Frances S. Tucker Elementary School is located in a quaint Miami suburb known as Coconut Grove, 3500 Douglas Road. The school was constructed in 1960 on 3.82 acres and currently has grade Pre-K through Fifth. The campus is comprised of a two story building with a courtyard in the center and a separate six-pack building that houses our primary grade students. In addition, our school has a little house which houses our Environmental Science magnet. Frances S. Tucker Elementary school has a school-wide Environmental Science Magnet program, which continues to provide our school the opportunity to offer two top-notch science labs where our students visit on a weekly basis.
Frances S. Tucker Elementary School serves a multi-ethnic school population that consists of over 300 students from a predominantly economically disadvantaged community. 55% of students are Hispanic, 38% Black, 3% White, and 3% Other. Economically Disadvantaged students account for 94% of the school population. Additionally, our school serves 21% of Students with Disabilities (SWD) which includes Gifted, Learning Disabilities, Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, and Mentally Handicapped. Frances S. Tucker Elementary School also serves 21% of English Language Learners, (ELL).
Who was Frances S. Tucker?
Frances Stewart Tucker was born on November 6, 1900 in Springfield, Massachusetts. She had 3 siblings. Her brothers were William and Frank Stewart and her sister was Ella Stewart Hines. In her early years, Frances attended a public school in Springfield, Massachusetts and later Westfield Normal School in Westfield, Massachusetts. She was the only Negro student in her schools.
In 1921, Frances moved south to the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama where she remained for five years teaching English as a Head Teacher of training. It was there that she met her husband, Henry D. Tucker. They were married in Montgomery, Alabama on May 29, 1926.
In 1929 Frances moved to Miami and became the principal of Miami-Dade County Training Schools, supervising 10 teachers. The school and staff grew and became known as Coconut Grove Junior High School. In 1942, the school became a full fledged high school and was renamed George Washington Carver High School (presently George Washington Carver Middle School).
Frances and her parents became members of St. John Congregational Church. She was very active in the church as a Sunday school teacher and in the youth programs.
During the summers, she attended the Hampton Institute located in Hampton, Virginia. She received her B.S. on May 29, 1939 and her MS on August 20, 1944. She was active in the field of education in Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida. In 1939, she became the president of the Miami-Dade County Teachers’ Association. She was chosen for Outstanding Principal of the Year in the 1949-50 school year by the Florida State Teachers’ Association. She was awarded a Certificate of Merit and Achievement in 1954 by the Miami Chapter of Tuskegee Alumni Association. In 1956, she received an award for 25 Years of Service with the Miami-Dade County Teachers’ Association for Childhood Education.
While the field of education was her first love, she was also active in community affairs. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the James E. Scott Community Association and worked with that organization for a number of years. She was a charter and life member of the Beta Zeta Sigma Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority which was established in 1941.
In addition, she was appointed a member of the Coral Gables Bi-Racial Committee in 1960 and served on the Coral Gables City Urban Renewal Citizens Committee in 1959. She was an active member of the Coconut Grove Slum Clearance Committee; one of its projects was the St. Alban’s Day Nursery. In 1958, she became a charter member and a Trustee of the Church of the Open Door, United Church of Christ.
Mrs. Tucker remained principal of George Washington Carver High School for 29 years and for the last two years, was the principal of George Washington Carver Elementary School. She retired June 1960 and the following year the newly built Frances S. Tucker Elementary School was named in her honor. Frances S. Tucker died on March 4, 1965 in Miami, Florida.