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Booker and Machen elementary schools celebrate 50th anniversaries

Booker Elementary School and Machen Elementary School both held 50th anniversary celebrations at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Booker Elementary opened its doors to students during the fall of 1968. The school was named after a Hampton family that had shown a great deal of interest in education and wanted to make their community a better place, especially for children.

The origin of the Booker family began when Captain Thomas Purefoy came over on the ship “George” in 1621.  In 1631, he purchased 500 acres of land on the northwest
branch of the Back River in Elizabeth County, which later became part of Hampton.  One of Captain Purefoy’s descendants married Captain Richard Booker and from this
marriage, George Booker was born. This George Booker was very prominent in the educational affairs of the county.  He was a trustee of the Syms-Eaton Charity School, the first public school in the English colonies. The former Honorable Senator Hunter Booker Andrews, is also a descendant of this distinguished family.  He served as chairman of the Hampton School Board from 1959 to 1962.

The school takes great pride in the fact that a tall majestic sycamore tree whose seeds traveled into space with the Apollo 14 Space Mission continues to grow in their courtyard. Booker was the winning school to get the seeds to plant when Marjorie White, a sixth grade student in 1976, wrote a winning poem. Booker students planted the “moon tree” seeds in the courtyard on Arbor Day, April 30, 1976.

Booker celebrated its anniversary with a program on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Students, staff, and invited guests were in attendance. The event included a history of the school, selections by both the fifth grade chorus and the Bucket Drum Club.  They also created a time capsule to include mementos relevant to today such as a yearbook, Booker t-shirt, a current newspaper, and photos.

Machen Elementary opened in the 1969-1970 school year. The school was named for Luther W. Machen, Jr. Machen began his career as a shop teacher in 1922. He spent most of his teaching career in the field of vocational electricity, but also administered and taught in the night school in Hampton. Early in his teaching career Machen recognized the educational opportunities inherent in the medium of motion pictures and began to assemble audiovisual aids and equipment for the use in schools. He served on a subcommittee delegated to investigating the possibilities of setting up and organizing a Vocational Technical Adult Center for the Peninsula.

Machen celebrated its anniversary with a celebration on Saturday, June 8, 2019. They had a program that included remarks by School Board member Dr. Richard Mason and a parent’s perspective by Tracey Richardson. Chris Bartlett, retired fourth grade teacher, sang her original song written about the school. Retired principal Patricia Clark read a poem and the fourth and fifth grade chorus performed. The program was followed with a carnival.

Go to Booker's Photo Gallery

Go to Machen's Photo Gallery

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As stated in School Board Policy AC, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, age, disability or other protected class in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAH for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

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