1945: Preparing for the First Day of School
As Rush-Henrietta employees prepare to welcome students back to school in September, let’s reflect on a similar time from the past. More than 75 years ago, just before our district was formed, similar preparations were taking place in independent school houses scattered about.
In August 1945, Rush High School was scrambling to fill a vacancy on its teaching staff, looking for someone to lead social studies class. The first day of school was scheduled for September 4 and the staff roster was incomplete with less than two weeks before students arrived.
How long students would attend school each day was still up in the air, as the heavy demands of farming life carefully were being weighed. “Whether the school will again maintain a half-day harvesting schedule for the first few weeks will not be announced until later,” according to a report in the August 23, 1945, Honeoye Falls Times.
Fortunately, the rest of the staff at Rush High School was in place. It featured George Yackel, principal; Nelson Doescher, music education; Robert Stevely, agriculture; Marjorie Winchell, English; Lois Creighton, language and art; Dorothy Longfellow, grades 5-6; Sara Maher, grades 3-4; and Martha Hart, grades 1-2. Two new teachers would be welcomed that year, as well. The newcomers were Gertrude Peelma, who would teach homemaking skills, and Mrs. Walter Newcomb, a math teacher.
Just to the north, Henrietta High School also was preparing for opening day, which was scheduled for September 5, 1945. Staff members were Mrs. William Knox, primary grades; Mrs. J. Robertson, intermediate grades; Mrs. A. Hawley, 7th grade; Miss M. Cleary, librarian; Miss C. Cerasani, social studies; Mr. F. Phillips, English; Miss M. Gladstone, home economics; and Mrs. Norman Spafford, commercial subjects. A new sixth-grade teacher, Miss Bernice Cassidy, was joining the staff, which was led by principal John W. Parker, who also served as a math teacher.
Independent school houses soon would become history. In 1946, the community approved the creation of the Rush-Henrietta Central School District. Today, our district has about 1,200 employees.[Post 50] #75Posts75Years
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