Harold R. Walker School
Harold R. Walker Junior High School, the district’s first junior high, opened in 1962. This beautiful educational facility is located on a 30 acre site in the southeast section of the school district. The facility was built to have thirty-two teaching stations, including facilities for art, home economics, industrial arts, vocal and instrumental music, a large group instructional room, gymnasium and a beautiful library. A modern cafetorium was not overlooked and is included at Harold R. Walker Junior High. Harold R. Walker Junior High School was named in honor of Dr. Harold R. Walker, Superintendent of the Canton Local Schools for 1957 to 1964. The school was named after a survey was conducted among residents of Canton Local for a name for the new junior high school.
The board members unanimously voted to name the school after Dr. Walker. Dr. Walker was born in 1927 and was given the name Harold “Pete” Walker. He graduated from Louisville High School and ultimately graduated from Ohio State University with his doctorate in 1967. His career followed from teacher to guidance counselor to superintendent and then on to college professor and volunteer at Harold R. Walker 1962 2017 28 29 Elementary School where he listened to the children read. In his retirement, he continues to be a consult to our school district. His integrity, his spirit of enthusiasm, his devotion and dedication to youth and education are guides for us all to emulate.
Harold R. Walker Junior High served 7th and 8th grade students from 1962 to 1970. After the opening of Faircrest Memorial Junior High in 1970, Walker educated seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students on the east side of the district. After the closing of Waco, Trump, and North Industry Elementary Schools at the end of the 1984-1985 school year, Walker opened in the fall of 1985 as a K-5 building. After various reorganizations throughout the years, Walker currently houses all the Pre-K to grade 4 students in the district.
The school colors for Harold R. Walker Junior High were red and white, and the mascot was a Warrior. A totem pole was erected at the end of the sidewalk leading to the playground. It was present for many years and was a treasured landmark at Walker. The totem pole was created by art students under the direction of charismatic teacher, Mr. Tom Haversfield. Standing more than 15 feet tall, former students have a totem pole memory of a wide wing-span and colorful painting. While a junior high, the sports teams were very good, even at times going undefeated in football. The big game was always scrimmaging Faircrest. No matter the sport, it was always a heated contest between the players and members of the staffs. The memories of the cafeteria food (baked chicken and pizza and everything homemade!) made meals a special treat.
After becoming a K-5 elementary, the Harold R. Walker Elementary staff was active in securing several grants that led to student achievement awards. The Ohio Department of Education funded a multiple year Effective Schools grant and Venture Capital grant, with the goal of improving school culture and teaching and learning opportunities for teachers and students. A hard working staff matched to great students received the HIGH FLYING SCHOOL award from the Washington D.C. based Education Trust in 2002. This award is given to schools with more than 50% of students at or below poverty level, and with more than 75% of the students passing the state mandated tests. The Ohio Department of Education also twice recognized Harold R. Walker Elementary as a “School of Promise.” Harold R. Walker Elementary staff and students have a reputation of doing their best and being their best!
Harold R. Walker Elementary is well known throughout the community for its Senior Citizens Luncheons. Grandparents come to the school several times throughout the year to enjoy lunch and complete an activity with their grandchildren. Other yearly activities include the famous Turkey Trot before Thanksgiving break where students complete a short race. A partnership between Stark Parks and Walker has brought about a Family Night at Sippo Lake the last few years. Families meet up with the staff of Walker at Sippo Lake to complete several fun activities and enjoy the great outdoors. A Family Literacy Night is held each year to show the importance of literacy through fun activities. Kindergarten students get excited each year when baby chicks are hatched after studying life cycles. Every student gets the opportunity to invite a guest to join them for a meal during the monthly birthday celebration. Students also love the opportunity to play on the inflatables a couple times each year to celebrate their great effort in school. Our Parent Teacher Organization (PAWS) sponsors a Father/Daughter Dance for girls and Mom & Me event for boys in grades 3 and 4 as well as a Santa Secret Shop and Book Fair for all students. They also raise funds to purchase playground and other equipment as well as support field trips for each grade. The staff at Walker Elementary have always shown great care for the students and expected them to do their best to become kind and productive citizens with good character.
Harold R. Walker Elementary closed in June 2022 and was raised in 2023.
The principals of Harold R. Walker School have changed several times throughout the years, but all have chosen to uphold the good character portrayed by Dr. Harold R. Walker.
1962-1964 Jr. High Grades 7, 8 Mr. William Hayden
1964-1970 Jr. High Grades 7, 8 Mr. Edward Welker
1970-1977 Jr. High Grades 7, 8, 9 Mr. Edward Welker
1977-1979 Jr. High Grades 7, 8, 9 Mr. Robert Graham
1979-1985 Middle School Grades 6, 7 Mr. Robert Graham
1985-1993 Elementary Grades K-5 Mr. Walt Linhart
1993-2008 Elementary Grades 3,4,5 Mrs. Gay Welker
2008-2010 Elementary Grades 2,3,4 Mr. Chris Noll
2010-2011 Elementary Grades K-4 Mr. Chris Noll & Mrs. DaNita Berry
2011-2014 Elementary Grades K-4 Mr. Chris Noll
2014-2017 Elementary Grades Pre-K-4 Mr. Frank Kruger
2017-2022 Elementary Grades Pre-K-4 - Ann Bartley
Secretaries at Walker have been Joanne McConnell, Wanda Roshong, Barb Cush, Carole Hall, Ret Bigler, Sherry Laughlin, Kelly Walters, and Donna Brothers.