Palermo Elementary History

  • An elementary school for Palermo was built in 1937. It was built of substantial material with steep pitched roofs and was of Tudor design. It contained two classrooms and an auditorium.

    The first and second grades were taught by Mrs. Jessie Burke in the auditorium, which had movable furniture so it could be easily be set up for assemblies and community use.

    The third and fourth grades were taught by Mrs. Mary Gadwood Lavoie, and the fifth and sixth grades by Miss Minnie Tooley.
    A kindergarten was added in 1946. Class setups varied depending on the number of students in each level, but each section covered two grade levels.

    In 1954, the sixth grades were brought to Mexico. In 1957, the building was destroyed by fire, razed, and replaced with a building of traditional design.

    In 1974, the fifth grades were taken to the Fravor Road Middle School.

    The building also houses district pre-k classes.

    Additions to the building occurred in 1958, 1970, and 1987.

    Of note, in the late 1990’s, a restoration of the one room schoolhouse that sits on the elementary school property was undertaken by then Superintendent Michael Havens, former MACS Board of Education President Dr. Kenvyn Richards, and many local community residents like Mr. Lee Loomis who attended the school back in the 1930’s.

    Taking advantage of this unique restoration, the district sends current elementary students on a field trip every spring to gain an understanding of the education that occurred in a one room schoolhouse.

    *This history was taken from the publication, “Mexico, the 20th town in the 20th Century” written by Bonnie Shumway, Elsie Farrell, Allie Proud, and Sandra Scott and is a Mexico Historical Society Publication published in 1996.