Rushville Republican

Columns

January 8, 2013

Ward: School changes over the years

RUSHVILLE — I attended grade school at the Graham Annex elementary. This particular school was behind the high school and junior high at Seventh and Perkins Street. The school was in a building that a local contractor had built a number of years before and contained two stories and six grades. Kindergarten was at the Belle Gregg elementary and was not required for everyone as it is today. Belle Gregg was named for a local educator and located on Eighth Street and is today the offices of the local school corporation. We had one section of each of the six grades. Graham Annex also had a nice (for the time) small gym as well as a rather large auditorium. The city of Rushville had three elementary schools, the two named above and Havens School down on Third Street near the railroad tracks. The high and junior high were in the same building and at Seventh and Perkins. The athletic facility for everyone was at Memorial Gym, which was much smaller than it is today.

The principal for the Annex for the first five years I was there was Mrs. Myrtle Staniford, one of those icons such as Miss Ball and Miss Madden of my generation’s time. She, as most all the teachers in town, were females and very dedicated to their vocation. Mrs. Staniford was the 6th grade teacher as well as the principal. She had neither secretary nor aide of any type. Each teacher had their classes all day with the exception of PE and music. PE was normally daily and music on a schedule so Don Myers spent a day with the elementary schools giving music classes.

The day started off with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the Lord’s Prayer every day. Frankly, I feel it did not hurt anyone who found themselves in school at the time. Our playground was an area between the two schools (Graham Annex and the high school). It was not paved at first and was only a gravel area with no outside things that we could play with. We were on our own and made up games and other activities to play while on recess. No one got hurt or beaten; at times, one could get yelled at by peers as well as teachers, but seldom was it of much consequence. I bet every boy above the fourth grade had a pocket knife in his trousers and no one got stabbed or hurt by them. Try that today. We had daily morning and afternoon recess and were basically on our own, but still had at least three teachers out with us while we played. We had balls and other small items to play with, but nothing like what is available today.

In regards to field trips, that was easy. There were none. If we got to do anything it was, say, to the local sewer plant (always looked forward to) or something local such as the museum at least once a year. At the end of the school year we went to Memorial Park for the day and had lunch there and played all day and that was about it. I find it interesting that some of the items that are in the park today were there when I was young; mostly the swings, but they are still there. We had a few slides, lots of swings, the merry-go-round and monkey bars as well as many tables and lots of grass. There was a sunken garden at the time and it had flowers and ornamental shrubs in it and was a fun place to play. We also would try at least once a year to make it to the local fire department and, of course, that was the highlight of the year for us all.

The year-end picnic had all three schools there all day and so I suspect the teachers as well as neighbors of Memorial Park were glad to see that day come to an end. Rushville had its own school system as did most of the townships. Milroy, Raleigh, Mays, Carthage, Glenwood, Manilla and New Salem all had at least elementary schools, some even high schools. Both the city and county had their administrators with the county schools under the authority of the Township Trustee but also under county-wide control. If the county schools beat Rushville in anything it was a banner year for them. Rushville was top on the list of those nasty guys to beat for every county school. All of this was in fun and at times silly things were done to hopefully enhance the county school’s chances to win over the dreaded Rushville Lions. Those lions by Memorial Gym are about twice as large as they were originally just because of all the paint needed to paint over what someone else painted first.

Classes were small and school facilities were, at times and no doubt, not of the highest caliber. When consolidation was being pushed by the state one of the things they said would be better would be the ability of the smaller schools to have much better science labs and other facilities that county schools at times found hard to come by. As it is now, it was then a huge fight to close any of the county schools, but close them they did. Now everyone from the seventh grade on goes to Rushville and some would like from K to 12 to be there. Not me.

I miss the small school friendship and fellowship of my youth even if I see a need for the consolidation. I realize that now it would be difficult if not impossible for the small county schools to be viable educationally or financially today. But, that in no way says I am sorry I had the opportunity of going to school on a much smaller scale that the youngsters of today.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

  • Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 11, 2014

  • Mankind is not causing global warming Back on Feb. 26 of this year, an article appeared on FoxNews.com with the following headline, "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific proof humans are dominant cause of warming climate." Here's what Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and co-founder of

    April 8, 2014

  • One fine day True story here: a long time ago, a young woman from Cincinnati daydreams of growing up and meeting a nice man, getting married, learning to cook, having two children, etc. etc. Eventually, it all comes true for her. Except it all happens in a major

    April 8, 2014

  • It is time we take back our country What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    April 8, 2014

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you've nev

    April 8, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.