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HISTORY OF FOSTORIA SCHOOLS
Thursday, March 12, 1987


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PIX #1 & #2 - Photo at the top illustrates how the combined Junior High school and Senior High school appeared at one period in time (about 1910) after the east and west wings were added to the original High School which was constructed in 1878. It was in 1915 that the central portion (the original 1878 building) was torn down and replaced with a structure which makes it appear as it is now. The photo at right is the 1878 structure of the 1878, Central High, as it was originally.

It's time to take aim, draw a bead on several subjects...and fire the journalistic gun.

Several weeks ago, I sat in on an open (lengthy) school board meeting. I wouldn't be honest if I fail to say that I came away discouraged.

Discouraged that with all the present outlay of funds provided to operate the Fostoria public schools, there are still some folks who want more funding to make them "bigger" and "better".

One attendant took the floor and praised the superintendent for her success in educating our youth, and in the next breath asked for support for a levy for more funds.

Another report by a board member pertained to a request for $100,000 to hire an outside agency to combat the drug and alcohol problem in the schools. I understand they are going ahead with that project.

This author, unable to sit still any longer, realizing how far off the track some of today's theories are, gained permission to say a few words, the gist of which follow, along with other truths unsaid then:

EDUCATION CAME WITH MAYFLOWER

I told the assembly at that meeting they would be wasting their money $100,000 if they spent it for a canned program.

Last year, this author presented to a group of church-people an opportunity to attend a conference where matters pertaining to alcoholism, drugs and other youth problems would be discussed, with a view of overcoming them. The only cost was transportation. Housing and food was free. Not one person took advantage of the excellent opportunity to learn about the answers to the problems.

Being an historian at heart, I have often looked back through the records of this town. Schools, churches and stong family life were important to its early settlers, and all through its history.

Many of those receiving their education in our schools went on to build successful lives as teachers, doctors, ministers, in the business world, the arts, etc.

SPIRIT OF HUMANISM IS TODAY'S PROBLEMS

Today's problems started when the spirit of humanism reared its ugly head with the notion that man could solve his problems without God.

The schools of the earlier years did not contain all the frills of today, which have spiraled the costs for operation and show the inability to cope with today's problems, the major ones being drugs, alcohol, teen-age sex, abortions, plus all the problems attendant to those ills.

If parents were rearing children with a Christian viewpoint, if the school system and teachers were dedicated to those same principles and if God and prayer were still in the schools, those problems would disappear.

On the subject of "bond levies" to finance school costs, don't forget there is a goodly segment of citizens in Fostoria who paid their share of taxes to educate their children. School administrators, teachers and others involved with our schools should remember that, and be content to receive salaries that are fair and commensurate with their profession, and the realistic possibility of securing the funds.

PAY TODAY GOOD WHEN COMPARED WITH PAST

Teachers today have it easy compared with those in the earlier days, especially the rural teachers who, after reaching the one-room building, had to start a fire to heat it, and put up with many inconveniences for a very low salary. Those teachers were dedicated to educating children, who went on to make high marks in their professions and helped make America great.

When this author was an FHS student, the extra school activities, Hi-y, literary society, cheerleaders, debate team, school paper staff, and perhaps others, were supervised by teachers who contributed their time without pay. Why not today?

H.L. Ford, Superintendent of the Fostoria School System from 1937-1962, who still resides here, put together a history of schools here, containing data from the early days up to 1984. Thank you Mr. Ford for a job well done.

the elementary school buildings where Fostoria youth attend today are very good, and located in the various parts of town, as most readers know, so this article will not dwell on that subject.

The photos with today's article are provided so readers will know about the school facilities for junior and senior students, dating back to 1878, and up to the present.

FOSTORIA'S FIRST MODERN SCHOOL BUILT IN 1878

It was in that year (1878) Fostoria got its first modern building for capping the education of the town's youth before entering the higher institutions for learning...or starting in careers, in business or whatever fields they chose.

As readers can see by the photo it was a very impressive structue. The Fostoria Review, predecessor of The Review Times, in their Aug. 9, 1878 edition, described it:

"It is a structure of which our little city has a right to feel proud...not only on account of its large dimensions and massive architecture, but more especially on account of the high educational as well as moral and social statues of the community of which it stands that typical representative".

The new school facility contained a basement and three upper floors, with ample space for playing, classrooms, library, office, halls for recitation, meetings and commencement....18 rooms total.

OLD CENTRAL HIGH REPLACED IN 1915-16

By the early 1900's the school population had increased to the extent that "old Central High" as it had become known, no longer was adequate.

By 1909, the east and west wings of present Emerson Junior High had been added to the building.

In 1915-16, the old Central High was replaced with a unit of more modern structure and with more space to handle the increased pupil enrollment; providing the structure as it appears today. In 1939 a new gymnasium, cafeteria and music room were added to that building.

Most readers know in 1971 a new Senior High School was constructed at Ford Rd. and Park Ave.

REPAIRED JUNIOR HIGH BEST ANSWER

Now a real problem exists which the Fostoria Board of Education, the Superintendent, and the whole community faces - what is to be done with Emerson Junior High.

In 1985, when roof repairs and other work was being done at the Junior High building it was discovered that there were other repairs needed, which if not taken care of could result in catastrophe not only to the building, but also endanger the lives of the students.

Of course a new building would be the first choice, but that is a major expense which is doubtful could be achieved because of the large bond issue which would be necessary.

The necessary repairs to the building would make it ia good safe building again, in a location that cannot be duplicated.

There is also the problem of what to do with the students while a new building is being constructed.

I am told that it would cost $100,000 (perhaps more) to demolish the building and remove the debris.

Also there is already some movement afoot to "save" Emerson Junior High, since it was the school from which many "kids" of yesteryear, still living today, graduated. They want to "save" it by doing the necessary work at much lower cost.

There's too many good memories from the thousands about the rooms, the teachers that taught there, the chapel programs, Wainwright's National Championship Band, the football field in the rear where the Redmen defeated so many opponents, the football heroes; Pete Stinchcom, Hal Stout, Pug Johnson, Don Young, "Pee-Wee" Harry Bradner, and so many more, the football coaches, L.C. Boles being the most notable, producing a national champion team, and so many more I could name.

Need I say more?

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