Pittsfield Township Historical Society :: Platt School: History of Mary D. Mitchell School from 1825 to 1955
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See also the separate entry on Mary D. Mitchell

Platt School, painted by Mabel Cobane, 2004

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Caption: Painting of Platt School -- by Mabel Cobane. Check out this beautiful painting in our archives. Click picture of the school for a larger black-and-white image.

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Mallett Creek School

In connection with the history of the schools of District No. 9 Pittsfield, it is interesting to note that the first school in Washtenaw County was located within the present district. It was in the summer of 1825 that Miss Elzada Fairbrother, who had become interested in the children in and about this area, gathered them together and held classes for them under a large oak tree just east of Platt Road and south of Packard Road. Later, in the fall of 1825 a log school house was built in the area west of Platt Road. Miss Sarah Parsons was the first teacher in that building. This school served the present No. 9 District and the Stone District No. 7 fr. And Carpenter District No. 1.

Twenty nine years later in 1854 this area was divided into two districts now known as Stone District No. 7 and Carpenter No. 1. That part west of Platt Road became a part of the Stone School District, and that east of Platt Road became a part of the Carpenter District.

This area remained a farming community until 1917-18 when the Henry Platt farm was purchased by the Wagner-McComb Corporation and subdivided into lots. In a few years followed the purchase and subdivision of the Edgar Nordman, and the U. G. Darling farms. People began moving into this area so that by 1925 two hundred families were living here.

Platt School

A community organization was formed that year to consider and act upon community problems which were demanding attention. One of the most important of these questions was that of taking care of the children of school age. Many parents seriously objected to having their children walking along Packard Road to either Stone or Carpenter School, because Packard was a well traveled highway and the Detroit United Railway Cars ran along the South side of Packard across whose tracks their children would have to go to get to their respective schools. The President and members of the Community Council were formed into a committee to try to solve the problem. This committee appointed May 7, 1925, included President Ivan Cuthbert member ex officio; Prof. O. V. Adams; Mrs. Thomas Mitchell; Mrs. L. N. Cuthbert; Theodore Darling; Arlin Selleck, and Vern Cox. Later Kenneth Wingrove; Mrs. S. J. Reed; Irvine Rummler; Miss B. L. Haug; Clarence B. Worth, and Mrs. Harry Lee were added to the committee.

Three suggestions presented themselves. (1) That Carpenter or Stone District annex all of the area; (2) That an effort be made to become a part of the Ann Arbor School system; (3) That this area be formed into a separate district. Plan No. 1 was abandoned because neither Stone nor Carpenter would release any of its land to the other. Plan No. 2 could not be considered further when it was learned that in order to become a part of the Ann Arbor system an area must be contiguous to that district. Plan No. 3 was the only one that claimed intensive attention and planning.

On March 12, 1926, a special election was held to vote on the question, "Shall the Township Board be requested to form the Community into a new school district?" The election resulted in 88 yes votes and 13 no votes. The Township board was requested to call a meeting to act on the above question.

Stone School agreed to release its property in the Community west of Platt Road, and Carpenter agreed to release that east of Platt Road.

In April, 1926 the new district, District No. 9, Pittsfield Township was formed.

The assessed valuation of the new district was $250,000. Primary money estimated at $13.00 per child. This district comprised 315 acres.

In the preliminary work of the formation of District No. 9 much valuable assistance was given by Miss Florence Essery, County School Commissioner, and the school boards of Carpenter and Stone, as well as the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Pittsfield Township boards.

The question of the location of the school building was a burning one for a while. The fact that W. H. Rohde promised to deed to the district 4 lots located between Platt Rd. and Rosedale St. south of Packard Rd. was a factor in the decision to place the school facing Platt Rd. on this property.

On June 10, 1926 at a regular school meeting the first school board was elected. C. B. Worth, for term of 2 years, Director; U. G. Darling, 3 years, Moderator; and Harry A. Loy 1 year Treasurer, who held office for 10, 4, and 12 years respectively.

On July 9, 1926 a special meeting of the district was called to vote on the question of issuance of bonds. The vote was favorable for a $6,500 bond issue.

A two room portable building was bought and erected on a cement block foundation at a cost of $7,000.

The school was named Platt School in honor of Henry Platt whose farm was the first to be subdivided in this area.

School opened in September with 70 pupils enrolled, with Mrs. Ross Salsbury and Miss Ruth Barley teachers.

The next year a third room was added to take care of 114 pupils at a cost of $3,300 -- paid for in bonds voted by district. Mrs. Harold Bissell was added to the teaching staff and Miss Zara Webb replaced Mrs. Salsbury.

In 1928 Mrs. a. M. Erickson had charge of the music program. The other faculty members were Mrs. Bissell, Miss Gladys Pleton (Mrs. Wm. Morey), and Dorothy Andrews. Sara E. Judson was added in 1929- 30. On the school board Carl Hickerson replaced U. G. Darling who resigned because of ill health. In 1931-32 the faculty was reduced to three -- Mrs. Bissell, Mrs. Morey and Mrs. Mary D. Mitchell. [See also the separate entry on Mary D. Mitchell] Mrs. Mitchell remained in the school for eighteen years, retiring in June 1949. Muriel Barr and Ellwyn Gilbert replaced Mrs. Bissell and Mrs. Morey in 1932-33 and Miss H. A. McCracken was employed as part time teacher in 1933-34.

In 1934 a fourth room was added and basement constructed under rooms 3 and 4. A coal burning furnace was installed in the basement and the stove in the school rooms removed. The north basement room was made ready for use by Community organizations by installing wall board, hardwood flooring, etc. The Women's Club worked on this in cooperation with the School Board. Children were served lunches in this room. The faculty at this time included Ellwyn Gilbert, Miss Ruahmah Hutchings, Miss Elsie Dandison and Mrs. Mitchell who was made principal in fall of 1932. In the Winter of 1936 Miss Willmene Lyons replaced Miss Dandison.

At the annual school meeting in the year 1934 it was voted to transport the seventh and eighth grade pupils to Roosevelt School in Ypsilanti. This was done because of the increased pupil population. In 1942 it was decided to transport the seventh and eighth grade pupils to the Ann Arbor Schools. This decision has been sustained up to date.

In the year 1936-37 Mrs. Ruth Campbell and Miss Nina Wilson replaced Ruahmah Rutchings and Willmene Lyons. Miss Lyons resigned in January, 1937 and Robert Christman was hired to continue the year. In the fall of 1937 Mrs. Inez Edson replaced Ellwyn Gilbert. Mr. Harold Bissell was now serving as president of the school board, with Jos. C. Clark, Secretary and Harry Loy, Treas. The following year Harry Durham was elected treasurer to take the place of Mr. Loy who moved out of the district. Mrs. Helen Brandt and Mrs. Louise Martin replaced Mrs. Campbell and Mr. Christman. An Entirely new school board was elected with Wm. Below Pres., George Lutz Sec., and R. R. Sorg Treas. Because of lace of funds one room in the building was closed and no one was hired to replace Mrs. Martin. The next year the room was reopened and Mrs. Rose Nichols was the teacher.

From time to time additional land was purchased to enlarge the playground. In 1938 one lot was purchased from Mr. Ratti for $86.44 and two from John Illi for $154.62. Two lots were purchased from John and Ida Gehrigger for $650.00 These purchases increased the school site to 9 lots or about 3 acres.

In 1939 Mrs. Ruth Kratzmiller and Mrs. Margaret McCann joined the faculty and Helen Brandt resigned. The following year Mrs. B. Fedji, a U of M School of Music student had charge of the music program in the school. Up to this time the Michigan State College Extension Service Music Program was carried on in the school.

Martin Phillip served as President of the Board in 1943. He moved out of the district in 1944 and Eugene Mathews was appointed to fill the vacancy. At the annual election in 1944 Harry Orr was made treasurer nod Francis Allen Secretary.

For several years Robert Kendall served as part time school custodian. Harold McCillan also served that capacity for a limited period and Frank Lee assisted by Mrs. Lee took care of the building and grounds for many years, from 1932 through 1945. Mr. Lee also served as traffic officer for pupils who lived north of Packard Road.

World War II and Pittsfield Village

World War II hurled demands and changes almost everywhere and they were felt keenly in this district. There was a big demand for housing. The Noble-Grandmont Corporation purchased a tract of land east of District No. 9 and in a short time had built 422 rental housing units. This area is Pittsfield Village.

Pittsfield School

The Pittsfield Village units were quickly occupied by people employed in war work in nearby cities. This meant an increased school population. The Noble-Grandmont Corporation by its efforts was successful in interesting the Federal Government in providing a school building. Consequently the corporation deeded five acres to District No. 9, which in turn deeded it to the Federal Government as a site for a new school. A building of eight classrooms and office space, besides furnace room, was built and furnished at a cost of $79,000, which was named Pittsfield School.

Pittsfield Village was annexed to the District in 1943. The school was opened in January 1945 with an enrollment of 260 in both schools. Kindergarten children of 4-1/2 years were allowed to enroll and were counted in computing state aid. In 1945 Mrs. Mitchell was appointed superintendent. There were eleven classroom teachers and a part time music teacher. Three of the classroom teachers remained in Platt School.

The year previously the district was changed from a primary to a graded district with Albert Hieber, President; Chas. C. Smith, Secretary; Raymond R. Sorg, Treasurer; Trustees, Russell Wilson and Virginia Miller and Custodian Vern Cox. Additions to the teaching staff were Mrs. Margaret Hutchinson, Mrs. Viola Diegel, Mrs. Ida Stadler, Mrs. Wilma Kenyon, Mrs. Barbara Mautz, Mrs. Ivy Walton and Miss Corrintha Salsbury. Carl Stuhrberg was retained as school attorney.

Consolidation Issues

As early as July 1946 Consolidation talks had begun. A meeting with the State Department was called to discuss and make plans for reorganization of school districts in this area, these plans to be kept in harmony with State Department plans for reorganization. Present at this meeting were George Beadle of the State Department; Julius Haab, County School Superintendent; Helga Hansen, Fritz School; Donald Weir and Harold Russell, Stone School; George Schlect, Board of Education, Ann Arbor; Harold Leverett, Carpenter School; R. R. Sorg, Chas. C. Smith, Francis Allen, Tari Bagchi, Russell Wilson, District No. 9; Town Hall School Board was notified of the meeting but no representative was present.

Mr. Beadle recommended that a committee be formed to study the area and tabulate results -- this committee to include representatives from each district. The study should; 1) Include census, membership in schools, grades, assessed valuation of district and millage levied. 2) Prepare budget; 3) Arrange publicity. 4) Circulate petitions. 5) Rile request for vote with County School Superintendent.

Members suggested for this committee were Supervisor of Township, Ivan Cuthbert; East Ann Arbor Improvement Association; Parent Teachers Association; Women's Club; Harold Bissell of Township Board; C. B. Godfrey of Carpenter School Board; Pittsfield Village Association; and members of Board of Education of District No. 9 Stone, Carpenter and Ann Arbor.

On August 27 another meeting was held with representatives of nearby districts. Those interested were Stone, Carpenter and Pittsfield No. 9 and Ann Arbor. Otto Haisley, Superintendent of Ann Arbor Schools recommended that the State Department come in and study the entire area.

1946-1948

For the first time, in 1946, a summer Recreation Project was organized to extend from July 8 through August 16. Clyde Blair and Roman Yatchak had charge of playground activities. Barbara Mautz, Ida Stadler and Wilma Kenyon had charge of handicraft, music, story telling and dramatics. For the first time also, teachers who submitted plans for summer extension work were paid $30 for each hour of credit and those who did extensive educational trips were given compensation.

The Board of Education, in its policy of cooperation with other organizations, granted use of Pittsfield School to St. Thomas Church for Sunday Mass; to Beth Israel and to Calvary Community Church for Sunday School use. As soon as these churches provided space of their own, use of the school was discontinued, the last one, Calvary Community, in June 1954. Both schools have been and are now open to Women's Club, Parent Teacher Groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cubs and Brownies, Kiwanis Clubs and Community Recreation projects, besides Extension classes.

The teaching staff remained the same for 1946-47 as the previous year with the exception of Betty Sandling who replaced Margaret Hutchinson. Benjamin Blackmon was hired as part time custodian and as bus driver. For some time transportation of pupils to Ann Arbor had been under contract to Fay Gilbert of Ypsilanti. In 1945 the District purchased a bus and built a garage on the school property. The garage was sold in 1953 and moved. A part time clerk Mrs. Elsie Robbins was added to the staff. Later in the year she was replaced by Mrs. Virginia Haarer.

In August of 1946, Mr. Gerganoff of Ypsilanti, an architect, submitted plans for a new school building of eight class rooms. A combination auditorium and gymnasium with locker, shower and toilet rooms. His fee was $2,995.00 and payment was authorized by the Board of Education.

Early in the fall of 1946 it became evident that more funds than were in sight would be needed to operate the schools. Request of a loan of $9,800 to the Municipal Finance Commission resulted in the reply that a loan of any money on anticipated taxes would be impossible until the district could build up its general fund receipts to a point where the budget could be balanced. Consequently a vote by the people at a special meeting on November 19, 1946 resulted in the transfer to the general fund monies of the Building and Site Fund collected in the years 1944-45 and those to be collected in 1946. This resolution carried the proviso that the money be returned to the Building and Site Fund as soon as possible. A second request for a loan resulted favorably to the extent of $6,000.00. In 1954 the money was returned in full to the Building and Site Fund.

In March, 1947 Mr. Lawrence Krueger was called in and in July given a contract as Superintendent for three years to replace Mrs. Mitchell. Mr. Hugh Wilson was hired as school attorney and Peter Brender, architect and engineer, as associate for school for the purpose of making a community survey.

The recreation program was continued for the summer of '47 under the direction of Oscar Olivia and Mrs. Ida Stadler.

A survey in June '47 of pupils in the district attending other schools showed: 28 in Lutheran School, 54 in Ann Arbor Junior High, 38 in Ann Arbor Senior High, 4 in University School, 26 in St. Thomas, 1 in Ypsilanti Central High and 1 in Roosevelt, Ypsilanti. Pupils in the graded Kindergarten through sixth numbered 291 in the two schools in District No. 9.

In the fall of '47 an oil burner was installed in School No. 2 to replace the coal burner.

In September of 1947 plans were started for the annexation of land north of the district, part of which was owned by Stone School District and part by Carpenter District and now lying within city limits of East Ann Arbor. The Community had become a city and named East Ann Arbor with clearly defined boundary lines. This land was released by the two districts and became a part of Dist. No. 9 that same year. In 1948 further annexation was made so that the southern and western boundaries became the same as those of the city.

In 1946-47 the School Board became: Raymond Sorg, Pres.; Chas. C. Smith, Sec.; Francis Allen, Treas.; Russell Wilson and Tari Bagchi, Trustees. Substitute teachers were Dorothy Haneline, Helen Shippey.

The 1947-48 teaching staff included many new people. In the Pittsfield School were: Mrs. Margaret Charbeneau, Mrs. Gwendolyn Allen, Mrs. Violet Leabu, Mrs. Barbara Mautz, Mrs. Ruth Norman, Mrs. Margaret Walker and Miss Corrintha Salsbury. In School 1 on Platt Road were Mrs. Betty Sandling, Mrs. Erma Orr, Mrs. Carolyn Lowery and Mrs. Mary D. Mitchell. Substitute teachers were Mrs. Helen Shippey, Donna Lathrop, Dorothy Wilson and Mildred Sheffler. Mark Roy and Oscar Olivia were custodians. Mr. Olivia had charge of Physical education also. Lawrence Krueger was superintendent. Board of Education was Raymond Sorg, President; Tari Bagchi, Secretary; Russell Benedict, Treasurer; Chas. Smith and Russell Wilson, Trustees.

Health Issues

The County Health Department has served the school since the district's organization in 1926. Miss Pearl Haist was the first nurse who visited the school regularly. She gave much time and valuable service to the school children and to the residents in their homes when needed. Then, as now, immunization clinics were held. The need for health service has grown until now the schools are visited regularly each week by the school nurse, Betty Hyde. Other nurses who have served this district are Patricia Strayer and Miss Van Ness.

Children are tested periodically for eye and ear efficiency and where remedial aid is indicated, this condition is brought to the attention of the parents.

The dental fluoride treatment has been brought to the children through the cooperation of the East Ann Arbor Kiwanis Club. The Lyons Club helps provide children with glasses, who are in need of them.

The services of the Huron Valley Center in Ypsilanti are used when it seems advisable for mentally and emotionally disturbed children.

In the spring of '39 dental clinics were held in the school through cooperation with U of M Dental College, and many children had needed dental work done at a cost for materials alone.

Hearing tests have been held at regular intervals for many years, and a few children who were deaf or practically deaf attended the school for handicapped children in the Rackham Building in Ypsilanti.

In the past children who needed speech correction were entered in the speech clinic in Ann Arbor. At the present Mrs. Karwyn Regan comes to the schools and works with the children there.

Beginning in 1948 Y.M.C.A. granted the boys from the fourth through the eighth grades use of its facilities one period a week. At the present time this activity includes boys from the third through the sixth grades. The girls in those grades are taken care of in like manner. This program has been successful and the children not only enjoy the recreation but benefit from the program.

Instruction

Constant use of audio-visual material is made in the schools to supplement the classroom work.

In 1948 in cooperation with the University of Michigan School of Education two students did their practice teaching in the Pittsfield Schools. That plan has been continued. In the fall of 1954 fourteen students are doing their practice teaching here.

In the early days of the school it worked closely with the County School Commissioner and other schools in the county in making and improving the curriculum. Mrs. Mildred Robinson, the helping teacher in the county, worked with the schools for many years in trying to keep a high standard of academic work. At the present time the teachers in the system create the curriculums to meet the needs of the pupils.

Recreation Programs

The summer recreation project has grown until it has become organized as a joint city and school project under the direction of a Recreation Commission Composed of two members from the City Council, two from the Board of Education, three at large, the City Mayor and the Superintendent of Schools. The cost of the six weeks period is about $1,2000.00 which is shared by the City and the school.

This recreation program also extends into the school year. Movies have been given in the evenings and square dances open to children 9 through 12 years of age and to adults one night each week. In the past the teenagers have organized their own group for evening recreation sponsored by the Recreation Commission. The summer program in 1953 was directed by Edgar Smith and the 1954 program was under the supervision of Jack Redd. Mr. Warren Breithaupt of Y.M.C>A> had organized the younger boys into a gray Y group for supervised recreation during the school year.

The District

The area and valuation of the district has grown considerably especially since 1945. Besides the three farms mentioned previously, Pittsfield Village and Pittsfield Park and property within the city limits not yet in the school district had been annexed to the school district by 1948. In 1947 steps were taken for further expansion. In November of that year Peter Brender, who had been retained by the Board of Education as an associate, at an open meeting led a discussion on community planning. He had made a comprehensive study of the area in this part of the county. His report and the maps which he made were a factor in the decision to purchase more land upon which to build a new school.

The increased population and the fact that the building on Platt Road could not be used much longer, because it has been declared unsafe for school use by the State Fire Marshall, made almost imperative the planning for another school building. Indications ere that population growth would be to the south and east of the present school area, and only small areas within the district limits were available. In view of these findings the board of Education decided to obtain an option on 80 acres of land owned by Mr. And Mrs. Earl Freeman of Ypsilanti. Negotiations for the purchase of the north 40 acres plus lots 67 and 68 continued until the sale was finally consummated and the deed to the property was given to the school district No. 9 on March 1, 1950. The price paid for the property was $13,575.74.

For some time prior to 1951 the Board of Education, Peter Brender, engineer and architect; and Supt. L. F. Krueger had been working with the Operating Committee on Engineering Research Projects of University of Michigan, with professor Ted Larson, Chairman, Architectural School and Engineering Research; and Charles Atwood, President of Unistrut Corporation on the possible use of an experimental prototype school building. This project had to be abandoned for this district when steel for such use became unobtainable.

Mitchell School

After the purchase of the Freeman property plans went ahead for the building of a new school. Plans and specifications were submitted by Architect Peter Brender and finally approved. On May 28, 1950 a special election was held to vote on the proposed bond issue of $17,500.00 to finance construction of a seven room school on the newly acquired site. The bond issue was approved and bids for construction were secured. The general contract was given to the Minion Construction Co. at a price of $128,047.32, Chas. A. Delano, obtained the plumbing and heating contract for $39,118.70, making a total of $183,542.21. The building was completed in February, 1952 and the pupils and teachers from the school on Platt Road and those who had been housed in Calvary Community Church moved into the new building. The name Mary D. Mitchell School was given to this building.

A combined Anniversary and Dedication program and open house was held at the school on June 7, 1952. Dean Edmonson of U of M was the Master of Ceremonies, introduced by Raymond Sorg; Devotions by Rev. Reiss of Lutheran Church; Dedicatory Address by Wesley Beadle of the State Department of Public Instruction and Anniversary Address by Ben VandenBelt -- Vice Chairman of County Board of Education. Mr. Beadles theme was "What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child -- that must the community want for all its children".

This program and all preparations were in charge of a Citizens Committee made up of representatives from Community organizations, the Board of Education and L. F. Krueger, Advisor. This committee prepared a brochure giving pertinent information about the new school and the school district. This Committee was organized with R. R. Sorg, chairman and Mary D. Mitchell, secy. Stanley Richardson was placed in charge of the anniversary and dedication program.

Finances

Finances, which have been a major problem ever since the organization of the school district in 1926, were greatly increased by the sudden growth in school population and in school services to take care of this population. In 1926-27 the amount of taxes collected was about $6,500. Teachers salaries were $125.00 per month for 9 months.

By 1931 it was necessary to take steps to alleviate crowded conditions in the school. At a school meeting in May it was voted to send the 7th and 8th grades to Roosevelt School in Ypsilanti at a cost of $9.25 per pupil as a fee, plus $.20 per day bus fare on the Blue Goose lines. Later the 7th and 8th grades were sent into Ann Arbor which practice has been continued. Now the tuition for Junior High and Senior High pupils amounts to $40,000.00 and transportation by district owned buses is about $4,000.00 excluding salaries for drivers.

The State Aid Act (Hatcher Sias Act) became effective in 1930 and helped to the extent of $610.24. It now amounts to about $37,000.00 and the primary money about $14,000.

Valuation of school property which was placed at $264,000.00 in 1926-27 has now reached a figure of $4,000,000. state equalized. Tax rate now stands at 31.73 mill including operating and debt service. This millage included the county allocation of 14.09 mills. These figures are from 1953 tax statements.

A staggering blow hit the school district when in July of 1933, the First National Bank of Ypsilanti, then the depository of school funds, informed the district that by order from Washington the bank was closed to further business and the school funds were frozen. The last installment of that money was paid in 1946.

In 1948 the Building and Site Fund which was voted in 1944 and could run for only 5 years expired. At a special election in September 1949 a new Building and Site fund levy of 5 mills was levied to run twenty years-the five year limit having been abolished. Also an increase of 2 mills for operation for five years was voted. In 1953 the 2 mill voted millage expired and the voters approved a six mill tax levy for school operation for the next five years.

In 1952-53 a three room unit was added to the Mary D. Mitchell School. This was financed almost entirely by a federal grant of $65,006.71. This grant was obtained through the persistent efforts of the Superintendent L. F. Krueger.

Community School

The old school on Platt Rd., renamed Community School, was rented for the year 1952-53 to the Adventist Organization and to the Dixboro School District, each conducting classes there. In June of 1954 the pro9perty including the 9 lots was sold to the Washtenaw Plumbing Co. for #13,500.00 for use of offices and warehouse.

Personnel, 1948-1952

Going back to the personnel of the school in 1948-49 there was Margaret Charbeneau, Violet Leabu, Carolyn Lowery, Barbara Mautz, Mary D. Mitchell, Ruth Norman, Erma Orr, Mary Sawyer, Avis Spike, Margary Lawson, Gerard Berry, Doris Bleekman, Nanette Campbell, Isabel Climer, Mary Durfee, Eva Clasius, Johnne Glass, Dorothie Hall and Donna Lathrop on the teaching staff; L. F. Krueger, Superintendent; Kenneth Strang, bus driver; Oscar Olivia, custodian; Hugh Wilson, attorney. Board Members were R. R. Sorg, President; Charles C. Smith and Howard Tripp, trustees; Russell Benedict, Treasurer; and Tari Bagchi, Secretary. Donald Beck and Francis Allen replaced Edward Tripp and Russell Benedict.

The 1949-50 teaching staff comprised Doris Bleekman, Mary Durfee, Donna Lathrop, Violet Leabu, Ruth Norman, Erma Orr, Mary Sawyer, Avis Spike, Corrintha Salsbury, Mirabel Sweet, Ruby Magee, Mary Dalrymple, Phyllis Couglin, Marianne Briley, Rosemary Betman and Eva Anderson. School Board members were R. R. Sorg, president; Mrs. Dorothy Wilson, Secretary; Russell Benedict, Treasurer; Mr. Wm. Kelley, Clifford Cobb, Francis Allen, trustees. The year 1950- 51 teachers were Bonnie Beam, Mary Dalrymple, Violet Leabu, Ruth Norman, Mary Sawyer, Corrintha Salsbury, Avis Spike, Ruby Magu, Ann Fowler, Carol Neef, Anne Hudson, Sylvia Hildner, Lester Heddle and Wm. Chadwick. Mrs. Karwyn Regan came as speech correctionist. The custodian in charge was Edward Davis. School board members were Francis Allen, president; Mrs. Tari Bagchi, Secretary; Clifford Cobb, treasurer; Mrs. Eva Kelley and Donald Strite, trustees.

The 19511-52 staff included William Chadwick; Mary Dalrymple; Lester Heddle, Sylvia Hildner, Bonnie Beam Hinckley, Anne Hudson, Carol Neef, Ruth Norman, Avis Spike, Margaret Soule, Mary Lyons, Dorothy Lirette, Alma Cooper, Betty Enfield, Mary Eldersveld and Harriet Baxter; Mrs. June Anderson, Sec. to Superintendent. Donald Strite became president of Board of Education, Eva Kelley, Secretary; Clifford Cobb, Teasurer; Richard Shaw and Martin Wagner trustees. Substitute teachers not mentioned previously have been Mary Mitchell, Eloise Bell, Margaret McCann, Mary Wingo, Maxine Wolfe, Helen Whipple, Lillian Perkins, Vivian Mullendore, Ruth Marker, Allene Kiddle, Gayle Jaowitz, Car4olyn Gonvick, Sylvia Chandler, Sarah Bird, Hazel Anderson and Mrs. George Blair.

Roberts and Meadowview Schools

On March 4, 1952 the Board of Education of Roberts School met with the district No. 9 board to discuss the merger of the two districts. The Roberts School stated that it had $3,000 in building and site fund; $2,500 on hand for operation with an additional $2,000 payable soon. Since then the Roberts District has built a new school named "Meadowview".

1952-1954

During this same year this district became a registration district for voters, registrations to be made at Pittsfield School.

Andrew Campbell, Mrs. Lewis Elsifor, Carl Read, Betty Hoffman and Ed Davis served as bus drivers in 1952-53. The school personnel for 52-53 included beside the bus drivers L. F. Krueger, Supt. Teachers were Doris Bailey, Mary Dalrymple, Janice Pike, Dorothy Lirette, Alma Cooper, Mary Lyons, Dorothy Quradnik, Margaret Lirette, Dorothy Mildner, Anne Hudson, Bonnie Hinckley, Carol Neef, Betty Enfield, Karwyn Rigan, Board of Education Warren Breithaupt, Pres.; Eva Kelly, Secy.; Martin Wagner, Donald Strite and Stanley Richardson, trustees. Mary Jane Savageau became part time clerk in the office. June Anderson remained as secy. to the Superintendent. Mrs. Crout, Betty Bishop, Veston Duncan and Douglas Small were part time custodians.

The year 1953-54 brought changes in the school staff. Betty Lee (Norris) Bennett, Wanda Gustafson, Donna Carpenter, Mary Wingo, Christine Smith, Lou Ann DeHaven, Janet Buchanan, and Claudine Pier became members. Mary Dalrymple, Janet Buchanan, Janet Pike, Wanda Gustafson, Donna Carpenter resigned in second semester, and Christine Smith and Gloria DeHaven were given leave of absence. To add to the 54-55 staff, Shirley Musser, Dorothy Arnesser, Mary Webster, Myrtle Willoughby and Julia Senstius were named. Athol Ward was named custodian to succeed Karl Wenger who had charge of the work at Mitchell School. Dorothy Lirette was named principal of Pittsfield school and Alma Cooper principal of Mary D. Mitchell School.

Frieda Moore, David Davis, Athol Ward are the bus drivers.

The School Board in fall of '54 includes Stanley Richardson, President; Arthur Carpenter, Treasurer, Robert Harrington, Elton McNeil and Richard Mann. Dickinson replaced Mann who moved out of the district.

In 1951-52 the East Ann Arbor City Council was petitioned by the Board of Education to extend connection between Platt Rd. and the school. The City Council did not extend the street but instead the School District built a gravel walk connecting Lorraine St. with the school.

In the June 1952 election the question of providing school children with text books, free of charge, resulted in a yes vote.

The year 53-54 saw the beginning of the home-bound program, whereby physically handicapped children who are unable to attend public school are given instruction at home.

In September 1954 all kindergarten and first grade children in the district attend Pittsfield School and also all children second though third grades who live north of Packard Road. Those who are in grades two and three who live south of Packard Rd.; and all fourth, fifth and sixth grade children attend Mitchell School. The people have voted interschool bus transportation within the district.

Extension Courses for adults are offered in Ceramics. Mrs. Kay Wenger and Mrs. Agnes Abrams are the instructors. Mrs. Weatherford was employed in 53-54 to teach advanced work on the potters wheel. Other courses that have been offered are Modern Novel; Psychology, Free Hand Drawing.

In June of 1954 for the first time Commencement Exercises were held for the sixth grade children who would leave this district to enter seventh grade in Ann Arbor. Rev. Lemon, introduced by Stanley Richardson, president of the Board of Education, gave a talk and Mrs. Mitchell presented the diplomas to the pupils. It has been decided to make sixth grade graduating ceremonies an annual event.

Parent-Teacher Association

Early in the history of the school an active Parent-Teacher Association was formed and affiliated with the State Parent-Teacher Association. Later the organization was named Parent-Teacher Group as a local organization. Some of the many things this group has done for the schools are: serving milk to all school children during the depression; providing evening movies at a nominal charge; purchasing play ground equipment; buying chairs for use at Community meetings; furnishing cars and accompanying children and teachers on trips; buying visual aid equipment; assisting at clinics and in many other ways assisting in the work of the school. The spring festival put on by the Parent Teacher Group each year for the past three years has been a big success and netted the Organization about $500.00 each year.

The room mothers is another institution which is very helpful. Generally two mothers are chosen for each room by the teacher of that room. These mothers help with extra activities, such as teas for parents; parties for the children; education trips, making stage curtains and blackout curtains etc.

The local Kiwanis Club, for several years, has furnished cider and doughnuts for a Halloween party for the children and given Christmas trees to the schools.

The District in 1954

In 1954 there are three buildings including the annex at Mitchell School, with a total of 16 room besides 2 kitchens, office space and storage rooms.

The school board arranges for pupil accident insurance with the World Insurance Co. providing protection for the children at low cost to the parents.

The County Area Study begun in 1946 has been carried on almost continuously. On February 16, 1954 Arthur Carpenter and Richard Mann (now resigned) were instructed to work with Al Blashfield on a proposal to formulate a Regional Planning Committee including Lodi, Pittsfield, Ann Arbor and Scio Townships. Mr. Carpenter, who has been elected chairman for the County School Organization, with others is working on the proposal to secure better organization of school districts.

Many of the schools in the county are interested and actively working for more efficient organization of school districts to give the pupils a broader curriculum and extracurricular activities.

Some comparisons of then and now show great changes. With the growth of population the primary fund receipts have increased from $383.10 beginning in 1926 to $4,900.00 in 1945 to $16,841.30 in 1954.

State Aid from its beginning in 1930 has increased from $610.24 to $9,310.00 in 1944-45 to $74,233.61 in 1953-54.

Sales Tax Diversion now $19,990.04.

Library money in 1926 was $12.88 now has grown to nearly $1,600.00. $1,221.64 in 1953-54.

Costs have increased in even greater proportion. Transportation which began with about $10.00 now reaches $4,000.00.

High School tuition from $175.00 to - U.M. High for 5 pupils @ $35.00 per year to $309.72 to Ann Arbor High and U.M. High from $9.25 per pupil to $207 Ann Arbor and $50.00 to U.M. High.

Local taxes now $66,397.27 from $6,469.05 in 1926. Instruction from $1,500.00 in 1926-27 to $114,250.00 in '53-54. Total receipts in '53-54 were $218,729.20 including $4,298.81 on hand at beginning of school year.

The May 1954 census counted a grand total of 1,470 children ages 0 to 19. 738 of these are under 5 years of age and 732 between the ages of 5 and 19. The census in 1926 showed 175 children of school age.

Base salary for teachers in 1926 - $125.00
Base salary for teachers with B.A. in 1954-55 - $3,300 to Max $5,100
Base salary for teachers with M.A. in 1954-55 - $3,500 to Max $5,300

Janitor in 1926 received $270.00 per year now two custodians and two helpers are paid approximately $8,200.00.

 

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