Historical marker celebrates 100 years of Caesar Rodney School District

A historical marker honoring the 100th anniversary of the Caesar Rodney School District is unveiled Tuesday morning in front of the Paul L. Dunbar Administration Building in Camden by, from left, school district superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, sponsors Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) and Rep. Lyndon Yearick (R-Dover), and state archivist Steve Marz. (Delaware State News photos by Dave Chambers)

A historical marker honoring the 100th anniversary of the Caesar Rodney School District is unveiled Tuesday morning in front of the Paul L. Dunbar Administration Building in Camden by, from left, school district superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, sponsors Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) and Rep. Lyndon Yearick (R-Dover), and state archivist Steve Marz. (Delaware State News photos by Dave Chambers)

WYOMING — A new historical marker stands outside the Caesar Rodney School District office on Front Street in Wyoming.

The district — the first consolidated school district in the state — is celebrating 100 years.

For children from nearby W.B. Simpson Elementary School, the unveiling ceremony Tuesday was a chance to eat cake and learn about the history of their school district and the man for whom it was named.

Delaware State Archives Director Stephen Marz, just before he uncovered the marker Tuesday with the students lined up behind him, asked a small crowd of people gathered outside the office to read aloud the words on the marker together.

“State Consolidated District No. 1 was authorized and created on July 1, 1915.

Caesar Rodney School District school board president William Bush, left, and school district superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald prepare to cut the birthday cake celebrating the school’s 100th anniversary.

Caesar Rodney School District school board president William Bush, left, and school district superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald prepare to cut the birthday cake celebrating the school’s 100th anniversary.

“Seven months later, on February 28, 1916, voters of the district approved the request of the State Board of Education by a vote of 52 to 1 to bond together schools in the town of Camden and Wyoming.”

Back then, there were school districts in every community; in order to have a school district in Delaware, only 35 students and a teacher were needed, Caesar Rodney superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald said.

The towns of Camden and Wyoming sought to build a better school by working together.

Through referendum the towns raised $12,000 and the state put up $18,000 to build a new school near where Fifer Middle School stands today.

Not long after, looking for a name that was important to both communities, they decided to name the new consolidated district “Caesar Rodney School District” after the Revolutionary War hero and statesmen.

The text on the marker concludes, “More than 100 years later, the Caesar Rodney School District continues to provide educational opportunities for every student.”

02dsn CR Historical Marker 003

From left, Rep. Lyndon Yearick (R-Dover), state archivist Steve Marz and CR school board president William Bush applaud after the unveiling of the historic marker Tuesday.

Dr. Fitzgerald said the idea for setting up an historical marker came from Sen. Brian Bushweller, D-Dover, and Rep. Lyndon Yearick, R-Camden.

“There’s just something permanent about putting that historical marker there, so that anyone that should drive by and stops to read understands the significance of what Camden and Wyoming did when they voted to support the referendum,” Dr. Fitzgerald said.

Rep. Yearick agreed.

“I’d like to congratulate the Caesar Rodney School District’s 100 years. It’s been a big part of my family right here in the community.”

In his remarks, Sen. Bushweller congratulated the school board, administration, teachers, staff and everyone involved in the school district.

“It is an example for the state, for the region. It’s something we’re all very, very proud of. So congratulations to everyone,” he said.

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