About Us



McCarter School was named for Margaret Hill McCarter. Mrs. McCarter was an outstanding writer and speaker. She was the author of many books, including her first novel, The Price of the Prairie. She was the first woman ever to address a Republican National Convention, which she did in Chicago in 1920. Three colleges honored her with degrees - Washburn University, Baker University with a Master's degree, and the College of Emporia with a Doctor of Literature degree. Mrs. McCarter was a vivid, vital person who typified the ideals of her generation. She passed away August 31, 1938, at the age of 78.

McCarter Elementary School opened in September 1957. At that time 17th Street was not paved west of Hope Street. When McCarter opened in 1957, only the west wing was complete. Four classes were held in the multipurpose room until the north wing was finished six weeks after school started. The total cost of the building, site, and equipment in 1957 was $479,393.88. The Media Center/tornado shelter was built in 1976. Two additional classrooms were constructed in 2002.

An interesting feature of the building is the mural at the front entrance. Students attending Whitson and Crestview Elementary Schools during the 1956-57 school year designed the mural and set the tiles. Mabel Karr, art consultant for the Topeka Schools, coordinated the project. The broken pieces of ceramic tile were placed on three sections of plywood. The only professional work on the mural was the application of grout.

Gene Ann Cummings joined the McCarter staff when the school opened in 1957. She taught 34 years as a first grade teacher in room 102 until her retirement in 1991. Darlene Harz Harvey joined the staff in 1965 and taught first and second grades at McCarter for 38 years. She retired in 2004.

Principals who have served McCarter are Delbert Graham, Dr. Frank Wilson, Bill Dreiling, Paul Fink, Koralee Dillard, Rodney Bleich, Donna Brohaugh, Richie McDaneld, Jacquelyn Mickel, Katherine Cooney and Monika Tiller..


Engage students in the highest quality of learning • Prepare students for responsible, productive citizenship • Inspire excellence for a lifetime
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