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Rose Hall is named

By Susan Mustapich | Nov 27, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich Renovation from a school to the Camden-Rockport school district's administration building is underway inside the recently named Rose Hall.

CAMDEN — The school board officially renamed the Mary E. Taylor school to Rose Hall, in honor of soon-to-be-retired facilities director Keith Rose, Nov. 18.

The name change was first suggested by Camden-Rockport School District Superintendent Maria Libby in 2019, based on the planned change of use of the building from school to administration offices for the district. The topic was discussed this fall at the September and October board meetings. The decision on the naming was delayed until the Board's November meeting to give community members time to comment and react to the proposal. Renovation of the building is now underway.

Libby and School Board Chairman Patrick McCafferty published an opinion piece in local media Nov. 5, explaining the reasoning and focus on Rose's accomplishments in using sustainable energy sources to power district schools. Camden Hills Regional High School led with a wind turbine and solar panels on the roof. Camden-Rockport uses a geothermal system and the new middle school draws energy from a thermal system powered off of the sewage treatment plant. The districts have a solar power purchase contract for 90% of their energy use.

McCafferty said he reached out to any former classmates he could find to talk about the name change and spoke with community members. He found that opinions of the change were favorable once people heard the rationale for honoring Rose.

At the Nov. 18 Board meeting, conducted via Zoom video conferencing, only one member of the public requested to speak. Silvia Young said Mary E. Taylor was her great-aunt, and has not been forgotten. The speaker, who married Craig Young of Camden, said her in-laws Aubrey and Dorothea and their many friends held Miss Taylor in high regard.

Young, who said she does not live in the immediate area, noted that the plaque honoring Mary. E. Taylor was placed on the building in the 1980s. She asked why can’t the school board embrace the past while also continuing on to honor current people. She also asked what would be done to honor Taylor after the name change.

McCafferty said he did not disagree with Young's views. He explained that the renaming of the building to Rose Hall is an opportunity to honor someone from this generation, similar to what was done in 1957, when the generation of that time named the building for Taylor.

Libby explained that the plan to continue to recognize Taylor is to create a history display inside the building, where Taylor's plaque will be moved. The wall display will contain a brief history of the building and include the names of all the principals who headed the school.

The school building opened in January 1926. It bore the of Mary E. Taylor, an acclaimed educator and one of the school's principals, for 63 years.

The renovated Rose Hall, formerly the Mary E. Taylor school, will house school district administration offices and the alternative high school program.
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Comments (8)
Posted by: Bill Packard | Dec 02, 2020 19:34

It's too bad that Keith is caught in the middle of this. When the building was built, it was named for a respected educator.  All this is doing is changing history.  Changing history is a popular pastime today and the sad thing about it, is that you can never change it back.  There are lots of other opportunities to give Keith the recognition he deserves, but this was not it.


Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Nov 30, 2020 11:16

Before reading the article I wondered who Rose Hall was and if she was related to my classmate Tim.

Posted by: cathy Cleaveland | Nov 30, 2020 04:11

I agree with all of you! In my opinion, it is absolutely shameful and so disrespectful to remove Mary's name off the building. I understand she will be honored inside the building, but why not honor Mr. Rose inside the building instead of removing Mary's name, or name another place after Mr. Rose that doesn't have a name? It is also in my opinion that Mr. Rose out of respect for Mary's name and her family as well as history, should be declining this offer of replacing her name with his. My two cents as well Syd...

Posted by: William Leonard | Nov 29, 2020 21:27

I have no quarrel with honoring Mr. Rose, but I take issue with changing the name of the Mary E Taylor building. I don’t buy the glib justification of “new life, a new use and a new name.” The building and the name are part of the same canvas that lives in the hearts and minds of several generations of MET alumni who advocated successfully to preserve this historical site. It was appropriately named to honor a woman who was a highly respected educator, mentor, and friend to the citizens of Camden of all ages.

Posted by: CHRIS MORONG | Nov 28, 2020 17:57

I have absolutely no doubt that Mr. Rose is deserving of something to be named in his honor, but I do not believe changing the name of the Mary E Taylor School is the thing to do.  It will always be MET to anyone who went to school in that building.  Chris Morong

Posted by: Dorinda Jacobs | Nov 28, 2020 11:00

It seems that this area is always working to take away memories of those who helped build the community, and those who were there to appreciate it.  It gets sickening.

Posted by: Debra J Barter | Nov 28, 2020 07:26

I totally agree with Mr. Leach. Why are we changing history? Are her accomplishments no longer worthy? Very sad.


Posted by: SYD LEACH | Nov 27, 2020 13:09

I'm sorry people, Mary E Taylor was a great women to have a school named after her.I feel that it shouldn't of been changed.I sure Mr Rose has done some great things for the school,but we are changing History here folks..are they going to Take her Name off the front to put his on?  Just my two cents..



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