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290 Crescent Avenue, Moorestown, NJ 080578 Tel.(856)778-6635  fax (856)778-4426

 

How did Roberts School get it's name? (Who Was Mary E. Roberts?)

Mary Elma Roberts was born 1892 in Preston Maryland. Her father, Dr. Emerson Roberts was a minister. Emerson, was a minister her mother, Mary, was valedictorian of her high school. She attended Dickinson College, where she received a bachelors and masters degree. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa

George C. Baker chose Mary to be the high school principal in 1920 because of her devotion and potential. Roberts continued to teach while assuming her new role. She received a raise of $1,000. She took that sum and split it among ten teachers she felt needed it more. Roberts served as the high school principal for 33 years. She ran the school like a clock. She was early and stayed late every day.

Miss Roberts attended the University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral thesis was called Elimination from the Public High Schools of New Jersey. In 1930 she received her PHD. She was now referred to as Dr. Roberts. Mary was an active member of many organizations. These included N.J.'s Secondary Principal Organization, Burlington County Teachers Association, Nation Secondary School Organization, New Jersey State Teacher's Association, National Congress of Parents and Teachers and the Burlington County Supervisor's Association.

Dr. Roberts retired June, 1953. Dr. Harold Coxson announced at her final graduation ceremony the creation of the Mary E. Roberts scholarship. It was begun to honor Dr. Roberts and to be awarded to an "outstanding senior girl". Dr. Roberts presented it to Sally Guertler, class of 1953. Roberts retired to her home in Merchantville. She spent her time visiting, gardening, playing the piano, needle pointing and writing poetry. 

Moorestown built a new elementary school in 1957. It is called the Mary E. Roberts School. "Imagine!", she remarked to a friend, "To have a school named after you."  She died April 16, 1981 at the age of 89.

Below is one of Roberts poems taken from the 1949 Nutshell year book.

 

Loyalty to Moorestown High School-
May this our watchword be,
With our motto never failing,
"Seize the opportunity."
We will love her halls and classrooms,
Nor honor shall they lack,
While Old Moorestown stands defender
Of the Yellow and the Black.