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Page 12 text:
Aboye are the pupils of Ford City High School in the school year 1908-1909. They are pictured in front of the store building
on lhird Avenue where their classes were held when the old school bet-anie too crowded. The next fall saw them entering the new
building on Fourth Avenue.
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One year before the turn of the century, in
1889, Ford City was made an independent school
district, and a four-roomed building, constructed on
land donated by Captain John B. Ford on lower
Sixth Avenue, was built to house the first school
Children, Later enlarged to eight rooms, this build-
ing was the one in which members of the Class of
1902, the first class to be graduated from Ford City
High School, completed their schooling just fifty
years ago. At the time of their graduation, there
were approximately two hundred students making
up the entire school population of the Ford City
Public Schools, about thirty of these being high
school students. Under the direction of the princi-
pal, james J. Palmer, the six members of the class of
1902 completed a three year high school course, all
classes being taught by two teachers.
Classes were graduated from Ford City High
School in 1902, 1903, 1904. 1905, 1906, and 1907.
There was no graduating class in 1908, as, at that
time, a four year high school course was adopted by
the board of education and administration. During
the years of 1908 and 1909, because of the increased
enrollment in the school, all high school students
held their classes in an old store building on Third
Avenue, from where the class of 1909, the first to
complete a four year course, was graduated.
1t was during this period that those interested
in the educational future of Ford City's young peo-
ple began to see the inadequacy of the old eight-
roomed building on Sixth Avenue. ln October.
1908, the cornerstone was laid for the present school
building, located on Eleventh Street and Fourth
Avenue. Ready for occupancy in the year 1909,
this new building housed, in addition to classrooms.
a gymnasium, where Ford Cityis name as a town
of outstanding athletes had its start. Also the new
building contained an auditorium, the stage of
which has seen many interesting events-the grad-
uation of hundreds of young men and women, the
plays, concerts, and operettas that the talented stu-
dents have produced, and many community affairs.
As the school population grew, and as the
curriculum was enriched, the need for more room
was recognized, and the original building was ex-
tended to Fifth Avenue, the annex being completed
in 1922. At that time both the grades and the high
school were housed in the same building. but again
a growing school population caused the needr for
expansion of the school plant. In 1929, accordingly,
the present grade school building was completed.
Until the year 1934, both boys and girls held
their physical education classes in what is now
known as the girls, gym. ln 1934, the fine gymna-
sium on Fifth Avenue was constructed to house
the boys, physical education classes and to accomo-
date the scores of fans that witness the basketball
Ford City High School has been fortunate in
that its young people have been under the care of
farsighted board of education members and capable
administrators and faculty members. Those who
headed the school from 1902 to 1920, as supervising
principals, were Iames Palmer, Edward T.
Daugherty, C. M. McNaughton, and XV. YV. lrwin.
In 1920, Ray D. XVelch became supervising prin-
cipal, and when, in 1921, Ford City was made a
third class school district, Mr, YVelch became the
first superintendent of schools. Mr, VVelch left the
Ford City school system in 1928. Q. C. Vincent
was elected superintendent of schools in 1928 to
succeed Mr, YVelch and to serve in that capacity
until his retirement in 1950. At the time of Mr.
Vincentis retirement, Paul N. Marsh, principal of
the high school since 1927, became superintendent
of schools, and Raymond E. Miller, who had been a
teacher in the local schools since 1929, became high
Among former hoard members who served the
school and the community well were the late B. VV.
McCutcheon, the late John Shearer, the late Iohn
Sekinger, the late Ferdinand Reisgen, Dr. Albert
Bower, YV. T. Roberts, Byron Miller,VE. E. lXlorrison,
XV. Boggs, D. O. Crouch, the late Ceorge P, Lentz,
Calvin Miller, Dr. NV. A. Frederick, Iulius Steiner,
XValter Brookhouser, Earl Artman, YVilliam lVatson,
John Pella, Ralph Reisgcn, Otto Schecren, George
Brown, Henry llollev, Ioseph Frick, and Dr. Iames
Allison. The present board members are: Louis G.
Goldman, president, Floyd DeLong, vice-president,
John P. Badura, treasurer, Iohn Mclntosh, Dr. A. R.
Pechan, Dr. Paul Opalka, and Dr. Ted Rupert, Miss
Margaret Mongavin, secretary to the superintend-
ent, is also secretary of the hoard of education.
There have been teachers, too, whose long
years of service and contribution to education in
Ford City are worthy of mention. The late Olive
L. Hammond taught for forty-seven vears in the
Ford City schools. Mrs. Ella V. Kinley, now re-
tired, was a member of the faculty for thirty-two
years, Miss Edna Kerr, retired, for twenty-two
years, and Miss Estelle Butler, formerly the princi-
pal of the grade school and now retired, for twenty-
Graduates of Ford City High School have re-
ceived the benefit of fine scholastic training and
have done credit to the advantages they received
as they attended college or went into business, in-
dustry, or trade. ln 1929-30, a great educational
stride forward was made in the Ford City schools
when a junior high school, consisting of grades 7,
8, and 9, was created. At that time, classes in art,
activities, and guidance were introduced, while
woodworking, mechanical drawing, and homemak-
ing were made a permanent part of the curriculum.
ln 1950-51, a guidance department was reorganized
under the direction of Miss Evelyn Deen.
1t was in 1928 that Ford City received the dis-
tinction of being the only Armstrong County school
to have met the requirements necessary to he listed
as an accredited high school with the Middle
States and lXIaryland Association of Accredited
High Schools and Colleges. In 1950, after a pro-
gram of self-evaluation by the staff, the high school
was re-evaluated by a visiting connnittee and found
worthy to continue on this list of accredited schools.
Activities have played their part in the devel-
opment of Ford City students, 1n the years before
and during YVorld YVar 1, until the early twenties,
two literary societies flourished, the Athenian So-
ciety and the Sempiterna Society. The keen rivalry
between the two groups created much interest
both in the school and in the community, leading
to manv entertaining and lively debates.
Other organizations have come and gone, but
each has left its mark on the students and on the
school. ln May, 1927, the XVelhikhanna History
Club, under the direction of Mrs. Hammond, pub-
lished a valuable booklet, "Comnnmity Annalsn,
commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the
founding of Ford City. A chapter of the National
Honor Society was introduced in Ford City in 1927,
as was the National Athletic Society. In addition
to the honor societies. the Gregg Club, under Miss
In 1928, these students represented Ford City in an interscholastic contest held at the University of Pittsburgh, winning., tn.
scholarship cup. Alice Stiener made the highest all-around individual record in the contest, in which seventy high schools and 760 stu
dents participated., Standing are Bernard Apple, Edgar Burns, Franklin Core, James Vensel, Hubert Rupert, Edward Steiner. Stated
are Florence Crawford Miller, Alice Steiner, Rita lieftou Pincus, Laura Pignolet Ludxviek.
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