• Who is Pierce Middle School named after?

    Picture of John D. PierceThe Reverend John D. Pierce was born in New Hampshire. He was self-taught due to the early death of his father and family financial struggles.  A graduate of both Brown University and Princeton Theological Seminary, Pierce moved to Marshall, Michigan in 1831, as a misionary of the Congregational Church.

    In 1834, he and Isaac Crary designed the school system for Michigan, and from 1836 to 1841, he served as the state's first superintendent of public instruction. Pierce is also credited with coordinating the state's elementary schools, creating school districts with individual libraries, and establishing qualifications for teachers. He also worked as a preacher, state legislature, the Washtenaw County superintendent of schools, and he founded The Journal of Education, the first professional education journal in the Great Lakes region.
    Pierce spent 30 years of his retirement on his farm near Ypsilanti.  In 1880, he and his wife moved to Massachusetts to be cared for by their daughter.  He died in April 1882, and is buried in Marshall's Oakridge Cemetery, honored by a monument erected by Michigan's schoolteachers. (Sources 1, 2)