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Addison Elementary School opened its doors for the first time in August, 1988. The school was named for Cobb County educator and businessman, Walter Pinkney (W. P.) Addison. Addison became Georgia’s first Charter School in 1995. Subsequent Charter renewals in 1998 and 2003 have ensured high academic achievement for all Addison students.
W. P. Addison was an educator and a successful businessman. He was a man of vision with a strong commitment to excellence in all that he did. In the mid 1920’s, the only schools in Cobb County were a few one-room school houses scattered over the county. Mr. Addison wanted a better educational system for his own children as well as all children throughout the county.
He contacted other prominent businessmen of the county and proposed that a new consolidated school be built. It was to be a school that housed a classroom and a teacher for each grade. Buses would be used to transport children to the school.
The idea was very novel and somewhat radical for that time. Many nay-sayers insisted that parents would never put their children on a bus and allow them to ride several miles to school. In spite of the skeptics, Mr. Addison persisted. He worked with other businessmen of the community to secure funding and he donated the land for the school. The land was just north of his home place on the Canton Highway. The school buses were purchased. For several months, Mr. Addison and Mr. Arch McCleskey, Sr. (namesake for McCleskey Middle School) traveled throughout the state interviewing teachers for the new consolidated school. They wanted the most qualified teachers available to teach the children.
Blackwell’s Consolidated School (as it was originally called) was finally built. The school first opened for the summer term on July 18, 1927 in an attractive red brick building. The original building had eight classrooms and an auditorium. Each room had a coal burning stove for heat. There were no indoor restrooms, nor was there a lunchroom
By the late 1940’s, two more buildings had been added to the school grounds: a Home Economics building and an Agriculture building which included a cannery. Indoor bathrooms had also been added. There was a girls’ bathroom at the end of the right side of the building and a boys’ bathroom at the end of the left side of the building. The first lunchroom program was started in 1952 in the Agricultural building.
Mr. Addison suffered a stroke in later years and was left with a significant speech impediment. However, his positive spirit and quest for excellence never diminished. In 1978, Blackwell Elementary celebrated its 50th anniversary and Mr. Addison spoke eloquently at the program.
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