On December 2, 1954, an $83,500 bond election was held. The vote was 62 for and 2 against the building of our school. In May of 1955 the contract was awarded to the Stormont Construction Company. Construction was started in June and ended in December.

On Sunday, March 11, 1956, the dedication of Jennie Barker School was held. Mr. Dale Saffels, Finney County Representative in the Kansas Legislature was the speaker that evening.

“Much larger than the olden day schools, Jennie Barker School has three separate classrooms with four grade levels (in two of the rooms), an office, restrooms, furnace room, and a large gymnasium which is converted into a cafeteria at noon.”
-Garden City Telegram, 1956

School was first held in JB on Monday, December 5, 1955 there were 47 students. The teachers were: Fern Ann Harding, who taught grades 5-8, & Mrs. Florence Wilson, who taught grades 1-4.

Our current annex was the original home of the bus barn for our school. In the summer of 1954, three new busses were purchased by the school district. Pupils were transported at district expense to the two remaining schools (Harmony & Pleasant Valley) until Jennie Barker School opened its doors on December 5, 1955.

Jennie BarkerMrs. Jennie Barker
September 14, 1872 - June 28, 1953

Jennie Barker Elementary is named after Mrs. Jennie Barker, a former teacher & district superintendent in Finney County.

The Barkers were among the late homesteaders in Finney County arriving in December of 1915. They settled in the southwest part of the county. Mrs. Barker taught at three area schools: District #66, #71, and #80.

In 1923 Jennie Barker was elected District Superintendent of Finney County Schools. She served at this post for 16 years. As superintentdent, Mrs. Barker helped rural schools come up to the requirements of a standard school. Two schools were soon classed as Superior Schools.

Jennie Barker's goal was the establishment of special music training in rural schools. Mrs. Nell Wheeler Harper was employed to devote her time to teaching music to the rural school children in our district.

Jennie Barker Teaching Career
 Year School

1916 District #66
3rd Grade
1917 District #71
2nd Grade
1918 District #71
2nd Grade
1919 District #71
Life Certificate
District #71
3rd Grade
1921 District #80
Life Certificate
District #80
State Certificate
1923-24 Finney County