History Of The "Old High School" 1828-1840
by Charles Wells Chapin

won the confidence of those who were his patients. He died July 15, 1885, in the 76th year of his age.
        Mr. Vaille was accustomed to wear a pair of green goggles, which prevented the boys from seeing whether he was looking at them or not; if they made any noise or were not in their seats he was quick to detect it, much to their surprise.
        James N. Sykes, of Suffield, Conn., and the Literary Institute, a graduate of Brown University in 1839, succeeded Mr. Vaille, and conducted the school about one year, receiving a salary at the rate of $500 per annum. Mr. Sykes, was very popular with the scholars, and his kind and pleasant ways deeply attached them to him. After leaving the school Mr. Sykes was ordained a Baptist minister in North Reading, Mass., in 1842; was called to Bristol, R. I., in 1843. At this time he was greatly interested in education, and became a prominent member of the school board. In 1848 he received a call to Chelsea, Mass., where he remained about three years. He was pastor in East Boston for eight years; also a member of the Boston school board during his residence there. He spent eight years in Newburyport, Mass., and was a member of the school board. From thence he removed to Painesville, Ohio, and was a member of the school board for about three years. He was pastor of a church in Greenville, Conn., for three years. At this time, his health having become much impaired, he retired from the ministry. Mr. Sykes took a great interest in educational work and wherever he was located was always called upon to take an active part in its duties. "Of a genial disposition and fond of a good story, he was ever ready with an anecdote suitable for the occasion." He died at Agawam, Mass., Sept. 27, 1880, aged 68.
        Charles C. Burnett, of Worcester, Mass., a graduate of Brown University in 1839, was the principal for about six months previous to its close in the spring of 1840. His salary was at the rate Of $750 per year. After leaving the school Mr. Burnett became the principal of Connecticut

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