R-H Family History Revealed in Historic Records

  • Unsure what to expect, John Dreher walks into the room, curious but guarded. He’s been invited to look at some historic student attendance records that reflect a time and place long before the Rush-Henrietta Central School District was established in 1946.

    Previous generations of his family attended independent schoolhouses and these paperback booklets provide evidence. He carefully examines several and finds personal connections. One record from the time of the Great Depression lists students from an elementary school class. Scanning the list of neatly written names, he spots the name of his mother, then known as Jean Parker, who was 10 years old at the time. He finds another book that contains the name of his father, Henry Dreher. “This is just incredible,” he declares.

    Dreher has deep roots in the community. He began attending our district in 1955 when it included Brighton No. 4, a school serving students in grades K-5. That building, which became known as Austin Crittenden Elementary School, is no longer part of our district. Located at 2657 West Henrietta Road, the structure still exists, though. It has since served as home to ARC of Monroe.

    When Dreher entered sixth grade, he moved to a new school - literally. He was among the first students to attend the pristine Carlton Webster Junior High School, which opened that year to students in grades 6-9. “The Webster building was really neat,” he says. “Our principal, John McCormick, lived in the big white house across the street from the Parker Administration Building. He was a big, towering, bulldog type of a guy.”

    Dreher finished his schooling at Roth, where he spent his sophomore, junior, and senior years. At Roth, Dreher learned to play card games. “I remember sneaking into the teacher’s lounge to play euchre,” Dreher says, with a grin. “We were really quiet.” He graduated several months before Sperry High School - now Rush-Henrietta Senior High School - opened in 1968.

    In 2000, Dreher began working at Roth Junior High School. He began as a night cleaner, and then became custodian at what then was known as Vollmer Learning Center in 2003. Two years later, he returned to Roth, where he has served as building custodian for the past 17 years.

    Dreher enjoys working at his alma mater and takes great pride in maintaining the building where he once walked the hallways as a teenager. Now 72, his sense of humor remains keen.

    “I always tell people I never got anywhere,” he says, with a laugh.

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