Mary Chase Walker

Mary Chase Walker


Our school's namesake, Mary Chase Walker, was a remarkable and important woman who pioneered public education in San Diego. Born in 1828, Ms. Walker was educated and taught in Massachusetts. She left for California to seek out better work and pay. Her four-week trip by sea that cost her almost two years' wages. This was highly unusual for a single woman in those days. On July 5, 1865, she arrived in San Diego to work at the Mason Street School. The Mason Street School was the first public school in San Diego County, and Ms. Walker was the first public school teacher. She was forced to retire from teaching when she married in 1866. She continued to work in helping the poor and was actively involved in the suffragette movement until her death in 1899.


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