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Page 12 text:
THE MARCH OF TIME Andrew Lewis has come a long way since its genesis in 1897. From a three-room school to one of more than 40 rooms, from a faculty of three to one of about 46, from a graduating class of six to one of 235, from a limited number of courses to a choice of eight or more in each of nine departments-—indeed, these are long strides forward—typical, however, of the great progress made by Salem High School, known since 1932 as Andrew Lewis, from the local pioneer hero of the name. But it is not in the size of the building, in the increase in the student body, nor in the enlargement of the faculty that this progress has been most significant. No, it is in the growth of the departments that this progress is so self-evident. In the social science department, the language department, the home economics, manual training, commercial departments, agriculture and the others, is the development that has made Andrew Lewis one of the foremost high schools of the State of Virginia. It is especially in the vocational departments—home economics, commercial, manual training and agri¬ culture, however, that the development has been most extensive in the last few years. Though some attempt at these departments was made before, it was not until Andrew Lewis was built that these courses really began to assume actual significance in the school curricula. Then a sort of plan was formulated to give students—particularly those not planning college educations—some training aside from the preparation they were giving them for continuing their studies. It is hoped that the future will see an even more highly centralized vocational department for the especial benefit of those who need this sort of training before entering their life work. From a small, one-room affair, the Home Economics Department has developed into an extensive group of rooms covering half of the third floor. Not only are sewing and cooking emphasized, but personal care, etiquette and many additional subjects are also a vital part of the course. During the summer the girls carry on projects which are continuous from the winter ' s work. The agriculture classes also carry on project work during the summer, giving these students an oppor¬ tunity for putting into practice the things they have learned during the winter. Teaching these boys the importance that cultivation of the earth plays in the industrial life of our country and preparing them for useful lives in their chosen field is the aim of this department. An excellently equipped " shop " provides education for future craftsmen in mechanical drawing, wood¬ work, metal work and many other of the allied crafts. The " shop” is one of Andrew Lewis ' newest addi¬ tions, as it was added only last spring, but its ever-increasing popularity bears mute witness of the crying need it has filled. Tomorrow ' s business men and women are finding splendid training in the commerci al department. Bookkeeping, shorthand and typing comprise a course which is constantly growing in demand, again exhibiting the desire of present-day students in high school to find real preparation for their life vocations while there is an opportunity to do so. In spite of the integral part that these vocational subjects play in the school curriculum, the old stand¬ bys, ' headin ' , writin ' and rithmetic, " or their equivalents, are still the bread and butter of every high school student. The English Department is one with which all students are familiar, since four years in it are requisite for the graduation of every one. Building up interest in literature, hammering in the fundamentals of grammar, stressing the importance oh self-expression by both pen and tongue—these are the " daily occu¬ pations " of the ten English teachers at Lewis. Also a department with which students have more than a speaking acquaintance is that of socia] science. Ancient history, American history, European history, government, vocational civics, sociology and economics—all have their places here. The progress and development of these courses shows again a vivid contrast with the 1900 Salem High School. Thorough though those classes may have been, their scope was, of necessity, limited far short of the opportunities Lewis now extends to all students. Rithmetic, plane and solid geometry, algebra and trigonometry tax the brains of these same students. Drawing isosceles triangles, making X equal Y, determining the cost of a bushel of apples when they are selling for 40c a peck—these prove absorbing problems for any high school boy or girl. Dissecting reptiles, counting the stars, making odoriferous mixtures—that ' s what goes on in the science laboratories to the mingled delight and dread of prospective Einsteins. Four adequately equipped labora¬ tories make possible varied forms of experimentation and research work—a far cry from the one table and sink once composing the laboratory of science. For those students who have a yen for acquaintance with the language, literature and life of other coun¬ tries is the Language Department, consisting of four years of Latin and two years of French. Formerly bpanish was also included, but lack of demand for it has necessitated its elimination. Despite the fact that a language is not required for graduation, nearly every student takes at least one year of one of the two languages, making the size of this department far from small. With these broad changes to behold—changes in courses, size and personnel—how different Andrew ewis must seem to those graduates of forty years ago. One wonders what the changes will be forty years
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