Williamson High School Yearbook – 1949
To the Parents of the Class of 1949
As the first graduating class of Williamson High School we are pioneers in a new system of education. We entered our senior year as strangers from three separate schools, without a single cent in the treasury, but we soon became friends. We decided that we would like to finish our last year in school by taking an educational trip to Washington, DC.
Naturally, one of the first questions to be asked was that of finance. We would need approximately eighteen hundred dollars to take our class on the proposed trip. A little planning gave us the confidence that we could work and earn the necessary money. To do this we would need the full co-operation of our parents. Time and transportation must be freely given for the senior plays, the banquets, the year book, and other class activities.
Now the end of the year approaches and we have nearly reached our goal. Night after night, when we should have been at home working or studying, we have been at school laboring over class projects. Without the direct help of our parents we could not have been successful.
Because of the confidence, co-operation, and understanding of our parents we have had a profitable and enjoyable year.
Therefore, we the Senior Class of Williamson High School believe that it is only fitting that we dedicate this year book to our parents as a token of our sincere appreciation.
Williamson High School Yearbook – 1949 pages 9 -12
Written by R.B. Walter, Supervising Principal
To the Class of 1949, Williamson Junior-Senior High School:
You have asked me to write an article for your year book – The Keystone for 1949 – on the formation of a joint school by the districts of Jackson Township, Tioga Township, Lawrence Township, Tioga Boro, and Lawrenceville Boro, explaining its purpose, its need, and the problems involved. I am glad to suggest to you some of the possibilities of the organization and review for you some of the important changes which have affected your last year in high school.
First I wish to point out to you that the Jackson-Lawrenceville-Tioga Joint Public School is your school – that is the school of all the children of all of the people of the five school districts involved in the joint agreement. The Williamson High School is the merger of the Lawrenceville-Lawrence High School plus grades seven and eight, the Millerton High School plus grades seven and eight, and the Tioga Junior-Senior High School. The joint school, grades 1 to 12, is under the supervision of the five boards acting as a joint board in the operation of the joint school, but for purposes of taxation, transportation, ownership of buildings, building new buildings, etc. the several districts retain their individual identity as before. The policy of the school is fixed by the joint board. You will remember that the Joint School is housed in six buildings and that the expenses of operation are apportioned among the several districts according to the assessed evaluation, which for 1948 is $1,217,351.00. The previous joint agreements which were in force during the 1947-48 school year and previously between Tioga Boro and Tioga Township, between Lawrenceville Boro and Lawrence Township for vocational agriculture were dissolved as of July 1, 1948 and a new joint agreement with the five districts was entered into. This agreement may be modified from year to year as the need may arise.
In the second place, may I point out to you just why the several boards decided to educate the children of their districts jointly. The State Department of Education, in line with educators from other states of the union, has proclaimed for some time that to efficiently meet the needs of children in education in this age, it was necessary to have larger attendance areas and larger administrative units. In agreement with these aims the Pennsylvania State legislature made it mandatory for each County School Board to submit to the State Council of Education, a plan for the accomplishment of these two aims by July 1948. Tioga County together with 23 other counties of the state submitted plans to form several joint schools such as our own. Fourteen counties formed a county unit plan. Ten counties submitted a modified county unit plan. Eight counties submitted a district’s merger plan. Ten counties submitted a part merger and part joint school plan. One county submitted no plan. I believe that county was Philadelphia. The plan submitted by Tioga County seems to have been the most popular.
In the third place, the legislature changed the basis of fixing the amount of state appropriation which each district was to receive after the 1947-48 school year and mandated minimum salaries for Normal School graduates of $1950 and for College graduates of $2000, together with seven increments of $150. Together with higher costs of instruction, maintenance, operation, etc. and for most districts a lower state appropriation, it can easily be seen that the school boards were confronted with the problem which faces most of us as individuals, that of operating within their income. The joint school seemed to be the solution. Another solution might have been to double and finally treble the tax load which in most cases would have placed a burden upon the local tax payer beyond what he could afford. On the other hand the boards might have reduced the curriculum by doing away with instruction in music, home economics, agriculture, shop, art, physical education, etc. In this way the chance for an education for all the children would have been very limited. This can never be popular in America. For Americans wish their children to have as great an opportunity, within reason, as any other places in our democracy.
It would be foolish for me to suggest or for anyone to expect that all of our problems have been met in this one year or that all of our aims have been accomplished. We have, however, during this year, lived within our income. We expect to be able to continue to do so. Our whole program still needs many improvements. We believe that a step has been taken in the right direction. The Board made application to have the High School approved as a Six Year Junior-Senior High School which approval has been given after inspection of program and equipment by the State Department. All students from grades 1 to 12 have the opportunity for music instruction, all junior-senior high school students have compulsory home economics and shop in grades 7-8-9 and a chance to elect Vocation Agriculture or Vocational Home Economics in grades 10-11-12. We have larger classes in such subjects as chemistry, Latin, physics, algebra, English, history and so called academic subjects. This has been a big advantage from the teaching standpoint. Wider range of subjects makes it possible to meet the needs and interest of many more children.
We look forward to many improvements in the future. We more fully must meet the special student interests in art, drama, music, athletics, health, in democratic practices, in student council, school paper, homeroom activities, and clubs etc. We expect to make progress from year to year with this organization which in my opinion needs to be housed in one building located in a central place as convenient as possible to all junior-senior high school children. Just how soon the state legislature may make this possible is our problem. There are signs of progress.
Now, to you, the class of 1949, I wish to express a word of appreciation. I am glad to have been your principal and teacher – some of you for three years in high school, others but one year. I have never enjoyed more a senior class than you of 1949. You have been co-operative, thoughtful, courteous and very pleasant. A change of any kind has its problems. You have adjusted yourselves to new surroundings, new tasks, and new people with very satisfactory results. I am very much gratified. I wish for all 32 of you the best of success and happiness. Some of you expect to be teachers, some ministers, some nurses, some housewives, some farmers, some will work in the factory. I am also sure that you will do your best in whatever vocation you may find yourself, and further, in whatever community you may settle, you will remember that as a member of a democratic community you have obligations to serve it. You will please remember that if any member of the junior-senior high school faculty can at anytime assist you, you have but to ask. Your success will be our pleasure for having been given the chance to teach you. Best of luck, health, and success to you.
By R.B. Walter
As a result of the state demand for larger attendance areas in order to decrease the cost of instruction, it became necessary for the joint district to school the children in centers where all students were taking similar subjects. The board was obliged to use the buildings which were already the property of the respective districts. The state law provides for the transportation of pupils but not for the separate transportation of teachers. In fact, the state pays from 85% to 90% of the cost of pupil transportation but with the exception of vocational project travel, pays for no teacher travel.
This board found it necessary to transport Millerton and Lawrenceville senior high school students to Tioga, and Tioga junior high school students to Lawrenceville and Millerton. The net cost of one year’s transportation to the five local boards has been approximately $455. Three buses are used to bring the children to school and return them home. The time schedule has been so adjusted that the time of starting and returning is little different from the former schedules in this area. The board has had the assurance of the Highway Department that all the possible care of roads will be made to insure safe travel. During this first year we have had the advantage of ideal weather and good roads.
Many students have said that they have enjoyed the ride. It has been a novelty to those who have always lived near their school, and they have become used to an experience which other students have had for years.
You seniors will never forget "the Dip", the detour over the Tioga River bridge construction, the kindness of Mr. & Mrs. Crumbaugh where you have transferred, not the courteous service of your drivers – Mr. Carlson, Mr. Bliss, and Mr. Van Delinder. We hope that a central building will simplify the transportation problem in the near future.
Lawrenceville Class History
Seventh Grade – Our group numbered twelve this year. We no longer considered ourselves children, we were seventh graders. Of course when the upper classmen weren’t looking we played our favorite games, but when they were we acted very grown-up – the girls wearing lipstick and the new styles, the boys slicking their hair down and sometimes sneaking out their big brothers’ ties. Lynn Stage and Melvin Davis quit school, but the rest of us looked forward to another year.
Eighth Grade – Now we tried to look and act even more grown-up and dignified. We attended class parties and enjoyed ourselves although the shadow of the Eighth grade exams hung over us in the classroom. When the year was finally over we gave a huge sigh of relief.
Ninth Grade – One more step toward the achievement of our ideals. Some of us still wonder how we ever reached ninth grade. Park Close, Lee Erickson, Louise Erickson and Paul Butler joined us this year. They came from rural schools. We will never forget the day Mary Davis cried because she didn’t have her book report prepared. All of us were nearly scared to death as we made our first attempts to master Algebra and Latin. We were fretting over final exams when the flood of ’46 came to our rescue.
Tenth Grade – Another leaf turned over, our tenth one. Crystal Givens was elected president of our class. This year we mastered Geometry. Easy? We went on a hike in the country, built a fireplace, and fried hamburgers on a tin. Delicious? You bet! Lee Erickson joined the army and Pat Cole left us. Keith Johnson joined us and pepped things up with his love of fun and mischief. We ended the year with a trip to Watkins Glen. The girls wore overalls and shirts and just to show them up the boys wore their Sunday best. We traveled the Glen from one end to the other. Oh, my aching feet!
Eleventh Grade – This was our eleventh year of schooling. How thrilled we were when we wore our new class rings. We began to plan in earnest for our senior trip, the highlight in the life of any student who graduates. We sold candy and the profits went – you know where! When we presented a benefit movie “Wildfire”, the projector broke down in the middle of the picture. We helped the Seniors put on a play, Homer’s Home Run, remember? The last day of school we went to Eldridge Park. We had our pictures taken and rode on everything. When we came home we were tired but happy.
Millerton Class History
Seventh Grade – Twenty-three boys and girls were members of our group. The change from our grade school to high school confused us and we resented being shoved around by our “superiors”. In October we had our first class party – a wiener roast and hayride combined. Due to circumstances beyond our control [the wagon had a flat tire], most of us went home in cars. A break in our monotonous studies came when we went to Elmira Heights one day supposedly to inspect and observe the Eclipse exhibits.
Eighth Grade – We now numbered twenty-seven. The new members being Ernest Fish, Mary Lou Garrison, Bernice Heater, and Edward Scheler. We bullied the seventh graders, and had our class parties. How innocent we could be at times; especially when questioned as to how the snake got into Mrs. Smith’s desk. We have kept that answer – “I don’t know” – all through school. Nothing bothered us. That is until the end of the school term loomed in sight. We wondered and even tried to joke about the torture which the upper classes said awaited us in the form of the eighth grade exams. But after taking them, along with some aspirins, we agreed that they were not too difficult.
Ninth Grade – This year we lost Morton Barnes, Ernest Fish, Paul McCann, Marlene Miller, Edward Scheler and Betty Slocum. We were slowly but surely climbing the grades to success. Then the F.F.A. boys were initiated. What a day! Dressed in anything from bathing trunks to wool pants and overcoats, and carrying shovels, milk pails, and pitch forks, they presented a hilarious sight and disrupted the school in general for that day. We went to Watkins Glen on May 27th even though it rained.
Tenth Grade – In September we found that Bernice Heater and Mary Lou Garrison had left us. We had a class party at Phyllis Smith’s, the only class party that all members attended. We helped in the tin can drive. With cars, trucks, tractors, and hours borrowed from school time [we never had time to collect over the weekends] we scoured the country. This year the Ag. Boys developed their sense of balance by walking across the creek on poles to go to their Ag. Class. By a strange coincidence, rocks would hit the water at the same time that the boys were on the poles. Harry VanDelinder was our chief wader. Winter or summer we could always count on Harry to go through. We went to Watkins Glen in May, and again it rained.
Eleventh Grade – The absence of Dorothy Baker, Janis Everett, Leonard Pearson, Robert Roykouff, and Betty Thorpe reduced our class to sixteen pupils. We had almost reached our goal in high school. We needed money, and to satisfy our mercenary desires, we also sold candy, pop, pie, and doughnuts at the noon hours. What we couldn’t sell we ate ourselves, if we could. Our treasury was growing, and with happy hearts we faced the coming year when we would be Seniors.
Tioga Class History
Seventh Grade – After six years of elementary work, we finally entered Junior high school. There were twenty-seven in our class and Mrs. Eunice Smith was our homeroom teacher. We often surprised her by our actions and she, in turn, surprised us. How long those hour classes seemed! We missed our morning and afternoon recesses and found it difficult to become accustomed to following a schedule and going to different classrooms. Quite often we were found in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Eighth Grade – We heard County exams, from September 1st until June 3rd, and some of us studied diligently, hoping that we would pass them. When the scores were announced Dick Bergh, Leona Shutter, Norene Bartlett, and Mary Jane Casbeer were among the highest. Several members of our class were inclined to be unruly and Mr. Walter sometimes found it necessary to use his “persuader” to correct their behavior. Chet Cummings, Ronnie Enderle, and Bob Heck were frequent callers at the office.
Ninth Grade – We advanced another step in our education, but our actions
were still childish. The girl’s giggles, the boys whistled and shot paper
wads with rubber bands. No contribution was made to our peace and quiet
by the arrival of Ann Matthews. Mary Jane and Betty Hughes soon earned
a reputation for making noise. Eunice Rose learned that library shelves
are not always as stable as they look. She attempted to climb like a monkey.
On May 27th, after a rainy weekend, we watched the Tioga River rise until the branches of the elms near the river touched the water. The skies were dark and rain continued to fall. That night the dike broke and we experienced our first flood – one that was disastrous enough to tear out the shower rooms, ruin the gym floor and destroy part of the playground. That ended the school year and we missed the task of collecting books on the last day.
Tenth Grade – Now came our first attempts to learn the theorems of Plane Geometry and master Biology. We gradually became used to handling pickled grasshoppers, angleworms, and starfish, and the odor of formaldehyde no longer nauseated us. Ann Matthews and Mary Jane skipped study hall and spent the hour hiding in the storeroom – anything for a change! They did not enjoy their session in the office. On March 17th we entertained the Junior-Senior High School students at a Saint Patrick’s Day party. The auditorium was tastefully and appropriately decorated by Francis Murphy. We went “in the red” because we were so generous and did not charge for refreshments. Our career in bankruptcy did not end until 1949! Jeannette Douglas informed us that she was planning to be married during the summer and would not be with us another year.
Eleventh Grade – Our Junior year, and we still refused to grow up. We
attempted to present the play “You’ll Die Laughing”, but so many members
of cast were absent from rehearsals that we gave up the project. Bill Preston
used face cream from the make-up kit to smear the girls’ faces. Retribution
overtook him in the form of a mouthful of face cream administered by Mrs.
Walter. Buddy King, Dick Burgh, and Junior Jones helped to keep things
moving, and the girls were right there giggling and laughing over each
wisecrack. In May the boys had an unexpected short vacation when they helped
fight a fire on Baptist Street. At the end of the year we sang in the operetta,
“Sunbonnet Sue”. Clara Bump, Bill Preston, Mary Jane Casbeer, Francis Murphy,
and Oliver Button had five of the leading parts. We decorated the gym for
the Baccalaureate sermon and Commencement and ushered for both occasions.
Class members who belonged to the chorus sang in the choir. Because of
an attack of spring fever, Mary Jane and Ann again tried to play hooky.
Betty Hughes planned to join their expedition but all three were caught
when they tried to hide behind the dike. We took the Seniors on a trip
to Eldridge Park where we visited the Penny Arcade, the Ghost House and
tried all the rides. Eunice Rose was the only one who took one ride too
Williamson Senior Class History
Heaven console us! September 2nd, the first day of school, found the
seniors from the schools of Lawrenceville, Millerton and Tioga, grouped
in one room. Can you imagine thirty-four students divided into three groups,
appraising each other? Somehow we managed to struggle through the first
day. When we became acquainted, life was very pleasant, and soon we were
all joking with each other. We realized from the first that we would have
to work, and work hard, to build our treasury up to the required amount
necessary for a trip to Washington. Most of our year was spent on projects,
which would bring in money. We put on two plays; four banquets, sold magazines
and Christmas cards, and published the yearbook. Our banquets were successful
and we performed the task of washing dishes with little or no grumbling.
Very few dishes were broken and what food was left was quickly consumed
by us, especially the pies. The first play, “There’ll Come a Day”, was
such a success that toward the end of the year we produced “Everybody’s
Crazy”. This certainly suited the atmosphere at the time, with one group
working on the yearbook in the library and another group practicing the
play in the auditorium. We had a taste of army life when the chow line
formed in school lunch during the winter months. We Seniors could hardly
wait until our turn came to head the line, and we trampled each other in
our attempts to be first getting out the door. We enjoyed the meals very
much even though the gingerbread was sometimes darker on the bottom than
it should have been. The girls fooled Mr. Prugh by putting a rubber hot
dog in a roll for him. His only comment was “Either the hot dogs are getting
tougher or my teeth are dull.” Clifford Andrews Jr., Leah Sheive, Mary
Jane Casbeer, Ann Matthews, and Louise Erickson were placed on the honor
roll. Leah Sheive was elected to represent Williamson High School at the
Laurel Festival. The term is swiftly drawing to a close and we are busy
finishing the yearbook and making plans for our Class Day, Senior Prom,
Baccalaureate, and Commencement. The place is in a turmoil, especially
the library, which we have taken as our headquarters. Papers are scatted
all over, typewriters are clattering, and everybody is telling everybody
else what to do, but nobody really knows what is going on. We hope to be
settled down and in our right minds to receive our diplomas on June 3rd.