The continued accelerated growth of the township from 1945 on, necessitated additional school facilities. The Board of School Directors recognized the situation, and in fall 1956, planning began for a junior high school. It would be named for a women who devoted thirty-seven years to teaching children in Bensalem. Ground was broken for the junior high school on October 22, 1958 and the student body moved into the completed Cecelia Snyder Junior High School on February 29, 1960. The cornerstone laying took place on April 14, 1960. Final cost of the school was $1,175,000; the cost per cubic foot was 93 cents and the per pupil cost, $13.21. The facilities include eighteen regular classrooms, four science rooms, one special classroom, two shops, three home economics rooms, an artroom,two music rooms,a library, two-part gymnasium, multi-purpose room, and health, guidance, faculty, and administration suites. Howard E. Hilgendorff served as building principal when the school opened. Formal dedication ceremonies were held June 4, 1960. Next review.


A new grade organization plan was adopted by the school directors for its secondary schools in 1965. The middle school was the new concept in educational programs, and students in grades six through eight became known as middle school students. A 111.70 acre site was purchased in 1966 for construction of a new Bensalem High School. When the high school building opened in 1969, the Cecelia Snyder junior High School became the Cecelia Snyder Middle School.


Several decisions were made by the school directors in 1967 to eliminate the split-sessions which had existed for several years in the middle school. Early in 1968, the board designated Ronald E. Vaughn Associates as architects to prepare plans and specifications for prefabricated relocatable classrooms. Fourteen classrooms, two restrooms, and complete furnishings were installed on the Cecelia Snyder Middle School campus and these “relocatable classrooms” became known as the Annex. The cost of the relocatable classrooms, manufactured by C.I.T. Educational Buildings, was $275,000. An open house was held on November 12, 1968. and the community was invited to inspect the new facilities.



Cecelia Snyder was a lifelong resident of the Bensalem community, residing with her sister Elva at 1724 State Road, Cornwells Heights. She attended Cornwells grammar school, Temple High School, and the University of Pennsylvania. Miss Snyder began her teaching career in a tiny, one-room schoolhouse in Tinicum Township at Uhlerstown. She taught at the Parkland school in Middletown Township from 1907 to l908, and at Alcard’s school in Bedminster Township from l908 to 1912. In 1912, she came to Bensalem and taught six years in the Centre school and three years in the Cornwells school. Both of these were one-room school buildings at that time. She left Bensalem in 1921 to teach for a year at the Harriman High School, which became Bristol High School when the borough annexed part of Bristol Township. The next year she taught in the old Yardley High School. Miss Snyder returned to Bensalem in 1923, and was assigned to the Cornwells school as a teaching principal under the first supervising principal, Samuel K. Faust. By 1930, she was listed as a teacher of science and mechanical drawing. In 1934, she was named high school principal and held this post until her retirement in 1951, concluding forty-six years of untiring devotion to children, thirty-six of those years in Bensalem Township schools. Miss Snyder died on May 13, 1975, ending a full life of teaching. In naming the junior high-middle school after her, the Board of School Directors recognized outstanding achievement and faithful service. The community recognized her civic interest, the parents knew her as a wise teacher and counselor, and the students recognized a firm and just friend. All of Bensalem Township recognized Cecelia Snyder’s loyalty and integrity.