A long-time educator at Des Moines Public Schools has been remembered with a playground named in his honor.
The Des Moines School Board unanimously approved naming the playground at the Jesse Franklin Taylor Education Center for Robert N. Hyde. The location is the former site of Casady School, where Hyde served as principal.
Former colleagues and friends of Hyde, who passed away in February 2014, brought the idea for the honor forward. Several people attended the Board meeting and spoke about Hyde’s passion for education and teaching, and the leadership roles he played as a classroom teacher, as a coordinator with Teacher Corps, and as a school administrator.
A graduate of North High School, he received his undergraduate degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and a masters’ degree from Drake University. A veteran of World War II, Hyde spent nearly two decades in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1963 with the rank of major.
When his military career ended his education career began, and continued for nearly a quarter century. Hyde began at DMPS in 1964 as an elementary school teacher at Elm Grove. In 1973, he was appointed principal at Casady School, now the site of the Taylor Center. At the time of his retirement in 1988, he was principal at Monroe-Rice School.
The Taylor Center, located at 1801 16th Street, is home to both an early childhood education program as well as the school district’s Middle School Alternative Center.