Janice Rosales came to Edgewater as principal of the Helen C. Peirce Elementary School in 1995. She quickly became engaged in researching the history of the school, which opened in 1915 and was named for the founding member of the Lake View Woman’s Club. The Club had donated a collection of fine paintings because they wanted children to appreciate art and have culture in the schools. Funds provided by Helen Peirce’s husband were used to purchase more paintings, as well as a Prairie style kindergarten room designed by George Elmslie, murals by John Norton, and a community garden and playground designed by Jens Jensen.
However, over the years deterioration and neglect took their toll. Historic preservation and restoration of these treasures has happened as a result of Rosales’ commitment to art as an essential part of education. The celebration and appreciation of diversity is another component of her quest to help Edgewater students understand their community. As a result, Peirce School has transitioned from a neighborhood school to a specialty academy for international studies. These initiatives have resulted in a rich education for students fortunate enough to attend Peirce.
“Children need to be surrounded by beauty.
You don’t want that to stop.”
Click here for a short video.