Land History 
by Allison Farrell and Heather Mah 

On John Burke 
by Allison Farrell and Heather Mah 

Memories of Opening 

Unique Features of School 
by Allison Farrell and Heather Mah 


Witchcraft Haunts 

Mary Upton Ferrin 

Burke Obituary/ 
Burke Tribute 

30th Anniversary 

John E. Burke School Research Team:
(L-R) Heather Mah and Allison Farrell 
                  photo by Kilmer Sweazey 
The John E. Burke School located at 127 Birch Street in Ward 6 was built in 1964, which was five years after the school board recommended another elementary school for West Peabody. 

The two-story building was designed by architects Drummey, Rosane, Anderson. The contractor for the project was Campanelli Construction Corporation. 

In 1966, the John E. Burke School was selected as a prize-winning school by the National Convention of the American Association of School Administrators. 

Although the need for an third elementary school in West Peabody was identified by the school board in 1959, four years later the construction of the school was rated as a third priority item. 

A search for school sites began in late 1962 and land was taken off of Birch Street the following year. It took two years to build the school which was accepted by the school board in 1966. A year later overcrowding at both the West and Burke schools prompted calls for the construction of another new elementary school in West Peabody. Portable classrooms were installed at the Burke School in 1968. 

Principals of the John E. Burke School: Gregory L. Theokas, 1965-1968; John E. Murtagh, 1968-1984; Phyllis Rantz, 1984-1991; Maxine Edmunds, 1991-Present. 

The source of information for student reports, unless otherwise indicated, is from Peabody School Committee Records.