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What's In A Name?

J.C. Parks Elementary School

Opened 1967

C. Paul Barnhart

Joseph Christopher (J.C.) Parks was responsible for securing the funding needed to build J.C. Parks Elementary School. After a congressional committee tabled discussions to give the county money for a new elementary school, Parks went to Washington, D.C. and convinced the committee to award him the funds to build the school.

Parks was born in Lexington, Ky. He studied education at the Hampton Institute, Penn State University, Morgan State College and Catholic University. In 1917, Parks came to Maryland where he worked as a principal at Centreville High School. After briefly serving in the United States Army during World War I, Parks began working as the supervisor of colored schools for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) in 1919. During his career with CCPS, Parks was instrumental in drafting plans and securing funds for several elementary schools and the county's first and second high schools - Pomonkey and Bel Alton.

Parks also worked with P.D. Brown to establish the first public library in the county. Additionally, Parks served as executive secretary to the Maryland State Teachers Association and worked toward obtaining equal salaries for teachers statewide. Parks retired from CCPS in 1961.

Source: Speech given at Parks' retirement ceremony at Pomonkey High School on July 30, 1961. Photograph reprinted through the courtesy of the school.

C. Paul Barnhart
Go to J.C. Parks' website

 

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