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Peake Rosenwald Past • Present • Future

Peake Rosenwald

Past • Present • Future

Legacy of educator continues in buillding’s new chapter


eake High School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with local significance for its association with education in Arkadelphia and Clark County. Additionally, it is significant as a part of Julius Rosenwald’s legacy as the foremost benefactor to Negro education in the South, and as the only surviving Rosenwald School in Clark County. Peake High School got its name from John Edward Peake, one of the principals of the old Sloan School and landowner of the site where Peake Elementary School is now situated. Sloan School was a small frame building of wood and was located on Main Street in Arkadelphia, Ark., where the new addition of Rose Hill Cemetery is today. The faculty consisted of seven members and the enrollment was less than 200 students, grades first through eighth. The property was then owned by Mr. Sloan. The Baptist Academy was located on 18th and Caddo Street, and the Presbyterian Academy was located on Logan Street. In 1926, the Sloan School was destroyed by fire and in 1929 the new Peake High School was built. The construction was one brick building (Peake Rosenwald) located on 16th and Caddo Street along with the agricultural shop located north of the school building. The school was under S. Hilderth and the landowner was J. Ed Peake. The enrollment was less than 300 and the grades were first through eighth. Nathaniel B. Cooke became principal in 1938 and served for twenty-nine consecutive years before retiring. Of the 29 school completed in Arkansas in 19281929, Peake High School was the only ten-room school built. In 1960, the population of the black community in Arkadelphia and surrounding area had increased substantially, requiring the construction of another building. Peake High School

The Peake Rosenwald High School, shown below as it appeared circa 1951, and the Rosenwald Early Childhood Education Center after renovations were completed in 2013 (above).

(building 1) was constructed at 1609 Pine Street for grades seven through twelve. Peake Rosenwald became Peake Elementary (building 2) with grades one through six. Jerome Donaldson became principal of the elementary school and Nathaniel Cooke remained principal of the high school. Peake Elementary principals after Donaldson were Maurice Horton, Robert Worlds and Marguerite Goodloe. Arkadelphia Public Schools were totally integrated in 1970. Peake High School became Peake Middle School for grades five through seven. Principals after Cooke were William T. Keaton, Jerry Daniels, Carroll Wood, Berla Jean, Randall Muse, Carrol Forte, Terri Lindsey, and Donnie Whitten. By early 1984, the building was being used by the Central Arkansas Development Council Head Start Program. The Head Start Program vacated the building in December 2000, moving to the Community Family Enrichment Center located in Feaster Park. The renovation process of the building started several years later and was completed in August 2013. The early childhood program in the school district was reorganized and the PreK program for three year olds was moved into the school. The reorganization of the Arkadelphia Public Schools in 1985 resulted in Peake Middle School becoming Peake Elementary School, which currently serves grades four and five under the leadership of Principal Nikki Thomas. Peake has had a rich and varied life. We continue to educate and challenge the children of Arkadelphia while celebrating events, traditions and people for which our school was founded.

Lifelong learning begins here

Peake Rosenwald PreK 1604 Caddo St. Arkadelphia, AR 71923 870-246-7301

The mission of the Arkadelphia Public School’s Early Childhood Program is to provide a safe, stimulating environment that will build a foundation for lifelong learning, and respect for cultural and individual differences. Our primary objective is to nurture and engage our students in an enjoyable learning environment in order to help them gain the awareness, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in their present environment, and to help with later responsibilities in school and life. We designed our educational curriculum to accommodate a variety of children’s needs as well as strengths, and to stimulate learning across all domains of development: Social, emotional, cognitive, creative, and physical. As a school district, we believe the gains made by a child in the early childhood program must be understood and built upon by the family and community. To achieve this goal, our program engages the parents and family members in the activities and services provided through our centers.

Peake Rosenwald: Past-Present-Future  
Peake Rosenwald: Past-Present-Future  

Peake High School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with local significance for its association with education in Arkade...