Beacon Tree Elementary School was dedicated on Sunday, September 18, 2005. Its name represents the tree that escaping slaves would identify as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Thousands of escaping slaves undertook a year-long, clandestine journey through Tennessee, north through Indiana into Michigan and to the Detroit area (known as "midnight"). Then, by riverboat, the travelers moved across the river to freedom in Ontario, Canada. These brave men and women followed the North Star during their journey to a better life.
One of the last stops was the Lerich family farm in Shelby Township. It was marked by the Beacon Tree, its sheltering branches a place of safety along a perilous journey.
While not the exact location of the Beacon Tree it is the site of the former Prestonville School, a one-room schoolhouse that served farm families in the community.
At 99,000 square feet, Beacon Tree Elementary is the largest elementary school in the district.