The school was to have one of Devon's longest-serving Masters - John Baple who served there from 1882 to 1924 along with his wife who was a certificated teacher and had been appointed Mistress.
John Baple was born in Chawleigh in the September Quarter of 1860, the son of William Baple, a sawyer, and his wife Mary. He was to attend the same school he was later made Master of. We don't have a complete listing of all the Masters and Mistresses before his appointment but if Chawleigh was anything like other Devon villages, there would have been plenty of comings and goings - good teachers were very hard to find and even harder to keep.
The 1861 census shows Richard and Rebecca Gough as Master and Mistress of the school and they were still there in 1871 although by that time, Richard Gough was 60 and must have been thinking about retirement. The 1881 census shows George Challice in charge and since his youngest child was born in Chawleigh and was 3 years old, we can time his arrival for the mid 1870s. the same census shows John Baple in Exeter, where there was an excellent College for the training of teachers - St.Luke's Diocesan College. All teachers trained on the job at this time and he would have been teaching under supervision for 2 years before gaining his certification. The appointment at Chawleigh must have been his first and last job interview for he never taught anywhere else!
In the Spring after his arrival in Chawleigh, he married Elizabeth Ellen Nott who was also a certificated teacher and eventually, she was appointed as Mistress to take charge of the infants, some of whom were barely two years old. Village schools played a very important part as child-minders in those days. A large proportion of women in Chawleigh were engaged in lace-making, working as as outworkers - work that would have been impossible to do with young children present all the time.
The Baples had two children - Ellie ( 1884) and William Henry (1889). John Baple retired in 1924 at the age of nearly 65 after 42 years of service to his community.