Home of the Waldo Wildcats and over 900 Middle School Students from the East Side of Aurora! We are one of District 131's three middle schools. We have a multicultural student and staff population. Failure is not an option at K. D. Waldo and we take pride in our commitment to excellence and initiative to find ways to help all students succeed!
K. D. Waldo Middle School is committed to enhancing the academic, social, emotional, and physical development of every student. Students will attain maximum learning potential, enabling them to become productive members of society.
History of K. D. Waldo, The Man and the Building, It's History and Culture.
Karl Douglas Waldo was born on January 13, 1885 in Rockford, Illinois. He was born of humble parentage and was a self-made man. K. D. Waldo's parents names were Henry and Lettie. Henry operated Waldo's Book and Stationery Store and was involved in the wallpaper business. K. D. Waldo graduated from Rockford High School in 1902. He then entered the University of Illinois. While attending, he was very active in sports. Upon graduation from the University of Illinois in 1906, K. D. Waldo became a history teacher and athletic coach in Sycamore, Illinois. He married Olive Byers, a teacher from Claire, Illinois. Karl and Olive Waldo had two sons.
On January 5, 1958, K. D. Waldo died. The following is the obituary from the Aurora Beacon News... Karl D. Waldo, a senior citizen of Aurora, who in life earned great honor as an educator and an administrator here, died this morning in Swedish American Hospital, Rockford, Illinois. He was 73. Mr. Waldo, a former teacher, principal, and school superintendent in the East Aurora system, was taken ill May 6, just a month and a day after his wife, Olive, died at age 76. They lived at 24 Hickory Avenue. His death was attributed to a heart seizure. All the East side schools will be closed Thursday in memory of K. D. Waldo. Funeral services will be held Thursday at the First Methodist Church and interment will be at Lincoln Memorial Park.
The same issue featured the following editorial..... A good friend passes-- Everyone has lost a good friend with the passing of Dr. Karl D. Waldo, for "K. D.", as he was familiarly and affectionately known, was a friend to all. Much can and has been said about "K. D.'s" outstanding and successful career in the field of education and his intense devotion to the duties of his profession. We might write about his early days as a teacher, of his service as a principal of the East High School, of his elevation to the post of Superintendent of East Aurora Schools, and his final days on the faculty of the Aurora College. To all of these posts he gave freely and unselfishly his great talents. We prefer, however, to remember him for his unique capacity for friendship and for those down-to-earth, homespun qualities which endeared him to all with whom he came into contact. "K. D." loved everyone and everyone loved him. He was dedicated to the welfare of children and thousands of young people who learned to like and admire him while they were attending schools under his administration and who grew up to cherish his friendship when they reached adulthood. He knew most of them intimately by their first names, and after their graduation never ceased to take a deep interest in their progress. Men like "K. D." may pass from out of our midst but they will never be forgotten, for the imprint which they have left on our society is too deep to ever be erased.
K. D. Waldo Middle School was built in 1912. At the time it was East High School. The dedication ceremonies, which were held in August of that year, were attended by the United States Commissioner of Education and Francis G. Blair, Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Illinois. Visitors from many states joined the people of Aurora in viewing what was then considered on of the finest high schools in the country. Mr. Blair stated that this building, with its equipment and conveniences, would last for a hundred years. J. C. Llewelyn of Chicago drew the plans for the building and was in charge of the construction. Thomas Foy of Kalamazoo, Michigan was the contractor. The total cost of the structure was $225,000. Of that money $200,000 was for the construction and materials while $25,000 was for the land.
The building occupies practically an entire block. The front faces Jackson Street with other entrances on Downer and Benton Streets. While the building sits on a terrace about three feet from the sidewalk level, the side entrances are cut in straight from the sidewalk and are level with the first floor. Built of tapestry brick, the structure rises four stories in height. Wide steps lead from the sidewalk on Jackson Street to either side of the main entrance. From the entrance, another set of stairs leads to the second floor directly into the entrance of the multi-purpose room which was originally a beautiful auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,100 people. Its stage is about the size of that of an average opera house of the day. The original building featured 82 well lighted rooms including the auditorium, a library, a gymnasium, the Board of Education meeting room, the Superintendent of Schools' office, and the principal's office. The English room, drawing room, and commercial room were separated from the dictation room by a glass partition so that one teacher could be in charge of several classes. The engine and boiler room was a small building added to the main structure. Every room was provided and controlled by a heat thermostat and humidity control as well as a pneumatic class clock controlled by a large clock in the main office.
The gymnasium was one of the largest in any school in the state when built. It is located in the basement and is 79 feet wide and 100 feet long. This makes it large enough for basketball, indoor baseball, and other winter sports. The most modern gymnastic equipment obtainable was installed in the gymnasium when the school was opened. Locker rooms equipped with showers are located on either side of the gym. A running track is suspended above the gymnasium floor.
In 1935 an addition was built. The present-day cafeteria, library, and music rooms are included in the new wing. The cafeteria, which seats approximately 250 people, is located on the first floor. The cooking and serving areas are located on the west side of the cafeteria. The library, which is on the second floor above the cafeteria, is staffed by the librarian. Over the years the library has been modernized through the installation of carpeting, improved lighting, and by resurfacing the table tops. The instrumental music area includes a band orchestra room with an acoustical tile ceiling and a tiered floor. Included also are facilities for instruments and music, offices for band and music directors, and practice rooms.
Through the years Waldo Middle School has been served by many able administrators.