Education: A Debt Due from Present to Future Generations"- George Peabody, 1852
PEABODY SCHOOL HISTORY PROJECT
Diary prepared by S.M. Smoller, Project Director, e-mail: email@example.com
Oct. 1997 - Peabody Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Louis Perullo, requests a proposal for a project that would highlight the history of the school district.
Nov. 1997 - Met with Superintendent to pitch a two-phase project. Phase one is described in the proposal below. In phase two, the history of former district schools would be added to complete the history of the school district.
Dec. 1997 - Proposal submitted and approved
Dec. 1997 - Contacted Higgins Middle School eighth grade teacher Darryl Mazzaglia for advice on how to design the program so as to avoid curriculum conflicts. She recommends proposing the project to the four teachers in the Aquarius cluster and develops a workable schedule. She handles the logistics involved in composing a class of 28 student participants.
Dec. 1997 - Letter to attract student participants.
To explain the project and solicit support, I wrote to and met with: Barbara Doucette, Librarian of the Peabody Historical Society; Helena Minton, Research Librarian, Peabody Institute Library; Higgins Principal Robert Gibeley and Housemaster Jane Wilson. See Biographies of teachers and community participants.
Arranged to borrow School Committee Records.
Arranged for the Higgins Middle School to have five copies of The Peabody Story by John E. Wells available for use in the classroom.
Requested the Peabody Institute purchase Ladies and Gentlemen Always, the history of Holten High School in Danvers by Richard Zollo. The book has been added to the library’s local history collection.
Three packages of plastic gloves were donated by Shop ‘N Save Supermarket in West Peabody for students to use while handling the primary School Committee Records resources lent by the school department
Dec.24, 1997 – Jan. 5, 1998 - Research - Read School Committee Records from 1900 to the 1970’s and prepared a timeline of school events.
Visited the Peabody Historical Society and became familiar with their collection regarding school histories.
Organized the timeline information into an index for each school and developed questions on each school for students to research. Prepared folder for each team.
Composed the Project Resource List and Schedule of class and site visits.
Jan. 21, 1998 - Introductory lesson organized to present the "Peabody Public Schools Publishing Company": Publisher, Superintendent Louis Perullo; Editor, S.M. Smoller. The students are journalists. Our goal is to publish two publications: a web site and a notebook.
Lesson explains the Project Symbol/Logo and Project Motto.
Jan. 1998 - Each team received a folder with a business card listing the names of the members of the team. In the folder, there was a sheet of questions and an index of available information on their assigned school, as well as other folder enclosures.
Jan. 29 - Superintendent/publisher meets with the student researchers/journalists.
Jan. 30 - In-class research; instruction on how to use available resources
Feb. 2 - Letter sent home to parents and Notice to graduates of Peabody schools.
Feb. 4 - Three students, representing the Carroll and Center school teams, accompany Smoller to the Ruth Hill Library of the Peabody Historical Society at 35 Washington Street. Librarian Barbara Doucette also assisted the students in their research.
Feb. 7 - One student from the Center School team attends the research session with Smoller at the Peabody Institute Library and obtains information from newspaper microfilm.
Feb. 9 - Higgins Middle School Principal Robert Gibeley visits the classroom and is interviewed by the members of the class. The in-class interview is recorded and provides a model for students to aid them when they interview principals on their site visit. The Higgins research team visits the memorial tablets erected at the school and is photographed with Gibeley in front of a tablet in the school’s Professional Library.
Three members of the Peabody High School research team are released from school from 11:35 a.m. to 12:55 and accompany Smoller to Peabody Veterans Memorial High School. They meet and interview Andrew Metropolis, history teachers and local history enthusiast. The interview is recorded and the team and Metropolis are photographed in front of the Harold Kirstein Library marker in the second floor mezzanine. Before returning to class, the students go out to lunch.
Feb. 10 - Received approval from the Superintendent to implement the Peabody School History Project Diary homepage as a link from the district’s web site.
Feb. 23 - Met individually with research teams in class. Three members of the Samuel Brown School research team are released from school to visit with Brown School principal George "Ernie" Osborne at the Brown School. The interview is recorded and the team and Osborne are photographed in front of a portrait of Samuel Brown. Before returning to class, the students are taken out to lunch.
Feb. 24 - Met individually with research teams in class. The members of the Kiley Brothers Memorial School research team are released from school to visit with Principal John Murtagh at the Kiley School. The interview is recorded. The team must return to the school to retrieve information from the memorial stone in the front year and to be photographed with the principal. Before returning to class, the students are taken out to lunch.
Confirmed scheduled site visits for the next week.
On the suggestion of Aquarius team teachers, it is suggested to the Superintendent that the notice to parents and graduates be disseminated to students in the district, as well as to the school committee and press. The request is approved.
Feb. 25 - Transcribed interviews with Gibeley, Osborne and Murtagh and distributed to teams.
Evening work session at the Peabody Historical Society. Five students from three different teams attend.
Feb. 26 - Contacted Peter McCarthy, former school board member, for information about his brother of John E. McCarthy.
Feb. 28 - Morning research session at the Peabody Institute Library. Two students attend. Research obituary of John E. McCarthy and the years of 1967-69.
March 3 - Met individually with research teams in class. The members of the Thomas Carroll School research team are released from school to visit with principal Michael Ryan at the Carroll School. The interview is recorded and the team is photographed with Ryan. Before returning to class, the students are taken out to lunch.
Provided some students with a typed transcript of the handwritten manuscript from the collection of the Peabody Historical Society: History of the Schools of Peabody During the Nineteenth Century by Amos Merrill.
March 4 - Met individually with research teams in class. The members of the John E. Burke School research team are released from school to visit with principal Maxine Edmunds at the Burke School. The interview is recorded and the team is photographed with Edmunds. Before returning to class, the students are taken out to lunch.
March 5 - Visited with William Pchenny, Director of Veterans Services, and obtained information about veterans who are namesakes of schools or areas of school, including family contacts based on the list compiled when the veterans monument was erected at City Hall.
Researched death records at the City Clerk's office at City Hall to find information on William A. Welch. Could not find J. Henry Higgins. Requested the Treasurer's office to research information on Higgins.
March 6 - Transcribed interviews with Ryan and Edmunds and distributed to teams. Confirmed change of date of site visit to the Center School.
March 10 - The notice to parents and graduates is included on the agenda of the Peabody School Committee. Member David Gravel compliments the Superintendent and the project director for conducting the progressive research project on the district's history.
March 11 - Met individually with research teams. Darryl Mazzaglia observes students at work and schedules team members to work together to do newspaper research at the Peabody Institute. An information sheet outlining the process involved in doing microfilm research is compiled and distributed to students.
The members of the South Memorial School research team are released from school to visit with principal Timothy Murphy at the South School. The interview is recorded and the team is photographed with Murphy. Before returning to class, the students are taken out to lunch.
March 12 - The notice to parents and graduates appears in two local newspapers: Peabody-Lynnfield Weekly News, "Internet Debut: Students Putting School History on the World Wide Web", 3/12/1998, p. 4; Lynn Evening Item, "Higgins Students Need Help to Study School System's History", 3/12/1998, p. 12.
Met individually with research teams. The members of the West and McCarthy school research teams are released from school. They tour the John E. McCarthy School and are photographed in front of a portrait of John E. McCarthy. They proceed to the West Memorial School to meet with former McCarthy and West school principal Eugene Staid and present West School principal Madilyn Caggiano. The interview is recorded and the team is photographed with Staid and Caggiano. Before returning to class, the students are taken out to lunch.
March 13 - Transcribed interviews with Murphy and Staid/Caggiano.
Ms. Elaine Quinlan contacted the school department by phone with information to share. After hearing facts about Elizabeth Quinlan, the namesake of the Carroll School auditorium, she determined that the namesake is not her aunt. She also offers to share the obituary of Anna Kelley, which she will send to the school department.
Via e-mail, received information about Alicia McNiff from her granddaughter, Alicia M. Guinee.
March 16 - Worked on translating the project diary to HTML.
Spoke with Leo Higgins, an employee of City Hall, and learned he is related to J. Henry Higgins, namesake of the city's Middle School. Leo Higgins said he would gather information from other family members.
Also spoke with the grandson of Arthur Barry, (Peter? Barry) of Connecticut. He got my phone number from the City Clerk's office. He suggested I speak with his brother, Curtis, and had the following information to share about his grandfather: Arthur Barry graduated from Peabody High School in 1918 and attended Exeter Academy and Princeton University. "He came back to the leather business with his grandfather and eventually went to Woburn and coached at the high school there." He became principal of Peabody High School on Central Street in 1933 and made the transition to the new high school on King Street (now the Higgins Middle School). Barry was going to quit before the new school opened but stayed on to assist the transition.
March 17 - Worked on web site and article on schools in the 20th century.
March 18 - Talked with Darryl about how to phase out the residency. Worked cataloguing books in the Sutton Room at the Peabody Institute, including school committee records. Found the Annual Report of 1900 of the school board useful.
March 19 - Worked in-class with teams. Accompanied the Welch School team to tour the school and meet with Principal Helen Apostolides.
March 20 - Worked in-class with teams. Accompanied the Center School team to tour the school and meet with Principal Helene Skerry.