John V. B. Wicoff School Ceremony
Since schools are starting again in a few days, let’s continue exploring the history of Plainsboro’s schools. We previously discussed the creation of the new Plainsboro’s Four Room School House. Today, we will be discussing this school’s re-dedication ceremony.
On October 9, 1975, a re-dedication ceremony was held at the Plainsboro School. Due to John VabBuren Wicoff’s critical role in the movement to establish Plainsboro as a township in 1919 and his work towards establishing high-quality education for Plainsboro students, the Plainsboro School was re-dedicated to the Wicoff family. The school was christened the “John VB. Wicoff School.”
Picture of John VB. Wicoff School
The name change was part of an overall program whereby the Wicoff family agreed to donate land for Township use given that a suitable memorial was provided for J.VB. and John E. Wicoff. J.VB. Wicoff was one of the original founders of Plainsboro.
Prior to 1919, Plainsboro was a part of Cranbury. When Cranbury township refused to repair the school attended by Plainsboro children, J.VB. Wicoff was a driving force behind the legislation that established Plainsboro as its own township. Mr. Wicoff also served as president of the Plainsboro Board of Education from its inception until February 1950.
During and after the dedication ceremony, many Plainsboro residents spoke about Mr. Wicoff and his son, John E. Wicoff’s contributions to Plainsboro and the school system. For instance, a teacher, Emma D. MacKenzie conveyed, “[John E. Wicoff’s] keen interest in nature was always apparent in many ways. In 1992 Mr. Wicoff together with Mr. Flemer, other interested board members, and teachers, planned the School Park. He made a sketch of 50 trees which included many varieties (…) We owe this spot of beauty to Mr. Wicoff.” Later, Plainsboro’s new park was named after John E. Wicoff who served for many years as township attorney, township clerk, and in many other capacities. Accounts such as these, demonstrate the Wicoff family’s great contributions to the township of Plainsboro.