The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District is steeped in history, and here, at Chartlon Heights we like to recognize and honor both the district's and school's many successes over the years.
To the right you'll find links to archives of our many student awards and honors, drama production cast lists, poster contest winners, Eagle Scout Projects and much more.
Here's a listing of many Charlton Height's retired staff.
Scroll down to learn more about Chartlon Heights beginning in 1792.
If you have additional stories or artifacts to share, please contact school principal Tim Sinnenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1792: The township of Charlton was created in March of 1792. Little is know about the earliest schools of the town, but before 1786, settlers of Charlton had a schoolhouse serving students for three months in the winter. The curriculum was confined to reading, writing and arithmetic. The school was conducted by John McKnight on a farm on south Sweetman Road.
1812: Charlton resident Gideon Hawley is named the first State Superintendent of Schools. He organized the public school system, and is called the "Father of the Common Schools." Young Hawley attended Ballston Academy and then Union College from which he graduated in 1809. During his tenure as superintendent, laws were passed providing for compulsory common school districts and an instructional syllabus written.
1816: The first schoolhouse for District #7 was located as early as 1816 at the east corner of Valentine Road, where Valentine Road used to meet Stage Road.
1818: The Charlton District #8 school is built on Main Street in the Charlton hamlet on the southwest corner of what is now the Gideon Hawley Park.
1859: The Charlton District #7 School, also called the Little Troy School, was erected on Old Stage Road. The district paid Hiram Morehouse $65, and was able to move the first building, build the second schoolhouse and surround the lot with a tight board fence.
1860: A replacement structure was built for District #8 school on the west side of Maple Avenue just north of Charlton Road. The building is now owned by the Charlton Historical Society.
1871: The Charlton District #5 School is constructed around 1871 on the east side of Cook Road north of Eastern Avenue.
1915: Three one-room schools join to form the "Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Union Free School District," New York state's first "consolidated" school district.
1916: The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School of Agriculture & Homemaking opens on Lakehill Road on the site of the current Stevens Elementary School.
1925: The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Rural School District is created.
1930: By the early 1930's, report cards show that ten subjects were being taught at the one-room District #7 schoolhouse, including reading, spelling, English, arithmetic, geography, history, writing, drawing, physiology and nature study. The teacher was Helen G. Robinson.
1948: On June 8, School District #7 and #8
became part of the BH-BL Central School District.
Delphena Nessle was the last teacher at District #7, which was serving only elementary students at the time. Other teachers at School #7 were Edna Young Phillips from 1929-1932, and Ethel McChesney Myers from 1950-1953.
Some teachers at School #8 were Rose Dalton Mitchell from 1923-1929, Mildred McDowall Hansen in 1930, Jess E. Martin from 1937-1956, and Doris Koulbach Mason from 1957-1960.
On June 24, the one-room schoolhouse District #5 school becomes a part of the BH-BL Central School District. Some teachers at the School #5 were Nellie Stephenson (1913-1914), Eugenia Cook (1914-1916), Ina Armitage Hunter (1920-1921), Jean Teller Wood (1922-1923), Mildred McDowall Hansen (1927-1931), Celia Gray Barrett (1937), Edna Gray LaRue (1938), and Ruth Callenins Smith (1942-1944).
1956: Proposition for purchase of the 14 acres on the Barnett Family Farm is approved by District voters.
1957: Proposition to build school at 170 Stage Road is approved by District voters. Construction begins in spring of 1957.
1958: OnApril 17, the Board of Education approves the name Charlton Heights Elementary School. The district held a contest to name the elementary school and tenth-grade student Charlene Bogue submitted the winning name. The second place name was Stage Road Elementary School submitted by Paul Brown and the third place name was Charlton Elementary submitted by Edward Prentiss and Joan Manchester. On July 22, the first Charlton Heights PTA meeting was designated. Delays in construction kept the building from opening in the fall and classes continue to be held in temporary space in the Episcopal Hall and the Ballston Lake Elementary School building. Emily Speer is named the first principal at Charlton Heights.
1959: On February 16, Charlton Heights Elementary School opens. Scout Troop 54 and Cub Pack 4 use Charlton Heights as a gathering space. PTA donates shrubs, stage curtains, a microscope, the metal letters spelling out the school name, three bicycle racks, the amplifier in the cafeteria, a movie screen on stage, a creative playground, library books for preschool, a microfiche reader for the library, a deacon's bench, a picnic table and more to the school.
1961: The PTA plans Square Dance lessons for adults, films for the pre-school parents, and "Sex Education for Moms and Dads." Students in fourth, fifth and sixth grade participate in a trial "activity period" from 8:45 to 10:25 a.m. each morning to concentrate on instrumental music. Remedial reading, chorus, and enrichment activities like ornithology, geography through stamp study, and sculpture in various media is offered. Children who are too burdened by their regular studies will have a study hall.
1962: Addition of 12 classrooms and the cafeteria added to Charlton Heights. Jim Dunham appointed as the first Assistant Principal. He serves in this position until 1965, when he is named principal.
1965: Principal Emily Speer resigns as principal and moves back to the classroom. Jim Dunham is named the second principal at Charlton Heights. Leon Van Orman is chosen as the second Assistant Principal, a position he holds until 1967 when he resigns.
1967: Vincent Caringi is chosen as the last Assistant Principal, a position he holds until 1972 when these elementary positions are abolished by the District.
1972: The PTA offers a program to parents to help them understand the special services being offered in the areas of speech, hearing and tutorial reading. The speakers were Dorothy Kelsey, Emily Speer and Richard Bennett.
1973: Bus safety is presented to parents in a novel way. Parents rode their children's bus routes on their way to a meeting where bus drivers narrated a slide presentation of transportation situations around the district.
1979: Parents, students and community members paint a picture of the United States on the blacktop area behind the school. Work is started in June of 1979, and is completed one year later. To improve home-school communication, the PTA publishes its first Newsletter.
1980: Artist in Residence Bob Garling, a local artist, begins a mural depicting the daily events of the school. The Little People's Theater at Charlton Heights, a parent supported group designed for children in grades K-6 is created. The first performance is Tom Sawyer, Pirate. The last performance of the group is in 1985.
1981: Eileen Briggs Memorial Art Award established. Eileen was a PTA volunteer who started the Preschool Program at Charlton Heights. She was an unassuming individual who had a true artistic gift which she shared with many children.
1982: Two full casts of "Pinocchio" are presented by the Little People's Theater, allowing 149 youngsters the opportunity to participate in a staged performance. Charlton Heights PTA named as "Most Outstanding" in New York State. Special notations by the selection committee were the Little People's Theater, the growing membership, participation in district and convention workshops, and work in legislation. Some of the outstanding programs offered by the PTA were the children's bazaar held in October, family programs such as square dancing, caroling, ice skating and roller skating, and the book fair.
1983: Charlton Heights PTA celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the school and its organization. View a published historical document about the school's first 25 years.
1984: Charlton Heights PTA begins the CHESS Program, which allows students to publish books with the assistance of parent volunteers.
1985: The Computer Laboratory is established at Charlton Heights. Volunteers were asked to aid in running the lab.
1986: The Banana Splits Program is established to help children from transitional families.
1987: Jean Pokrzywka receives the BH-BL Custodial Excellence Award. Jim Dunham retires as school principal, and Stephen Honicki named as the third principal at Charlton Heights. The James Dunham Citizenship Award is established. Charlton Heights becomes a Kindergarten through grade 5 building as the sixth graders move to the newly created Middle School.
1988: Dustin Quimby receives the BH-BL Custodial Excellence Award. The Open Door Program is established at Charlton Heights to supplement the educational experience for children in pre-first and first grade who are having difficulty adjusting to school. Charlton Heights receives the BH-BL Building Excellence Award for district custodial crews.
1989: The Children's Garden established at Charlton Heights. PTA volunteers help with supplies and give students experience planting a garden.
1990: FromMay 29 through June 3, the Magic Maze playground is built by community volunteers after a two-year effort from a group of parents who turned a dream into reality. The goal of the playground was to be a unique space that could be enjoyed by all children in the District. Parents and volunteers hold the first Fifth Grade Event after-school to honor our graduating students from Charlton Heights. This event replaces a fifth-grade dinner with games, music and pizza. The fifth graders vote unanimously for this change. Fifth-grade students earn the praise of President George Bush for being responsible citizens who help their community. The students completed a Civic Achievement Award program under the leadership of the fifth grade teachers Fred Acunto, Mary Conklin, Carol Douglas and Bob Youmans.
1991: BH-BL Theatre for Children established, replacing the name Pashley Players. This is a community effort from all district schools to provide a theatre experience for children each spring. The first play is The Reluctant Dragon. Building Council established at Charlton Heights. The group is comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and staff to improve the education of our children. The Totes Program is established at Charlton Heights. Students are able to bring home a bag of books related to different themes. The Totes Program is replaced by the 1001 Book Kid Program in 2007.
1992: Charlton Heights holds its first Holiday Sing-Along, a tradition that continues to the present day. George Dorvee receives the BH-BL Custodial Excellence Award.
1993: First-grade students adopt an acre of rain forest land in both Brazil and Costa Rica through the Nature Conservancy and Monteverde Conservation League, respectively.
1994: Bob Garling completes the school mural. Stephen Honicki retires as school principal, and Daniel Riggins named the fourth principal at Charlton Heights. Fourth graders present an evening performance of the musical "Grease."
1995: Charlton Heights receives the BH-BL Building Excellence Award for district custodial crews. Helen Moore receives the BH-BL Custodial Excellence Award. Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 participate in a day of cooperative activities called "Color Me Cooperative."
1996: The PTA creates the Jim Dunham Star of the Week Program to honor students at Charlton Heights. The first Milan Fiske "Think Like a Scientist" Award is given to worthy fifth grade students. Please see the past Science Winners. Charlton Heights receives the BH-BL Building Excellence Award for district custodial crews.
1997: Odyssey of the Mind "Heroic Proportions Team" places first at the New York State Championships. On the team are Sarah Lamparelli, Katie Campe, Ryan Godshalk, Katie Kirschman, Jessica Schreiner, Lindsay Schwarting and Jimmy Armbruster.
1998: On January 29, the school hosts a Citizenship Ceremony sponsored by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. Nine children from Korea, Russia, El Salvador, Bulgaria and China became US citizens when their new American parents swore the Oath of Allegiance on their behalf.
1999: Charlton Heights awarded a Best Practice Validation Award from the Schenectady County School-To-Work Partnership for hosting the Career Awareness Jamboree. Charlton Heights honored with the Capital District YMCA Century Club Award for generous support of the community.
2000: Third graders participate in the Math-a-Thon for the Children's Research Hospital, a fundraiser that has continued to the present.
2004: Daniel Riggins retires as school principal, and Tim Sinnenberg is chosen as the fifth principal at Charlton Heights. On April 8, PTA members and co-chairpersons Paulette Mahar and Elizabeth Herkenham help plan the Career Awareness Jamboree. The first School Yearbook is published in cooperation with the Charlton Heights PTA. The PTA plans the first Monster Mash Halloween Dance, an evening of dancing games, food and a jack-o-lantern contest.
2005: Charlton Heights awarded the Parent Involvement Certification of Excellence honor from the National PTA, in recognition of outstanding parent involvement practices. First graders participate in the Lions Club International eyeglasses recycling project.
2006: Charlton Heights Odyssey of the Mind students are National Champions! See details here. Fifth graders given the Disabilities Awareness Award for the encouragement and positive attitude toward people with disabilities. Bob Taylor receives the BH-BL Custodial Excellence Award. Third grade teacher Susan Brooks named a News 13 Teacher of the Week.