1033 Cambridge Avenue

The GEORGE WASHINGTON SCHOOL in Camden's Cramer Hill section as seen above and to this day was built in 1907 on the same site as the George Washington School had stood. The original school had been built by the Town of Stockton prior to the 1899 merger with Camden had had thus come under the auspices of the Camden Board of Education. 

The annexation of Stockton, in April 1899, brought eight new schools into the Camden school system. They were:

James G. Blaine School, Third (now 30th) and Green Streets.

George Washington School, Fourth (now 27th) and Cambridge Avenue.

Abraham Lincoln School, 28th Street and River Road (now Avenue);

Rosedale School, 3rd Street and Westfield Avenue;

Benjamin Harrison School, State (now Marlton Avenue) and High Streets;

James A. Garfield School, 29th and Master (now Cramer) Streets;

William McKinley School, 35th and Mickle Streets; 

Catto School, 30th and Erie (now Saunders) Streets.

Camden now had two schools named for Lincoln, one in East Camden and one on Kaighn Avenue. The commission changed the name of the Lincoln School on Kaighn Avenue to the Claudius W. Bradshaw School, in memory of the former Democratic Mayor, who recently died. The wisdom of the name change, however, was "questioned by many sections, because Mr. Bradshaw had never been identified with the public schools." 

Daisy Y. Ferber was named as principal of the  was named by the Camden Board of Education to be the principal of the George Washington School on Cambridge Street. 

In January 1904 the Claudius W. Bradshaw School on Kaighn Avenue was renamed the Abraham Lincoln School, and the Lincoln School on River Road was renamed the Benjamin C. Beideman School. Benjamin C. Beideman (1837-1898) lived in Beideman station in East Camden, He was one of the best-known men in Camden County. He worked tirelessly for his church, and was held in high regard by much of Stockton Township, which comprised what is known today as East Camden and Cramer Hill.

Daisy Ferber remained principal of the Washington School until 1907, when she became the first principal of the newly-built H.B. Wilson School at South 9th and Florence Streets. The Washington School was simultaneuosly being rebuilt on the same site on Cambridge Street. It was ready for occupancy on February 3, 1908. Charlotte V. Dover, who had been principal at the Benjamin C. Beideman School since 1899 was named as principal of the rebuilt Washington School.

On November 5, 1936 Mrs. Calvin W. Chambers and Mrs. Baker, President of the Washington School PTA, told the board that the Washington School, whose capacity was 400 students, needed more rooms. They insisted that a new school was only part of a much larger picture. The Washington School was almost 300 students over capacity, because the board closed and demolished the Blaine School in June 1932, and then closed the Beideman School in June 1935, without replacing them. Although four additional rooms opened in the basement of the Washington School, for kindergarten classes, in space previously used by the manual training and domestic science classes, they really had not contributed to easing the overcrowding, and special classes did not end until 4:30 P.M. She requested that the board reopen the Beideman School and the four classrooms on the first floor used for grades one through three. This action was not taken, and the board awarded Moore House Wrecking Co. the bid to raze the Beideman School, for $180 in December of 1936. 

The Washington School was slated to be rebuilt in the early 2000s as part of a massive state-wide project to upgrade schools. Mismanagement, primarily at the state level, caused this project to be cancelled. Now in its 100th year of use, the Washington School continues to serve the children of Cramer Hill.

Looking East towards River Avenue - Circa 1912
Click on Image to Enlarge



The hose tower at the rear belonged to the firehouse of North 27th Street.

Photo Courtesy of Bruce Jay Smith

Official Washington Elementary School Website

Camden Courier-Post - February 1 1, 1938

in Afternoon
4th Annual Child Welfare Institute Being Planned for April

The desire to carry on toward the goal envisioned by founders of the Parent-Teacher Association will be emphasized throughout the country in honor of the 41st anniversary of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers.

A Founders Day broadcast will be heard on the Parent-Teacher Radio Forum next Wednesday from 4.30-5 p. m. over the NBC blue network. 

Mrs. Percy Powell, Mrs. Fred M. Raymond and Miss Mary England are in charge of the program.

One of the vital topics to be considered that day is "What needs to be 
done for children today?"

The celebration of Founders Day started by Mrs. David O. Mears in 1910, thirteen years after the organization of the National Congress of Mothers, and the "birthday gifts" from local units are used for the extension of this service to childhood so that it may be carried to every girl and every boy in the country. 


Mrs. Herbert Schoellkopf, county Americanization chairman, urges every parent-teacher member to display the American flag on three important birthdays being celebrated this month, namely: Lincoln's  Birthday, February 12; Founder's Day, February 17, and Washington's Birthday, February 22.

Word has been received of the cancellation of the "Homemakers Forum" on station WOR. The series of talks on the adolescent which were to have been given on this program, are available in mimeographed form from the office of the home demonstration agent, Miss Mary M. Leaming, room 208, courthouse, Camden. In requesting this information, the name of the particular talk desired and the definite number of copies needed should be specked.

Parent-Teacher members are looking forward to the fourth annual Child Welfare Institute to be held in April. Plans for this institute are being formulated by Albert M. Bean, superintendent of Camden county schools, who is general chairman. The theme this year will be "Guidance" being divided in four classes pertaining to career, character, community and health.

Guest Speaker

MRS. MORRIS FOULK Director of the southern P. T. A. district and second
vice president of the New Jersey Parents and Teachers Congress, who was guest
speaker at the Garfield School, Camden, P. T. A. meeting: last night.


Broadway — Mrs. Ralph Jones, county magazine chairman, was the guest speaker at the meeting Tuesday night. A playlet in commemoration of Founder's Day was presented by a group from the Northeast-Sewell association. Mrs. Thomas Melchore presided. Mrs. George Lee, welfare chairman, has made arrangements for an industrial tour on February 21. Mrs. Walter Gross attended the meeting of the Home Demonstration Extension on Monday. Mrs. C. Fred Becker, parent discussion group  leader, is holding a meeting in the school on Tuesday at 1.30 p. m. A donation of $1.25 was approved to be given the recreation committee toward the New York trip of the winners in the sewing contest held recently.

CassadyMrs. M. Moullette, Summer round up chairman, has appointed a committee to assist her in her work. They are Mrs. E. Hudson, president; Mrs. R. Bowen, vice president; Mrs. H. Mount,  secretary; Mrs. A. Reinhold and G. McGrath Kershaw. The executive committee will hold a meeting next Wednesday at the home of Mrs. K. Hudson at 8 o'clock.

Cooper—Health night was held at the regular meeting Monday. Mrs. G. Kramer, county health chairman, spoke on the importance of correct food for children. A play was presented by the Seventh grade English class, under the direction of Miss E. Hanna. A violin solo was rendered by Miss A. Claypool, accompanied at the piano by Miss V. Merwall. An educational trip has been planned for this afternoon at 1.30.

Cramer — The county president's message echoes from the release were read by Mrs. William Rown-tree, president, at the meeting last week. A gift of $1.25 was sent to the committee on the Doll Dressing Contest. Mrs. Arthur Fichter, membership chairman; Mrs. Fred Creag-er, welfare  chairman, and Mrs. William Rowntree, president, attended the city group meeting last week. The executive committee will meet at the home of Barney Brown, vice president, 2566 Baird boulevard, on Tuesday night at 8 o'clock. The association is sponsoring a three-act comedy, "Here Comes Charlie," to be given by the Queen Esther Society of Asbury M. E. church, on Thursday night, February 17, at 8 o'clock in the school auditorium.

H. H. Davis—Members of the discussion group met in the school yesterday under the leadership of Mrs. William Allen, discussion group chairman, followed by rehearsal for the Founder's Day play arranged by Miss Kathleen Willetts, Founder's Day chairman. A candle lighting ceremony will also be given in observance of Founder's Day, at the meeting Thursday. Calvin Chambers will compile the publicity record book to be displayed at the annual luncheon. A trip to an industrial plant is planned for next Wednesday afternoon. A bus will leave the school at 1 p. m.

Dudley—Mrs. Elizabeth James and Mrs. Sarah Miller who were in charge of purchasing of basketball suits for the school team, reported that donations of $10.65 have been received from business people and friends. The executive committee has approved sending $1.25 to the Recreation Commission toward the New York trip for winners of the Doll Dressing Contest. Mrs. Clara Batten, chairman of the committee in charge of purchasing a new banner, has been authorized to purchase  same as soon as possible. Mrs. Florence Fiedler, newly appointed summer round-up chairman, is making plans for a thorough survey of the school neighborhood in order to enlist the aid of the parents of preschool children. Founders' Day exercises will be held tonight at the meeting.

McKinley—Harry Roye will speak at the meeting next Tuesday night. There will also be a Founders' Day ceremony. Those taking part will rehearse Friday at 3.30 a. m. at the school. Mrs. Rudolph Koerner will hold a study group meeting at her home next Wednesday at 2.00 p. m. Next Thursday a covered dish luncheon will be held by Mrs. R. Koerner and Mrs. Morris Sellers at the home of Mrs. R. Koerner, Fremont and Thirty-fifth street. On Thursday a meeting on character education will be  held at the school at 3.30 p. m. Miss Alice Butler, general secretary of the Y. W. C. A., fill speak.

Liberty & Starr—The meeting of the executive committee will be held ext Thursday night at the home of Mrs. Charles Baden, 954 Pine street. Mrs. Emily S. Hurd, publicity chairman, who served as chairman of the judging committee of the sewing contest sponsored by the Recreation commission, recently acted as judge of the sewing contest held by the T. A. at SS. Peter and Paul school on Tuesday night.

Parkside—Mrs. Robert Simmington, council chairman, and Mrs. Rocco Palese, city chairman, gave brief talks at the meeting last Thursday night. Corsages were presented to them by Mrs. Sinclair Sondie, program chairman. Proceeds from the sale of a cake will be sent as a Founders' Day gift to he National Congress to be used or extension work.

North-East & Sewell — Mrs. Grace Dill, discussion group leader, attended the meeting in City Hall Monday under the direction of Miss Mary Leaming, home demonstration agent. A meeting of the discussion group was held in the Sewell school on Tuesday afternoon.

Sumner—The ways and means committee met at the home of Mrs. Grace Thomas, president, on Monday. Plans for various entertainments for the months of February, March and April were made. A membership campaign was launched. The topic of discussion at the meeting on Wednesday was "How the School Prepares for Home and Family Life."

H. C. Sharp—The regular meeting was held Friday. Gordon Carrigan presided. The Rev. Eric A. Osterle of Collingswood. discussed "Youth Problems." "Founders' Day" was observed, also the ninth birthday of this unit. A large birthday cake was lighted by the past presidents, and a large candle lighted by Miss Ethel Lee for Founders Day. Miss Lee was congratulated for her wonderful co-operation with all presidents and P.T.A. work; and was presented with a corsage of red roses. Each president in turn was presented with a red rose bud boutonniere by Miss Esther Bauer, who had charge of the program, assisted by Miss Maier and Mrs. Barton. Each president gave a "Reminiscent" of his service. They were as follows: Chester Knaub, Harry Krattenmaker, Herman Neissner, Gordon Carrigan, Howard Stewart, Raymond Price.

Washington — Rev. E1wood A. Harrar spoke Tuesday at the Founders Day meeting Tuesday. Mrs. Howard Weeden, city juvenile probation chairman, was guest speaker. Miss Charlotte V. Dover, former principal of the school, was also a guest. A brief history of the association were called upon to speak. John White was the first president. He was followed by Jacob Grosmick, Mrs. Wilbur Cassedy, and the present president, Mrs. Richard Baker. Mrs. F. Kau ff man reports the cake sale a success. Mrs. William Mitchell reported plans to form a First Aid class that will be given a course by the Red Cross.

H. B. Wilson—Plans were made for the Founders Day program at the executive committee meeting Thursday afternoon in the school. Mrs. Lawrence Miller was named chairman. Miss Harriet Reiners will speak on character education at the next meeting. The basketball team was furnished with suits by the unit.

Yorkship—After a short business session with Mrs. James L. Ferris presiding, the monthly meeting was turned over to Mrs. J. P. McMillion, county chairman of alcohol and narcotics. Rev. H. S. Lepperd, of Fairview M. E. Church, spoke. Mrs David Pyper, chairman of ways and means, announced plans for a care party to be held on February 18. Proceeds will be used for expenses to carry on the monthly dances and Annual Field Day. The discussion group met today in teachers lunch  room. Mrs. Malcolm Steck, leader, will use as a topic "What Interests Adolescence." As a special feature for the monthly dances the organization has arranged to have a half hour of dancing instructions before the regular dancing begins. Attending the city group meeting at City Hall were Mrs. James L. Ferris, president; Mrs David Pyper, Mrs. M. Johnson, Mrs. Eleanor Wynn, Mrs. W. Clemmens Mrs. George Mehaffey and Mrs. Harold Turner attended.

Lincoln—Dr. Helen Schrak gave a talk on health and a report on health conditions of the children of this school at the last meeting. A Founders Day sketch was presented by Mrs. M. Beaumont, Mrs. G. Welmrich, Mrs. E. Schelpat and Mrs. K Conlin.

Camden Courier-Post * December 28, 2008

Principal ends 40 years in Camden school system

Courier-Post Staff

The Cat in the Hat greeted parents and students at George Washington Elementary School for the final time last week.

The lovable Dr. Seuss character, with the red and white top hat and giant red bow tie, is regular character played by the school Principal Malcolm Adler. It has been an annual staple at the school since Adler arrived there in 1996.

But on the final day before the winter holiday, he shared a sad piece of news. It was his last day. After 40 years of service, and 13 superintendents later, Adler, who turned 63 on Saturday, would no longer call Camden City Schools his second home.

Some parents, especially those who have become attached to Adler had difficulty accepting the news. It was challenging to take a 6-foot-4-inch man with a 2-foot tail flapping in the wind seriously, but the news was true. A new acting principal takes over when students return for class Jan. 5.

The new principal is expected to be Lana Murray, an administrator at Wiggins Elementary, Adler said. The city school board will make an official decision at its January meeting.

Alex Gonzalez, a mother with a son, Jaden, 6, at the school, started crying after digesting the words Adler told her.

"He was a very good principal. He was like the best. He interacts with the kids really (well)," said Gonzalez, who also had a daughter, a sister and nephew attend school under Adler. "Not every principal is that caring and understanding. He sits and talks with you. He puts the kids first."

Before the ice had melted from the sidewalks, Adler hit the streets, greeting parents and students on his final day. He got dozens of hugs, coffee and plenty of baked goodies between telling his students and parents in English and Spanish, that it was his last day.

"We have the best teachers in the city here," Adler said. "I'll miss the kids, staff, parents and community."

Adler, a Philadelphia native, started in Camden as a special education teacher at the former Cooper Grant Elementary School in 1968 at an annual salary of $6,200. He had to pay for half of his health benefits on top of that.

After his first year, he was promoted to a supervisor, and seven years later, he started taking on more administrative roles. He became an acting vice principal at multiple schools before taking over as principal at Whittier Elementary School in 1988.

During his tenure, he transformed the school, making it much more community-centric. In his first year, he organized the first reunion of the elementary school that had 650 alumni return.

He lined up public officials, the mayor, and even the campaign manager of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign, to speak.

While he was transforming the school and the community, he also served as president of the Federation of School Administrators chapter in Camden.

"I created a monster. A good monster," Adler said.

In 1996, he was transferred to George Washington Elementary School, and initially, he wasn't pleased.

"How could they do this to me? I was devastated. Whittier was everything to me," Adler said. "But I took what I was doing at Whittier, and I brought it here."

His staff raves about him.

"He is so professional. He's fair. He's evenhanded. He really is excellent," said Myra Slachetka, the school's special education supervisor.

"He went from someone who took a small classroom of students and united them into a community. Then he took a community and united them around the (school). He's involved this whole community in this school."

Adler is credited with getting a trucking company to donate winter coats to his more than 300 students, getting flowers donated to brighten the lobby of the building and finding free after school child care for needy families.

Adler's one wish for the district is that the state sends more money for new schools. Four years ago, George Washington, at more than a century old, was on a priority list slated for reconstruction.

A location was chosen, a design was created but the funding fell through.

Students in his school have no auditorium. They have to walk to Veterans Middle School, he said.

Students also don't have a gymnasium either, but that doesn't remove the school from its physical education obligations.

A rumbling vibrated from the third floor. For gym class, students run past tables, book shelves and teachers trying to prepare students for state testing. It's all the school can provide its children. Ironically, they run past a hand-drawn poster encouraging students not to run in the hallways to stay safe.

"One thing I would like to have is a new school. If that school had been built, I would be here until I was 90," Adler said.

Adler, who lives in Pennsauken, said he's still going to remain in education and visit the school. He's already been approved to mentor new principals by the state, and he's working with one now in Cherry Hill.

Reach Joseph Gidjunis at (856) 486-2604 or

Additional Facts


Malcolm Adler's retirement party will be at 6:15 p.m. March 13 at Adelphia Restaurant in Deptford. RSVP by Feb. 25. A $40 donation is requested. Make checks payable to: Friends of Malcolm N. Adler, The Retirement Committee, Washington School, 1033 Cambridge St., Camden 08105.

Camden's George Washington Elementary School Principal Malcolm Adler's last day of classes was December 23, after 40 years in Camden City Schools. Every year as principal, he dresses as Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat and greets children as they are dropped off for school, December 23, 2008. His son, Brian, right, stopped by to surprise him at his office.



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