|Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools||
3131 Ironbound Rd. | Williamsburg , VA. 23185
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools purchased the site for the Five Forks School in October 1987. The architectural firm of Smithey and Boynton was hired to design the elementary school building, and construction started in April of 1988. The official name for the "Five Forks School" became Clara Byrd Baker after a committee was designated for the purpose of selecting a formal name.
Clara Byrd Baker was born in Williamsburg in June 1886. One of eight children, she attended the first school owned by the City of Williamsburg which was a one-room schoolhouse located by the Powder Magazine in the restored area. Clara Byrd Baker passed the State Teacher Examination at age 16, and her first assignment was in 1902 at a one-room schoolhouse on Ironbound Road (School#2). She stopped teaching to raise a family, but started taking classes at Virginia State University. She re-entered teaching in 1920 at the Odd Fellow's Hall on Nicholson Street and went to the JCC Training School, and finally Bruton Heights School. Mrs. Baker received her Professional Certificate in 1932 and a Bachelor's Degree in 1945. Although she retired in 1952 with 36 years of teaching experience, she continued to substitute in area schools until 1973. Clara Byrd Baker was one of the founders of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. She died in October 1973 and is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Williamsburg.
Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School opened in September 1989. Classrooms were built to house 600 students, and other facilities within the building were designed for 800 students. Because of population growth, a ten classroom addition was added during the summer of 1992
Our 2nd Grade students have created a slide show about Ms. Clara Byrd Baker. Click HERE to view.