1965: Fyle Elementary Named to Honor Respected Teacher

  • With student enrollment on the rise, Rush-Henrietta again was faced with the need for another new school building. On January 7, 1964, a community information session was held, but only seven people attended. Robert McClelland, president of the Board of Education, told the local newspaper that he attributed the low turnout not to voter apathy, but to a satisfied community that understood the needs of the growing district.
    Fyle Elementary School, located at 133 Vollmer Parkway, opened the following year after being built on a 15-acre site in the Maplewood subdivision. The $1.3 million school, designed to meet the needs of 800 students, had 28 classrooms.
    The school was dedicated November 5, 1965. Henrietta Town Supervisor Don Cook helped to place the time capsule, which was tucked away in the cornerstone of the building. Two students, Deborah Abbey and Loren Berl, assisted with this important task. John Cooper, Fyle’s inaugural principal, received the key to the school from well-known architect, Richard Ade.
    Ethel K. Fyle was an outstanding educator and well known throughout the area. A member of the teaching staff when the newly centralized Rush-Henrietta school district opened its doors in 1946, she taught grades 6-7 for seven years before retiring in 1954. Fyle previously taught for 23 years at West Henrietta School, located at 649 Erie Station Road. That historic structure is now known as the John R. “Jack” Gaffney West Henrietta Education Building.
    A native of Rush, Fyle graduated from Honeoye Falls High School and attended Brockport State Teachers College in 1917. For many years, she was a trustee for Rush Free Library. Fyle was 65 years old when she died November 11, 1961, four years before Rush-Henrietta’s newest elementary school was named in her honor.
    According to her obituary in the Democrat and Chronicle, “Mrs. Fyle was held in such high esteem that an annual spelling award in the sixth grade was established in her honor at Rush-Henrietta.” The year before Fyle died, 19 of Rush-Henrietta’s sixth-grade spellers faced off at the event. The winner was 12-year-old Christina Barrett, who received $10 as the top prize.
    Curious about the K. used as a middle initial in Ethel Fyle’s name? We were, too. It stands for Kinsey.
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