Wednesday, December 17, 2014


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HISTORY

Thomas Hooker School

During World War II, a new community began to grow in the vicinity of Huntington Turnpike. Defense house and a small home development on the Evers Farm Property were being built - a school was needed and Thomas Hooker School, located on Roger Williams Road, came to life.

In September, 1942, the doors of the new school opened to the children of the neighborhood. On that first rainy day of school, then Mayor Jasper Mc Levy greeted members of the faculty including Mrs. Anne Dunigan, principal. Immediately, four classrooms were filled, plus a one-session of kindergarten. The unoccupied rooms were used for recreation, music, play and library service.

Before long, all nine rooms were filled. War babies were coming of age and the classrooms were bulging. In 1948, part time classes began on an 8 am to noon and noon to 4 pm basis, and the six grade students trudged down to Beardsley School to finish their last two grades.

In 1950, six rooms and an auditorium and playroom were added to the original school building, and now the upper grades were able to complete their elementary work at the school. To the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance," the first eighth grade class graduated in June of 1954. Ann Dunigan retired in 1961 after 50 years of service in education. Subsequent principals included: Sylvia Stone, Mary Shea, Ann Walsh, Sandra McLeod and Dr. Howard Reed.

Groundbreaking for the new 25,500 square-foot addition took place in 1999. It includes a new cafeteria, gym, improvements to the lobby and office areas, as well as additions and renovations to the school's core building. The architect for the addition, which brings the total square-footage of the school to 62,172 square-feet, is Jeter, Cook & Jepson Architects, Inc. and P.C. Bismark Construction Company completed the project at a cost of $5,682,435.

Presently, Thomas Hooker School, which is K-8 school, provides a quality education to 515 students. Thomas Hooker's current principal is Mrs. Lourdes Delgado. The assistant principal is Mrs. Francine Carbone.

Thomas Hooker School's colors are green and white. The school mascot is the Husky.


Who was Thomas Hooker???

Thomas Hooker (1586-1647) was one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut. Thomas Hooker was a prominent puritanical religious and colonial leader.He was born in Marfield, Leicestershire, England and was educated at the University of Cambridge and Emanuel College.

He spent his life as a prominent pastor and theologist. Thomas Hooker left the Church of England and became pastor in a house on the current grounds of Harvard University. Eventually, he decided to leave the puritanical teachings in Massachusetts and came to Connecticut with other liberal church members. It was here that he founded the City of Hartford.  In 1639 he helped draft the Connecticut constitution, the Fundamental Orders fo Connecticut. This document is often referred to as the "first written constitution," one which had great influence upon the current American Constitution. This essential piece ensured that voters have the right to elect government officials and that government should be based the needs and desires of residents. Thomas Hooker was married and a father of three when he died in Hartford, CT in 1647.

Adapted from Connecticut, Biographical Dictionary, Vol. 2; Somerset Publishers: St. Clair Shores, MI (2000) p.47.