In 1960, the building that presently houses Cedaredge Elementary School was dedicated to James A. Hunsicker in recognition of his contributions to the schools and the communities in the Surface Creek Valley over a period of 45 years as an educator, a pastor, a fruit grower and citizen.
Hunsicker Elementary School will be vacated in the fall, when students and staff move into a newly remodeled building and addition across the street.
To keep the Hunsicker name connected to the new Cedaredge Elementary School, his family requested the library in the new school be named the James A. Hunsicker Library. School board members approved the name change, noting the designation is particularly appropriate since the new building incorporates the old high school where Hunsicker taught for 33 years.
Robert Brown, a grandson of Hunsicker, was in the audience when the school board took formal action in April.
"On behalf of the grandchildren and other descendants of James A. Hunsicker, we are delighted that the school district has chosen to honor our grandfather by naming the library at the Cedaredge Elementary School for him," Brown commented after the meeting. "His contributions to education in the Surface Creek Valley are extraordinary."
Brown provided the following history:
James A. Hunsicker
James A. Hunsicker was superintendent/principal of the Eckert schools from 1911-13 and 1917-23 during which time the Eckert High School was built and he taught classes as well. In 1923 he transferred to the Cedaredge District and served as superintendent and teacher of mathematics and Latin until 1931. Thereafter he continued as a classroom teacher until 1956 when he retired at age 88. Prior to his retirement he was selected as Colorado's Teacher of the Year in 1954 by the Colorado Education Association. Actually he had been informed that he would have to retire at the end of the 1955 school term because he lacked certain college credits to continue. Believing that he could still be useful — ie. make a difference for his students by teaching another year — he determined, at age 87, to go to Western State College where he took nine credit hours of substantive course work and earned the right to teach one more year. By 1956 a law was in place which required teachers to retire at age 70 — he was then 18 years beyond that mandatory age. In addition to his academic work, he was very active in the Colorado Education Association and served as state president two different terms. He was revered by his students and even today the name "J.A. Hunsicker" evokes memories of a model teacher.
Hunsicker was born Jan. 10, 1868, in Montgomery County, Pa. He was raised on a farm and attended local schools. At age 18 he began teaching part-time at Gratersford, Pa., to earn money to pursue his college education at Ursinus College. He received a classical education (Latin, Greek,and Cicero) and loved good literature. He was an officer of a literary society and received a B.A. degree from Ursinus in 1892. He then prepared for a career as a minister by attending Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and graduated in 1895.
He married Katie A. Bromer in 1897. She was the daughter of a wealthy clothing manufacturer, Albert Bromer and his wife Catharine, who lived in Schwenksville. The Hunsickers had six children (4 girls and 2 boys) — five of whom earned college degrees. Mr. Hunsicker held pastorates at Reformed Churches in Tipton, Iowa, Marion, Ind., and Fairview, Kan. In Fairview he was diagnosed with an ailment known as "preacher's throat" and told that he must give up preaching and find a more favorable climate. As a result he moved his family to Eckert in 1910 to begin a new career as a fruit grower with a friend he had known during his pastorate in Iowa.
After coming to Colorado, Hunsicker's health improved and in 1913 he organized the Eckert Presbyterian Church. Under his leadership the congregation thrived and built the beautiful rock church at Eckert. He served as pastor of the Eckert church for 27 years plus 19 more as pastor emeritus. He was also secretary-treasurer of two active water companies for about 40 years each, and was secretary of the Eckert Cemetery Board for 20 years. He passed away on July 1, 1959, at age 91.
The dedication of Hunsicker Elementary School took place a year later.blog comments powered by Disqus