BAKER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
This property had been in the possession of the Chester Baker Family for generations. At a later date the school was named Baker Elementary School in honor of this pioneer family. The site was vacated, and construction began May 1, 1951. James L. Payne was selected as architect for this building. H. G. and Gordon Carl contractors erected the building. A modern one- story brick and wooden structure was planned. One large existing oak tree and six walnut trees were left on the grounds. A large blacktop play area was provided in the rear of the building.
The school consists of three classrooms which accommodate grades one, two and three, an office area, entrance hall, teachers! room, auditorium, small kitchen, lavatories and furnace room. The school was occupied on September 17, 1951, one week after the beginning of the school year. Much of the interior finishing was completed after its occupancy.
Since the children attending this school live within a six-block area, no cafeteria facilities are required, and no bus service is necessary. It is a policy to maintain the attendance at approximately 75 or 80 children. Mr. Harry B. Johnson, then Assistant Superintendent of Salem Public Schools, was named the first Supervisor of Baker School. Mrs. Bess Thompson was elected as Teaching Principal.
Upon Mr. Johnson’s retirement in 1954, Mr. Marion Miller. then Principal of Morningside School, became Supervising Principal.. Two years later in 1956, Arthur Myers, Assistant Superintendent of Salem Public Schools was appointed Supervising Principal. . In September, 1951, a Mothers* and Dads’ Club was formed by the parents of this area.
The following officers headed this first organization: Mr. Jason Lee, President; Mrs. L. A. Rowan, Vice-President; and Mrs. John Lewis, Secretary-Treasurer s This experimental primary school has enjoyed a unique position in the Salem School System. It is felt to be a well integrated part of the small community which it serves. It Was recommended in 1950 by Dr. Frank B. Bennett. then Superintendent of Salem Public Schools, that a three-room primary school be built in the Fair mount Hill District.
The purpose of this school was to lessen the existing congestion in the primary departments of Bush and McKinley Schools on November 1, 1950, the Salem School Board authorized the purchase of two lots at the corner of Lefelle and Saginaw Streets for a site for this primary school.