Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The History Of J.H. Moore Elementary School

By Richard Fluker (2006)

In 1902, J.H. Moore secured permission from the school board to organize an elementary school in the northwest part of Marshall. Classes were held on the lower floor of the Odd Fellows Hall on West Grand Avenue.

A brick building, known as Park Elementary, opened January 5, 1903. Mr. Moore remained as principal until 1925, when he was transferred to Hillside School, and was succeeded by L.E. Thompson. Under Mr. Thompson, a new auditorium, two additional classrooms and four more rooms were added to the main building.

Upon Mr. Thompson's retirement in 1950, P.E. Moon was transferred from Pemberton High School to serve as principal at Park. He remained until it closed in 1954, at which time students were transferred to a new campus.

During the administration of Superintendent V.H. Hackney, an expansion program for Marshall Public Schools began. As a result, in 1953, a new site was purchased at Norwood and Cooper Streets, and a school building was erected at a cost of $215,298. The name J.H. Moore Elementary was selected because of Mr. Moore's humanitarian acts during 48 years as an educator. The new school opened on September 12, 1954.

Mr. Moon served as principal until July 31, 1970. He was succeeded by James Collins, who remained until January 31, 1972, when he resigned to run for public office. James E. Taylor was appointed principal effective February 1, 1972, and served until the end of the 1974-1975 school year. At that time Orlette took over as the school's principal. She retired in 1989 and was succeeded by Mark Bosold, who served until 1995. With Bosold's departure, David Simpson, a former P.E. teacher at the school, became the new principal.

During the 1976-77 school year, J.H. Moore was remodeled. The entire school was air-conditioned, carpeted and painted. In 1980, five East Texas Baptist College students built a playground at a cost of $8, using barrels, tires and wood.

In 1982, the school opened a quarter-mile-long nature trail on adjacent wooded land loaned to MISD. During the same year, the environmental science committee and PTA gave the campus a facelift.

Construction of eight new classrooms began in April 1985, and continued through the summer. When classes began on September 3, teachers in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade, a speech therapist, and a diagnostician moved into the addition, finished at a cost of $374,462. Grounds were landscaped with flower beds and landscaping timbers, and the teachers' parking lot was paved.

A gymnasium separate from the main building opened in November 1992. A new office and library complex opened at the beginning of school in the fall of 1995.

With MISD's reorganization in 1981, Moore School began serving students in grades K-4. In 1989, the kindergarten class was moved to Washington Early Childhood Center, but by 1994, Moore once again enrolled kindergarten students.

Update: Under the Legacy 2017 building program, the current facility at J.H. Moore Elementary will be sold, rented, demolished or repurposed for further district use beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.