WINSLOW TWP. – Winslow Township School District celebrated 100 years of education with the dedication of one building and the memorializing of another on Sept. 18. The celebration of the district’s new administration building, purchased two years ago and then renovated, coincided with the 100-year anniversary of the Blue Anchor School building, which was demolished earlier this year.
“It’s amazing what some paint, new flooring, plants, and new doors will do for a building. It took us a long time to get here. Today, we finally have a building that is reflective of this community and the people who work here,” said WTSD Superintendent H. Major Poteat, Ed.D. “But little did we know that this dedication would coincide with the demolition of the oldest remaining school in the district.”
The Blue Anchor School was built in 1915. Although not the first school in Winslow Township — the first known school was built in the 1860s in Winslow — it was one of the first with more than one classroom. In the mid 1960s, the building became the district’s administration headquarters, and after a slow deterioration, was demolished. However, the keystone, bell, and door key were preserved and are now on display at the new WTSD administration building.
“This is just a fantastic achievement,” said New Jersey State Senator Fred Madden. “I want to thank [the Board of Education] for forging ahead and providing opportunities. When you talk about tearing buildings down and saving part of them, it’s a rebirth. I want to give you my personal best wishes as you move forward and continue to do good things.”
In addition to remarks from Poteat and Madden, invitees heard from Cheryl Pitts, President of the WTSD Board of Education; Barry Wright, Mayor of Winslow Township; and New Jersey Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, who presented WTSD with a Joint Legislative Resolution from the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly. The Winslow Township High School Choir, led by teacher and Choir Director Michael Doheny, serenaded attendees, and students from the school’s ROTC posted the Colors.
In his remarks, Wright mentioned the solid partnership that has been forged between the district and the township, which helped make the celebration possible. “Winslow School District is doing one heck of a job, one that we have to be proud of,” said Wright. “Winslow Pride, that’s what you represent.”
Poteat read a letter to the district from the granddaughter of a Board of Education member named on the Blue Anchor School keystone, who was unable to attend the ceremony. “We still have families that have been part of our school district for 100 years, and we expect that to continue,” said Poteat.
Attendees then ventured inside for the unveiling of the bell, keystone and door key. Directly inside the administration building’s doorway, Poteat also urged guests to look at the plaque recognizing the dedication of the building at 40 Cooper Folly Road.