Bach Elementary School entrance.

Bach Elementary School is an elementary school in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. It is located at  West Jefferson between Fourth and Fifth Streets. There is local disagreement regarding the name's pronunciation - some say "baw," saying it is a relic of the Swabian dialect of German spoken in southwest Germany. Other locals pronounce it "bock" or "bawgh," and argue the change to "baw" was brought as part of de-Germanicization during World War II. Colette Ivey is the school principal.

The school mascot is the Bengals. School events include: Bach Heritage Festival or Brrr Fest (alternate years), Parent Involvement Day, Movie Nights, Science Night, March is Reading Month (which includes Family Reading Night), All School Slide Show, Ice Cream Social, Field Day, grade level plays/musicals, twice yearly book fairs, Walk-A-Thon, All School Talent Show and YMCA Camp Storer (5th grade).

Bach students continue on to Slauson Middle School or Forsythe Middle School, and then on to Pioneer High School (if they attend Slauson) or Skyline High School (if they attend Forsythe).

The school is named after Philip Bach, who was mayor of Ann Arbor from 1858-1859 and also served on the board of the Ann Arbor schools for 34 years.

Timeline: Bach Elementary School

  • 2015: Alison Epler is hired as principal, replacing Hyeuo Min Park, who moved out of state. Prior to becoming principal at Bach, Epler was principal of Northville Public Schools' Thornton Creek Elementary School for four years. Before working at Northville schools, Epler worked at Brighton Area Schools for 11 years as a response to intervention facilitator and a teacher. She has a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Northern Michigan University and a master of arts in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University. Epler also took additional leadership training the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal's Association.
  • 2013-2015: Hyeuo Min Park serves as principal. He was previously principal at Creekside Intermediate School, part of the Dexter Community Schools district. Before that he taught fifth grade at Logan Elementary in the Ann Arbor Public Schools district for seven years.
  • 2004-2013: Shelley Bruder serves as principal. She began her career in the district as a teacher in 1976, and later served as principal of Northside Elementary School for four years, followed by 11 years at Mitchell Elementary.
  • 1968-1970: Robert Carr serves as principal.
  • 1955-1968: Margaret Matteson serves as principal. 
  • 1953-1955: Thad Carr serves as principal.
  • 1920-1930: Emilie R. Marschke serves as principal. She dies on June 23, 1930 at the age of 59 while still principal. She had worked for the school district for 40 years.
  • 1898: School is renamed Bach Elementary in honor of former mayor Philip Bach, who served on the school board for 34 years.
  • 1861: School opens and is called the Second Ward School. The original building cost $3745. In 1879 the first addition was constructed for $4060, and got a second addition in 1899, a third in 1899 and a fourth in 1922. These cost, respectively, $8540, $38268, and $139072.

In the News

Ann Arbor schools hires elementary, middle school principals – MLive, July 11, 2015

Meet Your New Principals – AAPS News, August 2014

Ann Arbor's Bach Elementary School principal retiring after 37 years with district –, June 6, 2013

Street Language - Ann Arbor Observer, December 2012

Close to 500 attend Bach's Science Night – Ann Arbor Journal, Nov. 11, 2011

Bach School Shows City Succeeding in Natural Integration – Ann Arbor News (Ann Arbor District Library's Old News archives),  March 16, 1980

Principal Leaving Bach Post – Ann Arbor News (Ann Arbor District Library's Old News archives), June 11, 1968

School Principal Claimed by Death – Ann Arbor News (Ann Arbor District Library's Old News archives), June 23, 1930.

Contact Information:

Principal: Alison Epler

School website:
PTO website:

Phone: 734-994-1949
Fax: 734-994-8239
600 W Jefferson St
Ann Arbor, MI 48103