James G. Slaughter, a former educator and principal of Bartram Human Services High School, died on Sunday, June 9, 2019. He was 70.
He was born on May 31, 1949 in Abington Township. He was eldest of twin sons born to the late Eleanor M. Slaughter and James O. Walton.
When he was two-years-old, his family moved from North Hills to Philadelphia. He was a product of the Philadelphia public school system, attending Anna B. Pratt-Michael Arnold Elementary School, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie Junior High School and Simon Gratz High School. Upon high school graduation in June 1967, he was awarded a Board of Education scholarship to further his studies in the field of education. Slaughter earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
A lifelong learner, he completed studies and career certifications at Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, St. Joseph’s University, LaSalle University and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.
Slaughter began his teaching career in the Philadelphia public school system in 1971. He was assigned to Gillespie Junior High School. He taught social studies and served as Social Studies Department chairman upon the retirement of his mentor and great friend, the late Dorothy M. Jenkins. In 1985, he transferred to his other alma mater, Simon Gratz High School, where he served as a social studies teacher, department head for Social Studies, World Languages and Music, assistant principal and principal. He holds the unique distinction of having been the only former student to become principal at Simon Gratz.
Slaughter also served as assistant principal and principal at the William H. Shoemaker Middle School in West Philadelphia. In 2000, he accepted the assignment as principal of the Bartram Human Services High School, also in West Philadelphia and now known as the Paul Robeson High School for Human Services. When he began his tenure there, it was an off-site annex of the larger John Bartram High School. It was under his leadership that the school became a separate, stand-alone high school where he served as its first principal. He gave more than 33 years to the children and families of the School District of Philadelphia.
Slaughter was an active member of historic Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Church under the pastorate of the late Rev. Eustace L. Blake in 1973. He served as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, member of the Board of Stewards under several pastoral administrations, church treasurer, director of Christian Education and the Richard Allen Hildebrand Community Center, founder and president of the Harry J. White Singers.
Slaughter’s greatest love was serving as a member of the Local Lay Organization where he was involved on the conference, Episcopal district and connectional levels of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He served as director of Lay Activities, later being elected as president of Jones Tabernacle Local Lay.
Slaughter was a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and served the fraternity through his membership in Rho Chapter. He was elected the 11th president of Rho Chapter and served in that position from 1992 through 1997. Prior to and after being president, Slaughter was active in many capacities and enjoyed attending regional and general conventions. Due to his financial contributions and commitment to the Rho Education Foundation, a scholarship in his name was given for many years and will continue to be given in his memory.
Slaughter loved his family and always longed to know more about them. His search for his family’s Culpeper, Virginia roots was rewarded in 2002 when he finally met with and visited many relatives from there. He spearheaded several successful family reunions and was able to meet and greet family members from across the nation.
Besides researching his family’s genealogy, church involvement and fraternal activities, Slaughter enjoyed traveling, music, reading and fine dining with colleagues and close friends.
He is survived by: his twin brother: John M. Slaughter; sister, Dr. Sandra E. Wilson; niece, Shawn Wilson Hill (James); nephew, Dr. John Wilson III (Lisza); uncle, Frederick Walton; goddaughters, Ayanna Henry and Monet’ Constant; cousins: John, Fredia and Mary; best friends, Kevin D. Lamb, Mark McClanahan and Barry Myles and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held June 17 at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 E. Johnson St. Viewing is at 8:30 a.m. The Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Omega service is at 10:15 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.
Beckett and Hodges Funeral Home handled the arrangements.