, 1856-1874 Issacher Lefavour, until the Manning Trustees formed to build the Manning High School.
1841 The Plum Island school is built.
1842 The House of Correction on Green Street is enlarged and built of brick. The County Hospital for the Chronically Insane is completed on Green Street.
1843 The Rev. and Mrs. John Cowles take over the Ipswich Female Seminary and it will soon become famous as a popular school. His wife, Eunice Caldwell, is a former teacher and founder of Mt. Holyoke College and Wheaton Academy.
1843 The Grape Island school is built.
1849 The Cogswell School is built on Payne Street.
1852 The second floor and other improvements are added to the Payne School.
1854 Dr. Thomas Manning dies on February 3, and leaves the bulk of his estate to build a free high school for both sexes. His son contested the will and he won. The school was not built until 1874.
1857 Joseph Manning gave the Town $10,000 to build a high school in his father’s memory.
1869 The District School organization is terminated by the State legislature.
1872 Richard Manning, Chairman of the Trustees of the Manning School, gave $15,000 to the fund. The estate of Joseph Cogswell gave $4,000. These monies were added to the fund ($42,346.05) and the construction of the school was begun.
1872 Additional land was purchased at the Payne School and $4,000 was spent to refurbish the school.
1874 The Manning High School opens on August 26, 1874 and 5 students were graduated. The three-story building, with the auditorium on the 3rd floor, was located on Central Street, next to the fire station (on the front lawn of the present Winthrop School.)
1875 TOWN POPULATION: 3,674
1876 The Ipswich Seminary closes due to the increased quality of the public high schools. This ends 55 years of service.
1875 Joseph Increase Horton becomes principal of the grammar school. He later becomes a very well respected superintendent of schools (1916-1936.) A present day memorial scholarship is given by the Ipswich Teachers Association to a high school graduate yearly.
1879 The Willowdale School is constructed at a cost of $810.45.
1888 The Burley Education Fund begins music as a course of instruction in the public schools.
1890 The Spring Street School is constructed at a cost of $7,700. It still stands as a private home on Spring Street.
1891 The Payne School gets extensive repairs and is moved across the square to its present location. According to the Chronicle, the second floor was added at this time.
1891 14 schools of approximately 700 students with personnel as follows:
(This is a sample of the schools in the late 90s and their teachers. The principals were all teaching principals and assumed their administrative duties after their teaching duties were fulfilled.)
- John Marston, Principal (5 students graduated)
Assistants: Emma G. Gardiner & Bertha A. Crocker
- Manning Grammar School:
Joseph Increase Horton, Principal
Assistants: Lucy Hamlin & Carrie Lakeman
- Winthrop Grammar School:
M. Elma Smith, Principal
Assistants: S. Isabel Arthur, Eva M. Purrington and E. Mabel Adams
- Cogswell School:
Katherine C. Baker, Principal
Lucy Kimball, Assistant
- Dennison School:
Mabel R. Willis, Principal
Annie P. Wade, Assistant
- Payne School:
Eva A. Wilcomb, Principal
Katherine F. Sullivan, Assistant
- Wainwright School:
Myra B. Decatur
- Appleton School
Martha U. Lord
- Argilla School:
Cora A. Smith
- Candlewood School:
Louise B. Glover
- Grape Island School:
Cora B. Jewett
- Linebrook School:
Elizabeth F. Todd
- Village School:
Susan R. Kimball
- Willowdale School:
Edith F. Perley
- All schools:
Drawing: H.D. Connor; Music: Laura Hunnard
1895 The “old” Winthrop School is constructed as a four-room school.
1899 Fourteen students graduate from Ipswich High School and there are 827 students in the public schools.
1900 TOWN POPULATION : 4,658
1901 It was voted to hire a part-time superintendent of schools with Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich and Essex. The salary was to be $1,500 shared between the towns. Ipswich was to pay $600 because he was to spend two days in town. They hired Andrew S. Thomson who served until 1905. Enrollment in the schools was 837 (High School 68 ) and the graduating class included three students in the Classical course of four years and seven students in the English course of three years.
1905 The Candlewood School is moved to Manning Street to ease the burden of overcrowding at a cost of $500.
1907 One floor of the Colonial Building (on the North Green) was rented by the School Board to accommodate the 9th grade. The top floor of the Warren Street Firehouse was also used as a school this year.
1908 The Burley School (4 rooms) is added to the school system. The Appleton School is closed because only 4 students attended. Burley replaced the classrooms housed at the Colonial Building. The new school housed two grades in each room grades 1-8. One of the features was the second floor was equipped with electric outlets so that slides could be shown to supplement instruction.
1909 The School Committee met in the Town Hall and there were 8 schools and 18 teachers to serve 876 students.
1910 The Warren Street firehouse was converted to a school to house two 7th grade classrooms.
1911 The first Richard T. Crane Picnic was held on Saturday, July 1 at Crane Beach. Each child was provided with a basket lunch and is given various gifts. Transportation was provided by barge from the Town Wharf. All children of the Town were included. This picnic has become a long standing tradition and still is held every June, even today (2005), but does not included high school grades because of lack of funds in the trust.
1912 Cooking, sewing and manual training are added to the curriculum.
1913 Telephones were installed in Manning, Winthrop and Burley Schools. A portable school is added to the Winthrop School.
1914 A portable school is added to the Burley School, with Miss Amy Stanford and Miss Ethyl Archer as teachers.
1915 The average teacher’s salary was $500. The need for a new high school was expressed because of the pupil crush. In the Town Report for this year it was noted “teaching principals received a generous allowance of $15.00 for each room supervised.”
1916 The State Department of Education declared the Ipswich High School was a “class A school.” Evening school was started.
1917 The “Schict Test” was administered to all students to prevent diphtheria, a first inoculation of a population to prevent a disease.
1918 Electric wiring was started at the Manning High and the Winthrop Schools to replace gas lighting. School budgets were $46,734.66, a shocking figure, for 988 students.
1919 In the Town Report the School Budget was listed as $63,641.00 for 1,072 students.
1920 State law was changed to require students to complete grade 6 rather than grade 4 causing great pressure on the schools. Enrollment grows to 1,219 students.
1921 A six-room addition was added to the Burley School. This was not completed until July 12, 1922. It was suggested that the county prison property on Green Street be purchased for school housing. (This was not done until 1924). Candlewood School closes.
1921 School enrollment was 1,307 students in 11 schools with a budget of $45,000.00.
Superintendent: Joseph Increase Horton
- Manning High School, Central Street:Ralph Whipple, Principal
Teachers: Elizabeth C. Ferguson, Lura L. Cole, Lois E. Mann, Helen J. Blodgett,
Helen N. Damon, Theresa R. Whittmore and E. Margaret Allen
- Winthrop Grammar School, Central Street:
Katherine F. Sullivan, Principal
Teachers: Gertrude R. Sheppard, Abby L. Smith, Mabel V. Ladd, Mary E. Hamlin, Leroy W. Jackman, L. Eva Stearns, E. Mabel Adams and Lena J. Atherley
- Burley School, Mt. Pleasant Avenue:
Nellie Smith, Principal
Teachers: Marion P. Webster, Hazel P. Weare, Ruth F. Joyce and Lydia Harris
- Cogswell School, Payne Street:
Gertrude Mansfield and Mrs. Ralph Ladd
- Dennison School 35 N. Main Street:
Annie P. Wade, Principal, and Lucy Ardell Kimball, teacher
- Payne School Lord Square:
Francis P. Trussel, Grace A. Bowlen and Winifred Millard
- Wainwright School, Highland Avenue:
- Warren Street School, 9 Warren Street:
Eva Wilcomb and Helen W. Marr
- Grape Island School:
Cora H. Jewett
Linebrook School, Linebrook Road:
Susan Lycett and Myrtle Cunningham
- Ipswich Manual Training School Winthrop School:
Arthur Gould, Principal.
- Burley Portable School:
Amy Stanford and Ethel M. Archer.
Teacher of Music: Arthur H. Tozer
Teacher of Physical Training: Ernest Hermann
Teacher of Domestic Science: Marion E. Brown
Nurse: Martha Stewart
Attendance Officer and Clerk of the School Committee: George W. Tozer
1924 The Green Street site is purchased from the County for $23,000.00.
1925 Manning High School graduates 40 students. Shatswell School is started.
1926 Shatswell School joins the system. Enrollment grows to 1,521 students. The Warren Street School is sold.
1935 Ground was broken for a new high school and it is not officially completed until February 5, 1937.
1936 The new High School on Green Street was occupied and classes started. The old jail workshop was used for a woodworking shop, a print shop, cooking, sewing, home economics and a heating plant.
1943 Classes are suspended at the Payne School and teachers and students are transferred to other schools. The State establishes a minimum salary for teachers of $1,200.00.
1944 Manning School was finally closed when the Superintendent’s office is moved to the new High School on Green Street. Kathleen Sullivan retires after a long career. Payne School was returned to the Town for disposal. Grade 8 was transferred to the high school.
1945 The equal pay law was established by State Law. A new minimum salary was set at $2,200.00 for non-degree holders and $2,300.00 for those with degrees.
1948 Nellie Smith retires as principal of Burley School after 47 years serving the Town.
1949 Augusta Greenache, principal of Shatswell School, retires after 45 years of service. Bertram H. Bennett, the first Masters Degree holder, is hired to supervise the Burley and Shatswell Schools. A study was started to add kindergarten to the school curriculum. Kindergarten was not added to the elementary schools until 1967.)
1951 The Superintendent’s salary was set at $4,566.66 per year. Instrumental music was added to the curriculum for grades six and seven. William Waitt was hired to teach grade 5 at the Winthrop School.
1952 Enrollment was 1,181 and the budget was $277,161.00. The first remedial reading class was started with Mary Packard as teacher.
1953 Elementary students shifted to a single session day (8:30-2:15). Previously, the day had been 2 sessions (8:45-12:00 and 12:30-3:30) to facilitate a home lunch period. Instrumental music was extended to grade 5 and guidance was added to the school curriculum.
1954 Grade 7 started double sessions at the high school, 1:00-5:00. Enrollment reaches 1,225.
1955 All grade 6&7 are placed on double sessions at the High School on Green Street. Mary Williams starts the first special education class at the Winthrop School.
1956 The “old” Winthrop School is torn down (after serving the Town needs for 70 years) and the “new” Winthrop School started in September. The first elementary secretaries are hired. The first cafeteria director was hired. The modified Joplin Plan of grouping was started at the Winthrop School in grades 5 and 6.
1957 Elementary physical education was introduced in grades 4, 5 & 6 (30 minutes weekly). Driver education was started at the High School. Enrollment grew to 1,445 students.
1958 All grades 1-3 are grouped together at Burley and Shatswell Schools and all grades 4-6 are at Winthrop School. The first summer session in reading was held at the Winthrop School and the first science fair was organized. Elliot Roundy became the first athletic director.
1959 The library position was established for the High School. The Junior High School principal position was re-established. French language was introduced in grades 4-6.
1960 TOWN POPULATION: 8,544
1961 Boone Hall (the parish house of the Episcopal Church) is first used to house public school students. High school curriculum departments are started.
1962 Enrollment climbs to 1,772.
1963 A new High School was opened on High Street and double sessions ceased after nearly 10 years in June. The old high school becomes the junior high school. A junior high librarian position was established. Guidance was introduced in the elementary school as an adjustment counselor was hired for the 3 schools (Mel Hart).
1964 The first regional trainable class was started at Boone Hall with Elizabeth Gianakakis. Lunchroom aides were first hired because of a State Law requiring a 30-minute duty-free lunch for teachers. Town meeting voted the Linebrook School.
1965 The Linebrook School (Doyon School) opens as a 10-room school.
1966 A full time librarian is hired for the elementary schools. Physical education is added to the primary grade curricula and guidance was extended to all grades.
1967 A twelve-room addition is added to the Linebrook School and the name changed to The Paul F. Doyon Memorial School in honor of our first Viet-Nam War casualty. Collective bargaining started for teachers. Kindergarten was started at Doyon School.
1968 Boone Hall re-opened as a school facility. Sex education was introduced in the elementary grades. A pupil personnel director established for all schools.
1969 The Memorial Building facilities were used for school, housing two grade 6 classes.
1970 TOWN POPULATION: 10,750
St. Stanislaus Church (Corner of Mt. Pleasant & Washington Street) basement and the Baptist Church (Central Street) were used to house pupils because of a classroom shortage and a third elementary principal was hired.(Henry Dembowski, principal, Burley-Shatswell Schools; Samuel Levy, principal, Winthrop-Boone Hall; and William Waitt, principal, Doyon – St. Stanislaus Schools.)
1971 An enrollment record was reached 2,802 students. (Baptist, two grades threes-69; Burley, grades 1-4, 220; Boone Hall, Kindergarten, 101; Shatswell, grades 1-3, 201; Doyon Sp., K-6, 535; Winthrop, grades 3-6, 409; and Junior High, grades 7-8 and High grades 9-12.) The first teacher aides were hired for assistance in special education.
1972 Payne School was re-opened as a central office building. Parent advisory groups were formed at all schools.
1973 Budget year was changed to end in June, thus conforming to federal fiscal years. An 18-month budget year was adopted. Whittier Vocational School opens with 118 Ipswich students.
1974 Chapter 766, for special education students, became law. A full time librarian was hired for elementary schools.
1975 A dramatic reduction in force occurs with school staff because of reduced number of students (2,454).
1978 Shatswell School was closed as a pupil housing facility. More reduction in staff sees 1 elementary principal, 5 teachers, 1 custodian, 1 guidance counselor, 1 clerical aide, 1 nurse and 1 lunchroom aide reduced. The gifted and talented program (G.A.T.E.) was started and all schools were planned for an energy audit.
1980 The P.T.A. program was re-established, and computers were introduced into the high school program.
TOWN POPULATION: 11,158
1981 Burley School closed after serving the needs of the town for 73 years. John Stella, superintendent, retires and Richard Thompson succeeds him.
1983 The first elementary computers were added to the program.
1984 A portable classroom was added to the Winthrop School for the G.A.T.E. program.
1986 A 10-room addition and extensive renovations were started at the Winthrop School. Enrollment was 1,568 students.
1987 The first doctoral degree holder was hired for the elementary schools (Dr. Kenneth Cooper replaced William Waitt as principal of the Doyon School).
1988 The Winthrop School addition was completed and dedicated January 2, 1989.
1991 Enrollment was 1,604 students.
1999 TOWN POPULATION 12,534
1992 In March, an addition was proposed for Doyon School.
1993 Four rooms, a library and a rear corridor was voted for the Doyon School, but in April of that year voters rejected a 2½ over-ride to pay for it.
1994 After a failure at the polls, the addition to the Doyon is started as well as a new septic system for $538,000.00. The Ipswich Schools facilities: 1,636 students, 133 teaching staff and support staff.
Ipswich High School, 130 High Street, Principal: Stephen Fortado
Ipswich Middle School, 23 Green Street, Principal: Ronald Toleos
Doyon Memorial Elementary, 216 Linebrook Road, Principal: Dr. Kenneth Cooper
Winthrop Elementary School, 63 Central Street, Principal: Carolyn Davis
Superintendent: Richard Thompson
Business Manager: Ronald Ray
Average class size: 17 elementary, 15 middle and 13 High
1995 The Doyon addition was finally finished.
1996 Voters approved a new middle/high school for High Street at a cost of $31.9 million.
1997 Two modular classrooms were added to the Whipple School in order to solve middle school housing problems. Construction was started on the new middle/high school project.
1998 A new superintendent, Richard Korb, was hired.
1999 The school budget was $13,340,788.00 with a staff of 144+ and a student body of 2,014. It was announced in March that the new middle/high school would not be occupied until September because of construction delays. The new facility was opened in September and occupies 201,526 square feet. There were 512 students in the High school and 502 in the middle school. In December the Feoffees donated $50,000 to the support of the schools. A Performing Arts Center was an exciting part of the new facility.
2001 The first full-time kindergarten program was made available to some parents on a lottery basis.
2002 Several 2/12 override proposals were defeated at the polls. Feoffees vote to increase their donation for the support of the schools to $245,000.00.
2004 Feoffees increased their support to $308,500.00. One hundred forty students graduate from Ipswich High School (89% are enrolled in further education.) New windows and doors were installed in the 100 wing of the Doyon School. New cafeteria lighting and floors were installed and a new climbing wall added to the gym. Feoffees gave $300,000.00 to the schools. Several 2½ over-rides to increase school budget fail at the polls. Staff was 370 full and part-time employees.
TOWN POPULATION 13,701
2005 Four Schools, 2,112 students, budget of $16,562,511.00 plus debt service on the new high/middle school.
Superintendent: Richard L. Korb
High School Principal: Barry Cahill (657 with 167 graduates)
Middle School Principal: Cheryl Forster (501)
Doyon School Principal: Dr. Kenneth Cooper (480)
Winthrop School Principal: Carolyn Davis (504)
Feoffees contribute $300,000 to the support of schools. In the fall of the year, Ipswich High School is honored by receiving the National Blue Ribbon Award as a quality school, the only school in Massachusetts to receive the award and one of 38 schools nationally.
Part II: The History of the Ipswich Public Schools: Narrative
Ipswich, Massachusetts 1635-2005
by William E. Waitt, Jr.
The Colonial Period
During the early years in the colonies, education was not of primary importance as the rural farm life held sway and a formal education was not necessary for the very simple farm way of life. The “Dame School” served the needs of most of the community and served to teach very young children the basic facts and to read. Life was very simple and a third or fourth grade education served the needs of the community. An ability to read simple Bible passages, do easy number facts, sign his name and have the ability to live a good honest Christian life was essential to carry on the life of the community.
Formal education was reserved for the clergy and the very wealthy. The schools were nearly all one room and held grades 1-5 or 6 and were taught by one schoolmaster. Young adults who were educated or trained for a trade were apprenticed out to work for a tradesman until he became a regular journeyman.
By 1653, The Feoffees of the Grammar School was formed as a land trust to administer Town owed land at Great Neck for the benefit of the free public schools. The Feoffees built a grammar school, at the schoolhouse, which was at the Corner of Argilla and Linden Streets, facing the South Green, and hired the first schoolmaster, Mr. Ezikiel Cheever.
Some of the early schoolmasters were:
1653-1660 Mr. Eziekiel Cheever
1660-1686 Mr. Andrews
1686-1715 Mr. Russell
1715-1716 Mr. Ebenezer Gay
1717-1720 Mr. Benjamin Crocker
1720-1729 Mr. Henry Wise
1729-1740 Mr. Thomas Norton
1740-1745 Mr. Daniel Staniford
1745-1753 Mr. Benjamin Crocker
1753-1759 Mr. Samuel Wigglesworth
1759-1761 Mr. Benjamin Crocker
1761-1762 Mr. Joseph Increase Howe
1762-1774 Mr. Daniel Noyes
1774-1777 Mr. Thomas Burnham (who resigned to join the Revolutionary War)
1786-1801 Mr. Thomas Burnham
The Payne School Years 1800-1900
The Payne School was selected as a representative of the District school that was popular at this time in Ipswich history, a period of time when the Town had been divided into sections called districts that were responsible for the support of education in that section of town. At this time many small schools sprang up in the various neighborhoods of the town. These were small and consisted of one room with all grades taught there (especially grades 1-4). By 1869, the state legislature terminated the “district school” by a special act. (At this writing three examples of the district school remain in town: (1) the Payne School in Lord Square; (2) the old Village School house, now the cemetery storage building at the entrance to the Highland Cemetery; and (3) the Spring Street School, that has been converted to a home [this is not of the District school era but the school was built shortly after the period in 1890 and was a one-room schoolhouse].)
In 1802, the Payne School was built in Lord’s Square on the other side of the square from where it is now. The population of the Town was 3,305. The North District built the school with public subscription and half the funds being supplied by a generous gift from Dr. John Manning. It was a modest building of one story that housed many grades and was the symbol of an era in Ipswich education: an era when the district school emerged and many small schools were built all over the town, in the various districts of the town. A town report of 1813 lists the North District (The Payne School) with an enrollment of 115 students.
By 1831, Lawyer Oakes befriends the school and supplies it with needs, forcing the town to vote needed repairs.
In 1852, a committee was appointed and for an appropriation of $730.00 a second floor was added to the school. In an old town report (1858) it was noted that a Miss Hannah S. Lord was appointed to teach in the upper room of the school. She remained until 1861 when she was transferred to the South School.
By 1869, the state legislature, by a special act, terminated the district school system and the entire town had to support the schools. Additional land was purchased in 1872 and $4,000 was raised to restore the school. Again in 1891 the school was extensively repaired, a knoll at the site was removed and the school was moved across the square to its present site. It was at this time the two fireplaces were added to supplement the wood-burning furnace heat. The first mention of a principal that has been found was in 1905 when Mary E. Archer resigned and Eva A. Wilcomb replaced her as principal.
In 1909 Augusta M. Appleton was listed as principal at the school. (Later she would become Mrs. Augusta M. Greenache, the first and long time principal of the Shatswell School.) One other principal was discovered and that was Miss Grace A. Bowlen, who served at that school from 1921 until 1943, when the school was retired from public service as a school, and the students and staff were transferred to the Winthrop School. It wasn’t until 1933 that flush toilets were installed in the Payne School.
With the closing of the school, from 1944-1972, it was turned over to the Town and the Board of Selectman for other uses. It was used as a meeting place for the Grange and the Boy Scouts for a number of years and was finally turned over to the Parks and Recreation Department to be used as a storage place. Sometime during the period the furnace was discontinued and a gas hot air circulator was installed.
At the annual Town Meeting in March of 1972, Mr. Charles Goodhue and Mr. William Hayes, two local natives, convinced the voters to completely refurbish the building for use as a school central office space rather than renting a space in a downtown office building. The Town voted $49,728.00 to refurbish the old school for use as a school office and to return it to the public schools.
The superintendent officially moved into the renovated structure on October 14, 1972. Unfortunately, Mr. Goodhue died on October 14, 1972 and never saw the completion of the renovation he worked so hard to achieve. In his honor, the second floor conference room was named “The Charles E. Goodhue Conference Room.” The School administrative staff would hold their weekly meetings in this room until the office staff grew so large that additional space was needed. The administrative meetings were then moved to the superintendents’ office on the first floor.
(Editors note: It is interesting to note that three pieces of the original Payne School furniture still exist from the old school:
1. An old trestle classroom table made of oak is still in use at the new Winthrop School teachers’ room. It was brought by Grace A. Bowlen from the old school to be used in her classroom when she was moved to the old Winthrop School, in 1944, and thence to her classroom in the new Winthrop School in 1956.
2. The old school hand-bell that was used to call the children in from recess–the old school-bell came to the Winthrop School with Miss Bowlen and was used there until the school was torn down in 1956. The bell exists today in the home of the author where it was taken after an auction of surplus furniture.
3. An old school-master’s desk that was moved to the Burley School for use as a duplicator table. It became broken and disfigured and was moved to the school attic.
(It was identified by Miss Bowlen and was saved by the author from a trip to the dump in an attic insurance/fire clean-out in 1961. He took it home, repaired it and re-finished it and it then became a part of his household furniture that is in use today.
An old copper ink well filler, with a long snout, from the school also survives.)
The old school had two additions during its long time as a school:
1. An addition of a nine-hole outhouse behind the school; and
2. The old Village District Schoolhouse that was moved from outer High Street to the Liberty Street side of the school. In 1940, this was again moved to become the cemetery office building at the entrance to Highland Cemetery on Town Farm Road. It is still used today (2006) in the same site as a storage space for the cemetery department.
The “Old” Winthrop School
The next oldest elementary school in the system was the “old” Winthrop School located on Central Street, next to the fire station. The structure on the site today bears the same name but is not the original school. “At the annual Town Meeting on the evening of March 11, 1895, the School Committee stated at length the immediate need of increased school accommodations.” On that night voters voted that $10,000.00 be appropriated to build a new grammar school in the immediate neighborhood of the new Manning High School to house the fourth year of grammar school. Mr. Foster Russell and Mr. Luther Lord purchased the land adjacent to the Manning High School for $1,100. Architects were selected for the project and they were Messrs. Morrison and McEwen of Boston and on June 18, 1895, Mr. Charles E. Smith, the lowest bidder, was chosen builder. Four large rooms were built at the time and they were 28’x32’, large enough to accommodate 49 pupils. The school was named for John Winthrop Jr., an early settler of the Town. The principal was named as M. Elma Smith as noted in the 1896 Town Report. Other principals, found in my research were:
1. 1896-1898 M. Elma Smith
2. 1899-1907 S. Isabel Arthur
3. 1908-? Emily M. Adams
4. 1909-? Anne Hartford (filing in for Adams on leave)
5. 1915-? Mr. Ralph Wescott
6. 1918-1944 Kathleen F. Sullivan (Retires after 51 years service. Her sister was longtime principal of Burley School.)
7. 1944-1956 Lena J. Atherley
A portable school of two rooms was added to the school in 1914 to house another 70 additional children. Telephones were added to the school this year also. An addition to the school was constructed in 1915 consisting of 6 rooms with a manual training shop in the basement. The addition was finally agreed to after much discussion and debate. The next year a junior high was created for grades 7 and 8 with Mr. Ralph Wescott as principal plus 4 teachers.
Finally in 1955, it was decided to repair the old school which was badly in need of attention. The Town Meeting voted $635,000.00. When the bids were opened it was discovered that a new 16-room school could be built for the same price as repairs to the old school. Part of the reason was the high cost of repairs to an existing slate roof. It was decided to build a new structure behind the old school, which was retired after serving the needs of the town for 61 years. The old wooden school was torn down during July and August of 1956 to make room for the exit driveway of the new structure. (The exit driveway is the original drive for the old school and the teachers’ parking area to left of the school is the original site of the old school.)
In 1953, near the end of life for the old school, with only two cafeterias in town, the school day was changed from a double session day to a single session day because the town was developing an urban sprawl. The school day was changed from 8:45-12:00 and 1:30-3:30, with the children going home for lunch, to 8:30-2:15, with the children staying at school for lunch. The Shatswell School students who bought hot lunch went to the High School for lunch and those from Burley School who bought hot lunch walked to the Winthrop School where a cafeteria was created from a spare classroom. Burley-Shatswell students who had cold lunch ate at their desks. (At the time only about 12 students were transported to school from outer Linebrook, Topsfield and the Little Neck areas.)
The Burley School
The original school was constructed on the top of Mount Pleasant Avenue when it was a bare hilltop, known as Agawam Heights in 1907. The land contained nearly 1½ acres and was given to the Town by Mr. Harry Brown. The Town approved the school and appropriated $11,000.00 and the legislature granted authority to the Burley Fund Trustees to use an amount no greater than 1/2 of the balance. The fund contributed $7,000.00 towards the construction and work was begun on the project.
The school committee awarded the contract to E. A. Abbott for $14,980.00 and an additional contract to the Fuller and Warren Co. for heating, ventilation and “sanitaries” for $1,325.00. The contract further specified that the building would be completed by May 1, 1908 and that Benjamin W. Woodward would be the architect. Mr. George A. Schofield was chosen chairman of the Burley Schoolhouse Committee.
The four-room school was constructed for a cost of $18,254.61. Each classroom housed two grades and the school accommodated grades 1-8. The school was named for a local man, William Burley (b. 1750, d. 1822). A Town Report of the time noted that one of the striking features of the school was the fact that the classrooms on the second floor were equipped with electric outlets so that glass slides could be used in the upper classes to supplement instruction. According to this same report, this new building replaced the Appleton School, two classrooms that were housed in the Warren Street Fire Station and the classrooms that were housed in the Colonial Building on North Main Street. The Burley Education Fund provided much of the cost of the school.
The fund was set up by “William Burley, esquire of Beverly, a native of Ipswich in 1823 and he left in his will, fifty dollars per year of his estate should be paid annually, for ten years, to this town for the instruction of poor children in reading and the principles of Christian religion, the inhabitants pass a vote expressive of their respect for his memory.” In 1826, the five trustees received $500.00 for investment. This fund has been used for many years and is still in existence today (2006); according to the 2004 Town Report there was a balance of $41,396.84. In 2004 the contribution to the schools was $2,000.00 to the Winthrop School literacy program. During my term as principal of the Burley School the fund provided library books, a 16mm projector, several 35mm projectors, a sound system and many other needed supplements.
1n 1917, a portable classroom is mentioned for the first time for Burley School and consisted of two classrooms. The teachers for these two rooms were Miss Amy Stanford and Miss Ethyl Archer. The building ended its service shortly before 1921 when it collapsed during a storm according to Miss Stanford, who recalled the story.
In 1920 state law changed requiring all students attend until grade six rather than grade four. This created a great need for school housing at the time. Thus an addition was recommended for the school. This came about in 1921 when six rooms were added to the building. These six rooms were the wings to the building. The architect was Andrews, Rantoul and Jones and construction was completed on July 12, 1921.
It is interesting to note that the old flagpole that was used at the Burley School has a long and distinguished history of its own. According to Harold Bowen, long-time custodian in the public schools and author of “Tales of Olde Ipswich,” the flagpole was part of the old Manning High School, which was located next to the Central Street fire station. Harold was school custodian and according to him the flagpole was originally installed in the 1850s and was 60’ tall. During a hurricane in 1938 it was toppled and the top 10’ was bent and was removed before re-installation. Again during Hurricane Carol the flagpole was felled and the top 10’ had to be removed. During the construction of the new Winthrop School in 1956, on the same plot of land, a bulldozer pushed the pole over damaging the top 10’ again. They were planning to move the flagpole closer to the new school. With this new damage the pole was only 30’ tall and too short for the new building. Harold Bowen, the custodian of the Burley School prevailed upon the town Electric Department to move and install the pole on the upper side of the school. There it remained until the building became a condominium when it was removed.
The school closed in July of 1981 after serving the needs of the town for 73 years and the students and staff were transferred to other larger and more modern facilities at the new Winthrop and Doyon Schools. The school was then turned over to the Board of Selectman who sold it to developers for conversion. Developers converted the school to condominiums which exist today (2006) and is now known as The Burley Apartments.
The principals of the venerable old school were:
1.1908-1914 Kathleen Sullivan
2. 1914-1948 Nellie (Sullivan) Smith (sister of Kathleen)
3. 1948-1959 Bertram H. Bennett (1st M.Ed. degree holder)
4. 1959-1970 William E. Waitt, Jr.
5. 1970-1972 Henry Dembowski
6. 1972-1981 Marcia Fowler
It is interesting to note that the Sullivan sisters gave long and faithful service to the town. In 1944 when Kathleen retired she had given 51 years of service and her sister who retired in 1948 had 46 years of service. The intersection of Topsfield and Mill Roads was known as “Sullivans Corner” for years, because their home was located on the corner closest to town where they had dedicated their lives.
The Shatswell School
The next oldest elementary school in the system is the Colonel Nathaniel Shatswell Memorial School on Green Street, named after a Civil War hero. Construction began after a long period of housing problems within the schools. The Town bought the old county Jail and Insane Asylum property on Green Street for $23,000.00 when it came on the market. This was in 1924 and the property was dedicated for school use. For about five years the old shop building (which still exists today) was leased to various town businesses, but by 1929 all such use had ceased.
There was a serious need to replace the Manning High School, whose third floor had been condemned, but in order to save money a cheaper elementary school was decided upon. The school was voted on and started in 1925 with an appropriation of $39,474.65. An eight-room school was to be built on the edge of the Green Street property, with Mrs. Hida Schofield as chairman of the Building Committee. The school’s total cost was $84,920.71 and it was to replace the soon to be closed Wainwright, Dennison, Cogswell, Spring Street and Warren Street schools. (Teachers of the time have spoken of the students moving their books and equipment through the streets to their new school.) Construction was started in August, 1925 and was completed on November 8, 1926. It was officially named in memory of Col. Nathaniel Shatswell on July 27, 1925. It was the first school to be built using concrete and steel in its construction. The school housed grades 1-8 in its eight classrooms.
In 1961, the Shatswell Annex, the brand new Ascension Episcopal Church Parish hall, on County Street, was rented for $1.00 per year to house the extra classrooms at Shatswell. The Town supplied the equipment so that the cafeteria could be used for both Shatswell and the annex. This arrangement continued until 1965 when the new Linebrook Elementary School was completed and its use was discontinued for several years.
In 1964, Mrs. Elizabeth Gianakakis started the first regional trainable class at Boone Hall. The class was made up of students from Ipswich, Essex, Manchester and Rowley and was under the sponsorship of the North Shore Regional Special Education Collaborative. This year was also important as the first year that lunch aides were hired for duty in the lunchrooms in order to meet the new state requirements that teachers have a 30-minute duty free lunch break.
The facility was again rented from 1968 through 1978 to house the newly organized kindergarten classes. This time the rent increased to $5,000.00 to $7.000.00 per year. Principals of the annex were the same as the Shatswell School for the years 1961-65 and 1968-76.
The principals of Boone Hall were:
1. 1961-1965 William E. Waitt, Jr.
2. 1968-1970 Samuel B. Levy
3. 1970-1972 Henry Dembowski
4. 1972-1976 Marcia Fowler
The Shatswell School was closed as a student housing facility in June, 1978, after serving the needs of the Town for 53 years. After the building was closed as a pupil study facility it was used briefly as an office for pupil personnel services and as an alternative high school. In 1980 the building was returned to the Board of Selectman for disposal as a used building. It was sold to developers and converted into 9 condos that remain today.
The principals of the school were:
1. 1926-1949 Augusta (Appleton) Greenache
2. 1949-1959 Bertram H. Bennett
3. 1959-1965 William E. Waitt, Jr.
4. 1965-1968 Earl Peabody
5. 1968-1970 Samuel B. Levy
6. 1970-1972 Henry Dembowski
7. 1972-1979 Marcia Fowler
1979-1980 used by pupil personnel services
The “New” Winthrop School
With the construction of this building Ipswich reached a landmark in that this was the first elementary school built with automatic oil heat, unit ventilators, sinks and bubblers in classrooms, an auditorium/cafeteria, a playroom, movable furniture and an internal sound system. The school was opened on September 12, 1956, with an enrollment of 425, and had 16 classrooms plus support rooms. The total enrollment for the Town of 7,841 souls was 1,310 students. The total cost of construction was $635,000.00, less State aid. The school was to replace the old 10 room wooden Winthrop School (that was located in the front of the school to the right of the middle door). The town voted in a Town Meeting on February 1955. The vote was for extensive repairs to the old school and when the bids were opened it was discovered that a new 16- room school could be constructed for the same price. The old school had a slate roof that would be very expensive to repair.
The School Committee at the time consisted of:
Dr. Robert Waite, Chairman Dr. Robert Waite, Chairman
Isadore Smith Dr. William C. Wigglesworth
Dr. William C. Wigglesworth C. Louise Richardson
Paul D. Conley George Geanakos
Brainard C. Wallace Brainard C. Wallace
C. Louise Richardson Joseph V. Riley
George Geanakos James A. Doughty
The original staff of the brand new school were:
Lena J. Atherly, Principal*
Katherine Davidson, Secretary (a first for an elementary school)
Harry Miller, Custodian*
1. Grade 1 Dorothy Hammersley* Shared teachers
2. Grade 2 Margaret Doucet* Reading Mary Evans*
3. Grade 1 Jeanette Ablow Art Frank Chadbourne*
4. Grade 2 Josephine Moyer* Music Raymond Hill
5. Grade 4 Jennie Moutevilis* P.E. (1957-) Robert Burke
6. Grade 4. Margaret Chisholm* (for gr. 5 & 6 at 1st hour Jan-June)
7. Grade 3 Grace A. Bowlen* Cafeteria Staff:
8. Sp. Ed. Mary Williams* Ellen Sheppard, Director all schools
9. Grade 6 William E. Waitt Philomena Dupray*
10. Grade 6 Ann Blynn Louise Haskell*
11. Grade 6 Rachel Carson* Helen Cory*
12. Grade 6 Edward McDonald* Nurse Violet De Mille*
13. Grade 5 Donald Cruichshank
14. Grade 5 Lawrence Boggio
15. Grade 5 Cecelia Z. McKenzie*
16. Grade 5 Francis Baumgartner
A modified Joplin plan of grouping was adopted for grades 5 & 6 for the instruction of reading and mathematics and was followed until the 1990s with great success. In 1958, the first reading summer school was started at the school and the first elementary school science fair was organized. In 1959, the Foreign Language in the Elementary School (F.L.E.S) program was started for grades 4, 5 and 6 under the direction of the high school French Department. This program continued until the late 1970s, when it was discontinued due to budget cuts.
On January 16, 1986, at a special Town Meeting, article 32 provided $1,500,000.00 for the construction of a ten-room addition and extensive repairs to the school. State aid of 60% was expected. The public voted this on a ballot on April 14, 1986 (1,392-699). The addition and renovations were completed on December 1987 and accepted on January 2, 1988. The new addition added 8 classrooms, 2 kindergartens (with toilet facilities) and a large library to the school.
The principals of the school were:
1. Lena J. Atherley 1956-1958
2. William E. Waitt Sept.-Dec. 1958 Acting
3. Bertram H. Bennet 1958-1963
4. Mary M. Evans 1963-1965
5. Earl H. Peabody 1965-1968
6. Samuel B. Levy 1968-1977
7. Michel Bamford 1978-1979 acting
8. Marcia Fowler 1979-1982
9. M. Wayne Hamil 1982 acting
10. Daniel P. Wilson 1982-1986
11. Alan Lewis 1986-1988
12. Rebecca van der Bogert 1988-1991
13. Carolyn Davis 1991-2007 (16 years)
14. Sheila McAdams 2007-present
The Paul F. Doyon Memorial School
The school was originally voted for at the annual Town Meeting of March 2, 1964. The 18+ acre site was selected for the construction. The meeting approved the school by a 1-vote margin and voted $498,000.00 (less 40% state aid), which amounted to $199,200.00. This was done to bring the construction costs below the $50,000.00-limit set by the Bamford Amendment which set a limit on the amount that could be voted at a town meeting. The final cost of the project was $298,800.00.
The site on Linebrook Road was selected and called the Linebrook site until a name could be selected for the school. Mr. William Waitt was selected as principal to assist with the planning and selecting of material and furniture. The Building Committee approved the placement of the school on the site, as presented by Mr. Waitt, and the plan was submitted to Stoner Architect and the Fay Construction Company for completion. Mr. Harris G. Smyth was selected to be Chairman of the Building Committee. During construction several names for the school were submitted: Lavoilette, for an old family by that name that lived on the site; Willowdale, for the State Forest that surrounds the site; Trotting Park, for an old race track in the area; and Linebrook, for the road it was situated on and a historic school located near there. The name for the school was selected by the Building Committee to be The Linebrook School. Prior to opening of school that September all staff, furniture, materials and the other necessary supplies were selected. On opening day it was discovered that only one thing had been forgotten – pencils for the students. Although a 10-room school had been constructed, core facilities were planned for 22-rooms.
The nearly completed school was opened for 220 students in September, 1965 with students in grades 1-5. The experienced staff was made up of staff members chosen from the Burley, Shatswell, Shatswell Annex and Winthrop Schools. There were nine teachers selected for the 10 rooms, with 1 volunteer librarian. The building included the 10 rooms, offices, a nurse’s room, a gym, a cafeteria, a patio, entrance hall, boiler room and corridors. The school opened with 220 students averaging 24.4 children per class. The original staff was:
William E. Waitt, Principal
1. Anne Cowles Constantine grade 1 Service Staff
2. Phyllis Rand grade 1 Doris Gross secretary
3. Margaret Doucet grade 2 Violet DeMille nurse
4. Mary Bond grade 3 Armand Brouilette custodian
5. Ruth Gilday grade 4 Gardner Caverly asst. custodian
6. Shella Bodwell grade 4 Cafeteria staff
7. Lois Fay grade 5 Arlene Comeau, manager
8. Brooks Sargeant grade 5 Rie Ingwerson
9. Nan Lester special education Evelyn Mistkowski
10. Bette Savage volunteer librarian Stacia Murawski
James Stewart music
Louise Gahm physical education
Louise Best art
Mel Hart adjustment counselor
The school committee, in the year of opening, was:
Rev. Goldwaite Sherrill Edwin Damon,Jr. George Geanakos
Dr. Robert Waite Nancy Thompson Joseph Carpenter
The building committee was:
Lawrence O. Adams Joseph McGee Catherine Pojasek
Harris G. Smith Edwin Damon,Jr. Richard Davis
James C. McManaway, Chairman Phillip J.Patterson, Town Engineer
In 1966, Donald Huff joined the staff as librarian to be shared with all elementary schools. He was the first professional librarian to be employed.
On January 6, 1967, at a special Town Meeting it was decided to add to the school in order to accommodate more students. The vote was 269-3 for the article (#6) for $319,000.00. Twelve more classrooms, 2 small offices and a triangular library were added at this time. During the construction of this addition it was necessary to attend school on double session. From September until January, the entire school, grades K-6, half attended from 8:00-12:30 and the other half attended from 1:00-5:00 until the opening of the new wing on January 2, 1968. With this elementary construction (in September 1967) the sixth grade returned to the elementary school and an experimental kindergarten program was started in the unused cafeteria with state funds.
In June that year a special Town Meeting voted to change the name of the school to The Paul F. Doyon Memorial School in honor of the Town’s first Viet Nam War casualty. The vote was 99-98 to change the name.
In 1977, the first pre-school program at the school was started for children under 5 years of age with Susan Drum as teacher.
In 1987, William Waitt, the first principal of the school retires after 36 years of service and is replaced by the first principal with a Ph.D., Dr. Kenneth B. Cooper.
1992 saw the beginning of the extended day care program at the Doyon School and one year later, in 1993, Town Meeting votes to add 4 rooms, a corridor and a library to the school. The vote was defeated at the polls and the addition wasn’t started until 1995. A new septic system was installed. The addition was completed in 1995 at a cost of $856,612.00 with 62% state aid reimbursement.
Full day kindergarten was started in 2001 at the Doyon School.
New windows, with screens are added to the 100 wing of the school and a new floor and new lights are added to the cafeteria in 2005. A new exit to the playground was added also and a good portion of the roof was replaced.
The Doyon School has had only two principals in 40 years: (1) William E. Waitt, Jr., 1964-1987; and (2) Dr. Kenneth B. Cooper, from 1987 to today (2008).
Other Rented School Quarters
As early as 1704, a schoolhouse was located in the lower floor of a new Town Hall located on Town Hill. According to Felt’s History of Ipswich this arrangement lasted until 1794.
The first recorded use of other facilities was when the schools rented one floor of the Colonial Building on North Main Street, to house grade 9 (Miss Arthur’s class) in 1907 and also the upper story of the Warren Street Fire Station until space became available at the soon to be finished Burley School. By 1910 the Firehouse, now a school, was remodeled to house two 7th grade classes.
In 1914, a portable school, of two rooms, was added to the Winthrop School and housed 70 students. This building was used for one year until the addition was added to the school.
Another portable school was added to the Burley School in 1917 and Miss Ethyl Archer
and Miss Amy Stanford were the teachers. According to Miss Stanford (as told to me) this building was used until it collapsed in a windstorm. The building was sold at auction in 1923.
The second story of the Town Hall (on South Main Street) was used by the High School as an assembly room and a performance center during the late 1920s and early 1930s because the third floor of the Manning High School was not usable.
The newly constructed Boone Hall, the parish house of the Ascension Memorial Church (on County Street), was rented by the Town for use of several rooms as classrooms and as a cafeteria for Shatswell School beginning in 1961. Rent was $1.00 per year and as part of the agreement the Town purchased the kitchen equipment. The building was used from 1961-1965 when the new Linebrook School (now The Paul F. Doyon Memorial School) was completed.
The facility was used a second time from 1968-1973 to house the newly formed kindergarten program. This time the church charged $5,000 – $6,000+ per year. This facility was known as The Shatswell Annex during its use as a school housing facility.
The Memorial Building (on Central Street) was used to house two 6th grade classes (52 pupils) from 1969-1971 and as an office facility for the Pupil Personnel department during the years 1974-1980.
The Town rented the basement of the new Baptist Church on Central Street from 1971-1972 to house students (2nd graders, 69 students) from Burley School under Henry Dembowski, for one year only. From 1972-1976, the facility was used to house 4th graders from Winthrop School. The students had lunch, gym and assemblies at the Winthrop School and were under the direction of the Winthrop School principal.
With the closing of the Town’s only parochial school in 1970-1971 two 1st grade classes (40 students) were housed in the former quarters of the St. Stanislaus School in the basement of the Church (on Washington Street). The students were part of the Burley-Linebrook School district.
For one year (1976-1977), the facilities of the Notre Dame Novitiate School (located on Jeffrey’s Neck Road) were used for an experimental alternative high program.
A Gifted and Talented Program was housed in a portable classroom that was added to the new Winthrop School cafeteria in 1984. The program lasted several years and the portable classroom is used for additional storage today.
Two modular classrooms were added to the Whipple Middle School (on Green Street) in 1997 to help with the enrollment crunch at that time. This building was moved to the end of the Winthrop School (in 2000) when the new Middle/High School was opened. It still is in use today. (2006)
We have had a long history of using other facilities in time of need to house our children. It is not new to put children into temporary housing to solve enrollment problems. The process seems to be anything will do to protect our students from the weather. It should be noted that the period from 1969-1976 saw unprecedented enrollments in the public school, with the peak enrollment in history coming in 1971 with 2,802 students enrolled. Statistics were: 1968-2,531; 1969-2,715; 1970-2,774; 1971-2,802*; 1972-2,728; 1973-2,584; 1974-2,566; and 1975-2,454.
The Office of Superintendent of Schools
Before 1901-1902, there was no superintendent of schools. Schools were run by the School Committee which met once per month in the Town Hall, with extra meetings as needed. With the construction of the Manning High School in 1874, a central meeting place became available in the schools and the meeting place was changed.
The superintendent’s office was in the Manning High School until 1944 when it was moved to the new high school which was on Green Street. (This is now used as Town Hall.) The space used as an office was the two office spaces to the right of the main entrance. (Note: In 1951, when I was hired as a teacher, the office consisted of 1 superintendent, 1 secretary and a part-time bookkeeper.) In this office was a large wooden table that was moved from the old Manning School that dated back to before the 1900s, that was used by School Committee for their meetings. This table continued in use for many years and was moved from place to place as the Superintendent’s office was moved. It ceased to be used for meetings in 1980 when a need for more space stopped meetings in the Superintendent’s office, and the table was moved to the Doyon School library (for use with computers). It was later moved to the Winthrop School portable building for use as a table in the gifted and talented program.
In 1959, the office was moved from the Green Street High School to make room for the newly created guidance services. It was moved to rented facilities on the second floor of the Tyler Building on the corner of Central and Market Streets. This was the first time that rented space was used for the Superintendent and School Committee meetings. This rented space provided space for the Superintendent/School Committee meeting room, a large space for secretary, a bookkeeper, an office supply room and a double office for the Director of Elementary Education and her secretary.
On October 28, 1972, the office was moved to the newly renovated quarters at the Payne School (its present location). The Town Meeting had voted $49,258 to renovate the long closed school building to save money on rent. The vote was 544-44 to save $6,000 yearly rent fees. School Committee meetings were held on the second floor around the old wooden oak table, from the Manning School, in front of the fireplace. Later, the office staff grew and needed the space, the School Committee moved its meeting place in 1963 to the new high school on High Street in 1963. The School Committee continues to meet in the new High/middle school building today, 2006.
In 1901, the School Committee in cooperation with the Town of Hamilton, the Town of Essex and the Town of Wenham decided to hire a part-time superintendent for their schools and to share the cost between them. They decided to do this joint venture together in that neither of them could afford to hire a superintendent. The salary at this time was $1,500 per year. Ipswich’s share was to be $600.00 because the superintendent would spend 2 days in that Town each week. This arrangement ended in 1915, when the state law allowed Ipswich to hire a full time position because its size had reached the minimum required. From 1906 to 1915 Ipswich had a half-time superintendent to head its schools. In 1915 a full time Superintendent was hired for the position and it has continued until today, 2006.
Listed below are the superintendents from 1901-2006:
1. 1902-1905 Andrew S. Thompson part-time
2. 1906-1909 Robert M. Martin part-time
3. 1909-1915 John P. Marston part-time
4. 1915-1916 Frederick B. Knight (1st full-time superintendent)
5. 1916-1936 Joseph Increase Horton (longest tenured with 20 years)
6. 1936-1939 Nathaniel Love
7. 1939-1952 Harry S. Merson
8. 1952-1956 Robert F. Savitt, Ph.D.
9. 1956-1959 Robert M. O‘Kane, Ph.D.
10.1959-1968 Rodney R. Wood
11.1968-1981 John S. Stella (13 years)
12.1981-1998 Richard F. Thompson (17 years)
13.1998-today Richard L. Korb
The High School
The high school was not an important part of the public schools at first because such a lofty education was not needed by the majority of the citizens. It wasn’t until 1840 that the old Latin grammar school was merged with The New English High School that it made its first appearance. This first public high school was located in the school orchard. It was located at the corner of Argilla Road and Linden Street and consisted of a two-story building, but only the second floor was finished because of a lack of funds. This was constructed in 1794. Later, the building was moved to a location on Argilla Road and Locust Street in 1835, where it was used as a stable for the Lathrop Brothers Coal and Oil Company (it was the location of the Russel Grant Seafood Restaurant in the 1950s and 1960s). This first high school building, according to William Varrel, in his book Ipswich Revisited, was torn down in 1955 to make more parking for the Grant Seafood Restaurant.
Notable teachers were:
Dan Weed 1840-1841
Ebenezer S. Stevens 1841-1842
Dan Weed (again) 1842-1845
George W. Tewksbury !846-1847
Carl W. Gale 1847-1848
Caleb Lamson 1848-1850
John F. Cowles 1850-1851
Benjamin P. Chute 1851-1853
Joseph A. Shores 1853-1856
Issacher LeFavor 1856-1874
The Manning High School (on Central Street, next to the fire station)
As Water’s History of Ipswich relates, The Manning High School came about with the death of Dr. Thomas Manning on February 3, 1854 after many years of devoted service to the town. Dr. Manning was an old time physician in the town and founder and operator of the mill at Willowdale and operator of the lace factory on High Street. He bequeathed to the town the greater part of his estate to be used “to provide a high school that would be free for both sexes and could be built by 1874, 100 years after his birth.” His son Joseph contested the will in court and the will was disallowed.
Later in 1857, Joseph Manning, in keeping with the wishes of his father, gave $10,000.00, which was a very considerable amount of money at the time, to build a high school in memory of his father. Thus was formed the Trustees of the Manning School. Mr. Richard Manning, Chairman of the Trustees, gave $15,000.00 and the estate of Joseph Green Cogswell of New York and Cambridge gave $4,000.00. This amount was added to the fund which had reached $42,346.05 and the Central Street site was purchased. Construction of the school was soon started and the school was completed and was occupied on August 26, 1874. The architectural design was by Edward R. Smith, the interior design by George W. Archer and supervision of the work by Joseph Ross and Dr. Y.G. Hurd. The town and the Trustees had joint supervision of the school and they agreed that the town would pay $2,000.00 and the Trustees $10,000.00 per year for ten years to support the school. In the beginning there were 60 students in the high school and 105 students in the grammar school. Mr. Joseph Increase Horton was listed as principal of the grammar school in a Town Report of the time.
The School Committee was:
Hon. Charles A. Sayward, Chairman Wesley K. Bell, Esq.
Deacon John H. Cogswell John W. Nourse, C.E.
Rev. T. Frank Waters Willard F. Kinsman
In the early years two of the grammar school grades used rooms on the first floor of the four story building and later (after 1895) many activities and classes were shared with the Winthrop School next door. It is interesting to note that it had an auditorium on the top floor and that there was no gym or cafeteria, so that students ate in the corridors or at their desks. It is noted in a Town Report that the first graduating class was 5 students.
Principals of the school were:
1. Martin H. Fiske 1874-1880
2. George N. Cross 1880-1882
3. A.M. Osgood 1882-1884
4. George M. Smith 1884-1887
5. Charles A. Strout 1887-1889
6. George Rugg 1889-1890
7. John P. Marston 1891-1892
8. Sharrington H. Baker 1892-1895
9. John P. Marston 1895-1919
10. Ralph C. Whipple 1919-1936, the final principal when the school was
Talk and discussion about a replacement high school began as early as 1915 due to the crush of students and continued for many years. The old county jail property on Green Street was purchased for a new high school in 1924 for $23,000.00. The jail shop was rented out to town business until 1929. The Shatswell School was built in 1926 to avoid building a new high school and it wasn’t until 1935 that ground was broken for a new school on the Green Street site and by then the top floor of the Manning School had been condemned and the school was using the Town Hall for assemblies, plays and other auditorium use.
The students moved to the new school in 1937 and the building was finally closed in 1944 when the superintendent’s office was moved to the new high school on Green Street. In 1946 it finally was recommended that the building be torn down after 72 years service to the town.
The Veteran’s Memorial High School (on the Green Street site)
After a very long time and after much debate by several committees a new high school was voted on, with federal funds (the Town voted $120,000 to be added to a federal government grant of $111,725.00) and construction began in November 1935 with final completion on February 6, 1937 with a final cost of $229,000.00. At the time it was considered “a superior building” and the “pride of The Town.” Although bronze plaques were erected just inside the vestibule, few citizens note that this building was erected in memory of the veterans of World War I. During its use as a high school it was always known as Ipswich High School with colors of black and orange and their teams were known as “The Ipswich Tigers.” The students (of grades 8-12) moved into the new school shortly after Christmas vacation of 1937. The enrollment of the high school was approximately 300 out of a total enrollment of 1,400 students and a Town population of 4,500.
The opening of the school was celebrated on Feb.6, 1937 with a reunion dance at the school with all graduates from the first high school and the old Manning High. The dance committee was composed of representatives from the classes 1874-1936. Several families of three generations were in attendance.
The School Committee was for 1937:
Dr. Ernest J. Smith, Chairman Fred D. Harris
Dr. Frank W. Keyes Florence A. Mansfield
Earl H. Ewing Bessie F. Dawson
George W. Tozer, Clerk
The shop building of the old County Jail was used as a manual training center, a print shop, home economics center, a wood work shop and many other uses as well as a boiler room for its next door neighbor throughout the years. In 1942, Francis Cogswell was hired to develop the new state requirement that physical education become part of the high school program. In 1944, the manual training program was finally moved from the basement of the Winthrop School to the shop building. The next event for this site occurred in 1946 when it was recommended to close the Town Dump that was located to the rear of the new school and as usual things move slowly in our Town and this did not occur until 1957.
1946 was also a big year for the teaching staff in that the state adopted an equal pay law that provided that all teachers, regardless of sex, receive equal pay. Ipswich went one step further and provided for the first time that staff members who held a degree be paid $300 more.
Guidance services were introduced in high school in 1953 and were soon expanded to all schools by James McKenna. Long time principal Ralph C. Whipple retired after 33 years service this year also. In 1954, grade seven went on double sessions using space at the high school from 1:00 to 5:30 thus beginning a long period of double sessions at the school. The very next year, in 1956, all grade 6 and 7 students were transferred to the high school and attended afternoon session (1:00-5:30) while high school students attended morning session from 7:30-12:30. This arrangement continued for eight years (1954-1963) because of a severe classroom shortage.
The high school program continued to expand with the 1957 introduction of driver education to the program. The first athletic director, Elliot Roundy, was hired in 1958 for the high school and in 1959 the first full-time librarian was hired for the high school.
1963 was an exciting year because in this year double sessions ended and all high school activities were transferred to a new building on High Street while Grades 6, 7 and 8 continued to use the old high school building which becomes a Junior High.
While the school was a High School the principals were:
1. Ralph C. Whipple 1936-1953
2. Wilbur Stanton 1953-1955
3. Warren Pressley 1955-1956
4. Wilbur Connon 1956-1960 Administrative Asst. 1957-1958 Joseph Rogers
Assistant 1958-1959 Joseph Rogers
Jr. High Principal 1959-1960 Joseph Rogers
5. Joseph Rogers 1960-1963
Jr. High Principal 1960-1963 William Penn
With the construction of the new high school it was necessary to do much work on the old facility that had been used to the utmost for nine years. Many changes were made such as a new portico, new windows, a new heating system (changing from soft coal to gas as a source of heat), a new roof and an elevator and ramps to make the building handicapped accessible as required by a new state law. The name of the building was changed this year to reflect its new use. It housed grades 6, 7 and 8 and was called The Ipswich Junior High School. Later the name was (in 1972) changed to The Ralph C. Whipple Memorial Junior High School in honor of its recently deceased first principal. The name was changed again to reflect its use in 1983 to The Ralph C. Whipple Memorial Middle School, when the philosophy changed to the middle school approach to education.
In 1997, two rented portable classrooms were added to house a large student population and expanded curriculum. In 2000, (April) the school ceased its long use as a student housing facility and the students and staff were moved to a brand new building, the new Middle/High School and the property turned back to the Board of Selectman for disposal.
The principals of the junior high/middle school were:
1963-1966 Bertram H. Bennett Asst. Donald X. McLaughlin
Jan.-June 1967 William E. Waitt Asst. Donald X. McLaughlin
1967-1976 John Huttenen Asst. Donald X. McLaughlin
1976-1977 Donald X. McLaughlin, acting principal
1977-1989 Ronald Landman
1989-1/1992 Barry Hopping
1/1992-1993 Richard Kiernan
1993-1995 Ronald A. Toleos
1995-today Cheryl Forster Asst. John Ferrick 1997-1998
Asst. Meredith Joss 1998-2008
It wasn’t until September that the new building was completed because of construction delays. After the school closed a building re-use committee was formed to decide what uses the old building could continue to serve the Town. Several options were studied before the Town decided to renovate the building and move Town offices from the old Town Hall on South Main Street to the Green Street location. The building was completely renovated, air conditioned, made computer ready, new heating on each floor as well as improved ventilation service. Parking lots were enhanced as well. The Town Hall was moved there in June of 2001. The building would house all Town offices, the Council on Aging, the Recreation Department and Veterans Services. The old shop building was planned to be used for elderly housing.
The High Street Site
Site of the 1963 High School and later site of the new High/Middle School complex.
After much discussion, planning, failed voter ballots, overrides and plans, the Town Meeting decided to build a new middle school on the property in stages of less than $500,000 in order prevent defeat at the ballot. The appropriation succeeded and construction started. As building proceeded, the building committee and the school committee decided to build on a second wing and a third wing which included a shop and gymnasium. It was decided to call it a high school as the need was strong for that type of facility. A total of $1,278,000.00 with state aid of 49% was finally spent for the facility and double sessions ended that June. The High School moved in in September of 1963, much to the relief of tired voters and parents. The school enrollment was 1,927 students with nearly 400 in the high school grades.
The School Committee in 1963 was:
George Geanakos, Chairman Dr. William Wigglesworth
James Smith Rev. Goldthwaite Sherrill
Nancy Thompson Frank Amero
The principals of the building were:
1. 1963-1984 Joseph Rogers Asst. Charles McKenzie 1963-1984
2. 1984-1995 Stephen Fortado Asst. Charles McKenzie 1984-1989
Asst. Richard Kiernan 1989-1992
Asst. Cheryl Forster 1992-1993
Asst. Richard Kiernan 1995-1995
3. 1995-2000 Barry Cahill Asst. Joanne Civitarese 1995-2001
The 1963 building had served the needs of the Town and was of the cheapest construction and was not suitable for an expanded high school curriculum so it was decided to build a new facility. A committee, beginning in 1992, was appointed to study the situation and they decide the site was excellent but the building should be torn down after a new one was built in front of existing building. This recommendation of The School Building Needs Committee was brought before a special Town Meeting on October 21, 1996 and special Town Election on October 28 and passed with flying colors. Construction was started, while school continued in the old school until the new facility was completed and students could move in. According to the Building Needs Committee this new building would accomplish the following goals:
“1. Alleviate the overcrowding in grade 6-12 for at least 10 years.
2. Provides flexibility to accommodate future enrollment variations in grade 6-12.
3. Provides new facilities that will accommodate current and future teaching instruction.
4. Retires costly, outmoded school facilities.
5. Provides new community space – 800-seat auditorium. Expanded and upgraded athletic/recreational facilities: outdoor track, two gyms, etc.”
The New High/Middle School located at the High Street site
An architect was selected and he was Eric R. Flansburgh of Boston and construction proceeded under the direction of the Building Needs Committee, which consisted of:
Blaine Hebbel, Chairman
Roberta Jalbert, School Committee Steven Fortado, School Support Services
Cheryl Forster, Middle School Principal Richard Thompson, Superintendent of Schools
Barry Cahill, High School Principal
Marlene Doyle, School Committee
Larry Seidler, former School Committee Chairman, was selected to be Clerk of the Works as work continued. Some interesting facts about the new facility were listed as follows:
“estimated cost of the project $31,600,000
State aid (62%) $19,592,000
Mile Lane Property (for athletics) $300,000
cost of the project to the Town $12,308,000”
It was estimated that the impact on the tax rate would be: in 1997-1998 $.75; in 1999-2002 $.98; and in 2003-2022 $1.26.
The new Middle/High School opened September 5, 2000, even though the grounds were not completely finished. An open house for the community was held from 1-4 on Sunday, October 15, 2000, and the public was invited to inspect the new 528-pupil Middle School and the new 625-pupil High School on a 28-acre campus with additional playing field at the Mile Lane Site. The 193,989 square feet is designed as two schools with shared core facilities between the classrooms areas. These shared core facilities included a kitchen, a cafeteria, and a library/instructional media center. Some of the statistics of the construction were:
* Project cost: $31,927,492
* 201,526 square feet
* Cost per square foot: $156.80
* 56,275,000 pounds of concrete used
* 373,600 bricks
* 4,470,000 pounds of steel
* 1,692,000 sq. in. maple flooring in the gym
* 800 gallons of paint
* 3,300 electrical outlets
* More than 400 workers
* Student capacity 1,150
* Performing Arts Center Capacity 691 seats
It is interesting to note that building was delayed in March of 2000 and occupancy put off until September, and in 2001 an additional $100,000.00 was incurred in completing the athletic complex because asbestos was found under the old high school. In 2005, Ipswich High was one of 38 schools nationally awarded a Blue Ribbon because of quality of program and students. We were the only school in Massachusetts to be so honored.
Principals of the schools have been:
Ipswich High School
1.2000-2008 Barry Cahill Asst. Prin. David Dalton 2000-present
Ipswich Middle School
1. 2000-2008 Cheryl Forster Asst. Prin. Meredith Joss 2000-2008
School Committee 2008
Joan Arsenault, Chair
Barry Hopping Jeffrey Loeb
Hugh O’Flynn Dianne Ross
Norman Sheppard Edmund Traverso
Richard L. Korb, Superintendent of Schools
Total student enrollment: 2,118 (as of June 2008)