S.D. Spady Elementary has a rich 119-year history. In 1922 Booker T. Washington recommended Solomon David Spady, a student of Dr. George Washington Carver, to become principal of what was then called Smith-Hughes Vocational School. In 1937, the school board constructed Carver School which serves grades 1-12. In 1958, a new school opened, named Carver High School which served black students from grades 9-12. On the present site was left grades 1-8 whereas the school board renamed the school S.D. Spady Elementary, the most respected educator of the only school for black students. Mr. Spady served 35 years from 1922-1957 and was dedicated to improving educational standards of the segregated school systems.
When Spady Elementary opened in 1958, the school had 952 students and 40 teachers. Dr. Clayton Coleman became the Principal for the next 23 years from 1957-1980. She taught math and science.
Barbara Brown then became Principal in 1980 until 1989. When Banyan Creek Elementary opened, it drew a large percentage of the white population leaving Spady with less than 300 students enrolled, although it could accommodate 800. The majority of the students were African American and put the school out of compliance with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).
In hopes to integrate school population and diversity, the Palm Beach County School District wrote a federal grant for $3.2 million to begin magnet schools in the county. S.D. Spady became the first Elementary Montessori Magnet School in the fall of 1989. This year marks their 25th anniversary year.
In 1989, Mavis Allred, previously a teacher and assistant principal at Spady, became the first white principal at Spady. Mrs. Allred retired in 1997 and Mrs. Denise Doyle became the school’s seventh principal. In 2000, Mrs. Martha O’Hare became the eighth principal at Spady and retired in 2013, leaving their then Assistant Principal, Rona Tata, in charge as their current acting Principal.
Spady celebrated its annual Montessori Week each day with a theme that is centered around the philosophy. In the middle of the week, Mrs. Tata celebrated her 50th birthday, on UNIQUE ME DAY, with a traditional Montessori Walk Around the Sun celebration. The Magnet Coordinator, Angela Lord-Carsrud, facilitated the event and unfolded Mrs. Tata’s historical timeline in pictures within her 5 decades.
On Friday, February 28th the school participated in a school-wide assembly whereas local and historical dignitaries were invited to attend. At 10:00 a.m. the students are presenting a vocabulary parade of affirmative Montessori buzz words, created by 29 year veteran teacher of Spady – Linda Kunesh. Each class chose a specific word that relates to the school’s philosophy and they made permanent banners in art class to represent individual classes. Many students will be performing supportive poems, skits, and songs related to their words. Additionally, children will dance under the leadership of our beloved Ms. Weeza with chorus performances by long term Spady music teacher Mr. Clark.
Following the Assembly is a luncheon provided by Spady’s business partners, The Outback Steakhouse and Walmart, where over 200 lunches and desserts are being prepared and donated for their guests, teachers, administration, and PTA members. That evening, the PTA is sponsoring a Montessori Ball where parents will accompany their child for an evening of dance and fun from 6-8 p.m.
For more information about S.D. Spady or Montessori Philosophy, visit the Edline homepage at: www.edline.net/pages/S_D__Spady_Elementary_School.
Solomon David Spady
Dr. Maria Montessori (August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952)
About 750 students, teacher, and faculty members assembled on the P.E. field to form a Peace Sign.