The Paul F. Doyon Memorial School

Paul F. Doyon

Paul F. Doyon was born May 21st, 1948 and died at the age of nineteen on May 18th 1967 in Kwang Tree province in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was a corporal in the United State Marine Corps and the first Ipswich resident killed in the that conflict. Our school, which had been called the "Linebrook School," was re-named the Paul F. Doyon Memorial School after his death, and his picture is hanging in our lobby. His name is among the thousands of names engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The school was originally voted for at the annual Town Meeting of March 2, 1964. The 18+ acre site was selected for the construction. The meeting approved the school by a 1-vote margin and voted $498,000.00 (less 40% state aid), which amounted to $199,200.00. This was done to bring the construction costs below the $50,000.00-limit set by the Bamford Amendment which set a limit on the amount that could be voted at a town meeting. The final cost of the project was $298,800.00.

The site on Linebrook Road was selected and called the Linebrook site until a name could be selected for the school. Mr. William Waitt was selected as principal to assist with the planning and selecting of material and furniture. The Building Committee approved the placement of the school on the site, as presented by Mr. Waitt, and the plan was submitted to Stoner Architect and the Fay Construction Company for completion. Mr. Harris G. Smyth was selected to be Chairman of the Building Committee. During construction several names for the school were submitted: Lavoilette, for an old family by that name that lived on the site; Willowdale, for the State Forest that surrounds the site; Trotting Park, for an old race track in the area; and Linebrook, for the road it was situated on and a historic school located near there. The name for the school was selected by the Building Committee to be The Linebrook School. Prior to opening of school that September all staff, furniture, materials and the other necessary supplies were selected. On opening day it was discovered that only one thing had been forgotten pencils for the students. Although a 10-room school had been constructed, core facilities were planned for 22-rooms.

The nearly completed school was opened for 220 students in September, 1965 with students in grades 1-5. The experienced staff was made up of staff members chosen from the Burley, Shatswell, Shatswell Annex and Winthrop Schools. There were nine teachers selected for the 10 rooms, with 1 volunteer librarian. The building included the 10 rooms, offices, a nurse's room, a gym, a cafeteria, a patio, entrance hall, boiler room and corridors. The school opened with 220 students averaging 24.4 children per class.

The school committee, in the year of opening, was:
Rev. Goldwaite Sherrill
Edwin Damon,Jr.
George Geanakos
Dr. Robert Waite
Nancy Thompson
Joseph Carpenter
Robert Weatherall

The building committee was:
Lawrence O. Adams
Joseph McGee
Catherine Pojasek
Edwin Damon,Jr.
Harris G. Smith
Richard Davis
James C. McManaway, Chairman
Phillip J.Patterson, Town Engineer

In 1966, Donald Huff joined the staff as librarian to be shared with all elementary schools. He was the first professional librarian to be employed.

On January 6, 1967, at a special Town Meeting it was decided to add to the school in order to accommodate more students. The vote was 269-3 for the article (#6) for $319,000.00. Twelve more classrooms, 2 small offices and a triangular library were added at this time. During the construction of this addition it was necessary to attend school on double session. From September until January, the entire school, grades K-6, half attended from 8:00-12:30 and the other half attended from 1:00-5:00 until the opening of the new wing on January 2, 1968. With this elementary construction (in September 1967) the sixth grade returned to the elementary school and an experimental kindergarten program was started in the unused cafeteria with state funds.

In June that year a special Town Meeting voted to change the name of the school to The Paul F. Doyon Memorial School in honor of the Town's first Vietnam War casualty. The vote was 99-98 to change the name. In 1977, the first pre-school program at the school was started for children under 5 years of age with Susan Drum as teacher.
In 1987, William Waitt, the first principal of the school retires after 36 years of service and is replaced by the first principal with a Ph.D., Dr. Kenneth B. Cooper. 1992 saw the beginning of the extended day care program at the Doyon School and one year later, in 1993, Town Meeting votes to add 4 rooms, a corridor and a library to the school. The vote was defeated at the polls and the addition wasn't started until 1995. A new septic system was installed. The addition was completed in 1995 at a cost of $856,612.00 with 62% state aid reimbursement. Full day kindergarten was started in 2001 at the Doyon School. New windows, with screens are added to the 100 wing of the school and a new floor and new lights are added to the cafeteria in 2005. A new exit to the playground was added also and a good portion of the roof was replaced.

The Doyon School had only two principals in 40 years: (1) William E. Waitt, Jr., 1964-1987; and (2) Dr. Kenneth B. Cooper, from 1987 to 2009 when he retired after 22 years. Dr. Cooper was instrumental in getting us ready for the 21st Century and worked hard to create a culture of life-long-learners.

In 2009 Dave Archambault joined our Doyon family. He had been the former principal at the Molin Upper Elementary School in Newburyport, Ma.  He served as principal for two years and then retired his career in education to pursue a career outside the educational community.

In 2011 Sheila Conley became the principal. Sheila came to us from NY, where she had served as an assistant principal of a middle school. Sheila brings her talents, expertise, and positive energy to continue the educational excellent here at the Doyon School.