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Wyandotte County, Kansas




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KCKS Public School System, 1819-1961
by Nellie McGuinn
Copyright USD 500, Feb 1966

Return to Previous Section 1959


Old customs and places were being discarded in a post-war world.  In England, Princess Margaret married a commoner, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, in historic Westminster Abbey.  Less ancient, but still relics of a pioneer era, were the buildings in the Gateway Urban Renewal section of downtown Kansas City, Kansas.  From Third to Fifth Street and from Minnesota to New Jersey, the wrecking crews were clearing a blighted area.  Grant School, formerly Everett, built in 1881, was among the razed buildings.

Argentine's Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan was under way.  The Civic Center Post Office moved into its new building.   In Armourdale a huge Industrial Park was laid out from Osage to Cheyenne.

The new William Allen White School and the West Junior addition were ready for occupancy. At the dedication of William Allen White on February 15th, Ellsworth Green, executive secretary of the Chamber of Commerce and a school patron, was the speaker.  Mrs. Lacy Haynes, a sister of Mrs. White, gave a portrait of the famous Emporia newspaperman to the school.  The school made the 39th elementary school in the city.  Mrs. Dorothy Walker was the first principal.

After years in a temporary building, Fairfax classes moved early in 1960 to a new building near the old site.  The dedication was held on May 9, when several hundred visitors heard Lewis Brotherson, business manager for the board, speak on "The Nice Climate of Learning"

The old Fairfax building was erected by the government in 1942 to serve war workers living in the Quindaro Homes area.  In 1946 the board purchased the building.  It had administered the school from the beginning.  Miss Beulah Kelly, the first principal, watched the school grow from 160 to 390 pupils when she retired in the spring of 1959.  The new Fairfax was the first local school to be electrically heated.

A cafeteria and gymnasium for Central Junior were started on the 5.1 acre site.  In January a fifteen-foot variance was approved for Stanley School's addition on the east.  Although patrons had protested building on the east, the board found the other side unsuitable.  A new building for Emerson was under construction.  Lowell primary building was in use since the preceding November.

Who Was Who in America listed M. E. Pearson in 1960.  Mr. Pearson had retired in 1939 from teaching and had died in 1948.  Miss Myrtle Evans, for over 40 years a principal at Everett and Abbott Schools died on December 25, 1960.

When he talked to teachers in September, 1960, Superintendent Schlagle emphasized the changes occurring in modern life and how schools carried the responsibility of meeting these changes.  Thirty years ago, he reminded them, this country was dominated by Europe; in 1960 Russia and China were competitors.  Men preferred the American way of life, but accepted the communist materialistic way of life because of hunger and want.  In a time when man was trying to "open the doors of the heavens," scholars must be trained, not only in science but in the humanities, fine arts and language.

Over a period of 37 years, the city school system had maintained 100% membership in the NEA and other teacher organizations.  Every supervisor and administrator held a life membership in the national organization.  All regular teachers had degrees.

Next Section   1961

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 02-Jan-2012

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