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Docent Training Videos With Scripts

School Room
(Video 7)


  •  Seymour’s educational system started with the Great Hill School District in 1766 with Henry Wooster as its first leader. Seymour was still part of Derby at this time. Due to the effects of the Revolutionary War, school was suspended from 1781-1784.

    • Many of the schools began as one and two room schoolhouses and one teacher taught grades one through eight. Some of the schools were Bell School , located on High Street ; Cedar Ridge School, located on the corner of Pearl and Day Streets ;Castle Rock School, on Cedar Street; Bungay School, located on the corner of Botsford and Canfield Roads and Great Hill School, a two room school, on Holbrook Road.


  • In 1849 , Seymour had its first high school called “Humphreysville Academy”. There were 47 students and it was located on Broad Street across from Pine Street. 


  • Center School: In 1884, two acres of land were purchased on the corner of Bank and Martha Streets. A new nine room , two and a half  story brick high school was built.


  • Maple Street School :As the town’s population grew, the one and two room schoolhouses were no longer adequate. In 1908, a new eight room, two story building, Maple Street School, was built on the corner of Maple and Pearl Street. Additions were made to the school as needed. In 1983, the school was renamed the Anna L. LoPresti School, to honor a woman who dedicated her life to educating Seymour’s children. She was a teacher, principal of Maple Street School and Seymour’s first woman First Selectman.


  • Seymour High School/Seymour Middle School:  In 1922, the high school classes were moved to a new two story high school on Pine Street. After  the 1955 flood, the building was cleaned and repaired and used as a high school until 1962 when the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades were moved  to a new, modern high school was built on Botsford Road and it became a middle school.


  • Seymour High School was built at 2 Botsford Road and dedicated on January 12, 1962. It cost $1,024,500 and took 15 months to build.


  • Paul E. Chatfield School was built in1965 and opened in1966. It is located at 51 Skokorat Street on land sold to the town by the Chatfield family on the condition the land would be used for educational purposes. 


  • In this room, you will see photos of the early schools built in Seymour. The desks and artifacts give you a glimpse at what education was like in the early days.

  • Look at school photographs on the wall and the desks below

Photo#1 The Old Red SchoolHouse (Bungay School) built in 1895.

  •  The desk below is from that school and the headmaster’s desk downstairs in the foyer is from the same school. Point out items on the desk. This desk was donated to the museum by the Brennan Family. Violet Brennan was a kindergarten teacher and principal at Bungay School.


Photo# 2 Great Hill School


Photo#3 Center School

  • First high school then became an elementary school when Annex was built. Closed in 1977. Now a commercial building and Annex houses the Valley Health Department and Board of education offices. Point to items on the desk used in the 1950s-chalkboard, penmanship and spelling blank books. There was also a space under the seat to store books.


Photo#4 Maple Street School. 

  • The student desk below represents those used during the early 1900s. Point to the items on this desk- writing slate, horn book (with the alphabet on one side and The Lord’s Prayer on the other) and a reading primer.


Photo #5 Seymour High School/Seymour Middle School

  •  In 1922, high school classes were moved to a new 2 story school on Pine Street. It was used as a high school until 1962 when tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades were moved to a new, modern high school built on Botsford Road and it became a middle school


Move to the displays on the back wall.

  •  On the left shelves, point out 

    • Grade 1 Class Picture from 1913

    • -Early 1900s Student Banking  Automatic Receiving Teller


  • On the center shelves, point out

    • -SHS Class of 1895 and Autograph Book-

      • was the original yearbook with signatures of classmates and personal messages

    • -SHS Class Book 1940

    • -Book Display

    • - Vintage Globe and Dolls from around the World


  • On the right shelves, point out from top to bottom:

    • -Elementary School Newspaper from 1937, 1938, 1944, 1950 and 1965

Look at the Principal's Desk. 

  • On the desk is a telephone, Waterman Pen and Ink Set and a 1931-1932 School Record and Attendance Book. 

  • There are more Record and Attendance books in our library/resource room downstairs.

Photo on the wall is an original lithographic print “Orchestrating Character” by Michael Michaud. 

  • The print commemorates 51 years of service to public education by Mrs Adeline Tripp, retiring principal of Center Annex School in 1977.


Behind the graduate mannequin are graduation class pictures from 1897.


**Allow time to look around and ask questions. Before leaving the room, point out the door stops with the initials K M. Whose initials do you think they are? Katharine Matthies!

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