1600 S. 8th Street
Northeast Corner of South 8th & Van Hook Streets


The original Sumner School was built to replace the Ferry Avenue School, which the Board of Education officially closed on June 30, 1891. The Board awarded the construction contract for a new Ferry Avenue School, and agreed to call the new Ferry Avenue schoolhouse the William F. Powell School, in honor of its long-time principal. However, Mr. Powell sent a note to the board declining "the honor of having the new school named after him." Powell's refusal was accepted and the school was renamed the Charles Sumner School, on motion of board member Jones. The board believed that naming the school after Sumner was an appropriate act, as the new school was a colored school. They officially accepted the Sumner School, located at Ferry Avenue and Phillip Street, on February 1, 1892.

Charles Sumner was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1811. He graduated from Harvard University in 1830. In 1851, the Massachusetts Legislature chose Sumner to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Daniel Webster, who resigned to become the Secretary of State. Sumner became a leader of the anti-slavery coalition in the Senate, and during the Civil War, he supported the emancipation of the slaves, and introduced the Thirteenth Amendment to the Senate in 1864. He also nominated John Rock, an African-American, to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, introduced the bill that created the Freedmen's Bureau, and proposed a Civil-service reform bill. During Reconstruction, Sumner was a pioneer campaigner for integrated public schools. He supported the policies of the Radical Republicans, and introduced the bill that eventually became, after his death, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which outlawed racial discrimination in public places until the Supreme Court overturned the law in 1883.

A new Sumner School was built built by East Camden contractor George Bachmann Sr. in 1927. The first students began classes there on October 11, and the school was dedicated on February 3, 1928. The old building on Ferry Avenue between South Ninth Street and Phillip Street became the target of vandals, and late in 1929 the city bought the school and land upon which it sat for one dollar.was torn down in 1931 as it was no longer in use and had been declared unsafe.

The Sumner school was closed at the end of 2017. It was reported that the building was handed off to political boss George Norcross and a charter school would be opened in 2020.

Camden Evening Courier
November 27, 1900

Walter Wilson - Mt. Vernon School
William Munson -
Sumner School
Harry Vansant -
Mickle School
Albert Holland - Raymond Lawson

Albert James
- William C. Reeve 
Florence Tourtelot -
North East School

Mrs. Elvin - Central School - May Rogers - Ella Cooper - Lincoln School - Helen Bowyer 
Fetters School - Mulford School - Nellie Tullis - Edith Anderson

Camden Courier-Post - February 4, 1928

Teacher Assignments & Transfers - June 22, 1933

Camden Courier-Post - June 23, 1933


Promotion exercises will be held to tonight for the Eighth Grade A at Sumner School, Eighth and Jackson Streets.
Certificates will be presented to 12 students graduating into high school by George. L. Eggleston, principal. 

Gearge Dorsey, president ot the Summer School Parent-Teacher Association, will address the. graduates. 
Pupils graduating are: Woodrow Amos, Wilson Hightower, James Murrell, Robert Trublood, Evelyn Bayard, Jessie Coleman, Alberta Foye, Rosella Hammond, Marjorie Hopkins, Emma Holmes, Jessie Thorne, Elizabeth, Wright. 

Camden Courier-Post * February 5, 1938
First-Half Season Title of Grammar League Is at Stake Today

Liberty and H.B. Wilson will battle it out this afternoon at 2,30 0' clock at Convention Hall for the first-half title of the National Division of the Camden Grammar School League.

Both teams finished the first half with six victories and one defeat. Liberty handed Wilson its lone reverse, while Stevens pulled an upset by downing the former.

Some of the players from each school graduated during the past week, but, as they represented their schools all during the first half, they will be permitted to see action in the playoff.

Liberty is led by Archie Luzi, diminutive sharpshooter, who led the league in scoring with 74 markers in seven games. He far outclassed the others as can be seen readily when the statistics show that his nearest rival, O'Neal of Sumner, took second place honors by scoring 39 points.

Bizazzo, Shuda, Hare, Eulo and Luzi will probably start the game for Liberty. Wilson will use Garzarelli, Scarbonja, Ross, Mahoney, Lapiska and Kevis.

Camden Courier-Post - March 4, 2008

Camden educator placed on leave
Vice principal accused of making Hispanic students eat on floor


The district has removed a vice principal accused of punishing an entire fifth-grade class of bilingual Hispanic students by making them eat on the floor.

Sumner Elementary School Vice Principal Theresa Brown, who has worked in the district for about 20 years, was placed on leave Monday, according to the teachers union president, Kenneth McIntosh.

And the school's principal, Alex DeFlavis, who has not been implicated in the alleged incident, retired on Monday, McIntosh said.

The district declined comment and did not confirm the administrative changes.

"It's a personnel issue, and we can't discuss it at this time," district spokesman Bart Leff said.

The board president did not return a call for comment Monday.

Brown, who is black, was accused by a group of Hispanic children and their parents of discriminating against them by issuing a detention that called for them to eat lunch on the floor of the gymnasium.

They were given pieces of paper instead of trays to put their food on, they said.

An e-mail message to Brown was not returned, and the president of the administrators union did not return a call for comment.

Lenny Pena, 11, one of the students allegedly punished, said his classmates were happy that Brown had been removed.

"They did the right thing," he said.

A parent of one of the affected students, Catalina Feliz, said she's "so happy" about the changes."

"You hope for the best, not for the same," she said.

Jack Bier, a health and physical education teacher at Sumner, said: "People who do not respect children have no business working in the field of education."

The school's Web site now lists Janis Kauffman, a 35-year district veteran and formerly the vice principal at Davis Elementary, as the new acting principal. Gloria Martinez-Vega, formerly a special education teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, is the new acting vice principal.

Lenny said Kauffman spoke to his class Monday.

"She's good," he said. "She said we're going to do a lot of activities. She said we're the top students in the school, and we gotta be good."

Lenny said the students were initially punished because one student tried to lift a water jug into its dispenser but accidentally dropped the jug on the floor, spilling water.

He said the new principal has invited parents to meet with her after school today.

Brown and Kauffman each are paid $91,122 annually, according to records from 2006

Sumner Elementary School Official Website