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John L. Wetherill School
March 2, 1931 - Present
Wetherill School, December 16, 2001 © John A. Bullock III.
24th & Potter St.
Principals | Faculty | Staff | Sports | Classes | School History | Recollections
Miss Springer, Kindergarten (c. 1945-46) - 4
Mrs. Painter - Kindergarten - 2
Fall 1956 - Spring 1963: - 3
Kindergarten: Wilhelmina K. Patterson followed
by Marion Painter
Music: Barry Vaughan
A list of Wetherill School faculty taken from the notes of William G. Nealy, Jr., principal July 1956 - June 1982: - 6
|Staff:||Mr. William E. Walley, custodian
for many years and beloved by pupils and teachers - Thanks
to Kay Hutchinson, niece, firstname.lastname@example.org
Custodians c. Fall 1956 - Spring 1963
|Sports:||Some Phys Ed. Teachers|
of Miss Marion Sherwood's Kindergarten class, 1930, (the first
Kindergarten class at Wetherill) courtesy of Janet Andrews Moulder, email@example.com
of Miss Springer's Kindergarten class, 1945-46,
|School History:||John L. Wetherill School opened
on March 2, 1931. The building had a total cost of $160,000. Interestingly, some of the
architect's early sketches depicted a three-story building.
Miss Laura Dougherty, a native of Chester was chosen as the school's first principal and she served in that capacity until her retirement on June 30, 1956.
The previous John Wetherill School (formerly Oak Grove School) was located on the opposite side of 24th Street.
|Recollections:||"I only lived in
Chester til I was 9 but have many memories ... am I the only one to remember that wonderful kindergarten teacher in 1945-46 Miss
Springer? I remember some classmates were Richard Curl... Stella
Baziotis..Jane Bartholmew.....Diane Alcutt..Mickey Mason...Joan McIntyre, Joyce
Hollywood...Louise? Vincent? Gail? and I have a picture of the entire class if
anyone is still alive and would like to see it email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org those were the days !!
In those days I was Janet Goldsworthy and we lived right across the street from the school.."
- Janet (Goldsworthy) Kelly-Ogurko, email@example.com
"People ask me how I can remember all of their [the teachers] names. My answer is that I was treated to one of the best educations one could hope for in a public school. How could I possibly forget them?
"I have many vivid memories about Wetherill. I have trouble explaining the air raid drills to my young daughter. Perhaps my most vivid single memory was the moment I learned about JFK being shot. I was in Mrs. Long's fourth grade at the time and her room was at the end of the hall on the second floor. My seat was positioned so that I was able to see all the way down the hall if the door was open. The first room on the right was Miss Watkins' room. Miss Watkins had a reputation of being a bit stern so it didn't seem all that unusual when I saw her door open and a girl came out in the hall crying. Then there was another, and another. I started to get worried about what must have been going on in that room. Then Miss Watkins came out crying ... I assumed that the world must be coming to an end. Mrs. Long went to see what the problem was and when she came back her face was a white as a sheet. She said, "Boys and girls, President Kennedy has just been shot." Wow!
"There was another moment that speaks to the times in which I grew up. Again this was in Mrs. Long's class. Each morning we said a prayer right after pledging the flag and on this particular morning Mrs. Long told us to ask God to make sure there were going to be no problems when "the colored children arrive today." It was the first day of bussing. We said our prayers and went off to gym class. When we returned there were Michelle, Valerie and James, three abundantly normal kids who completed 4th, 5th and 6th grades with us. It's hard to understand what all the fuss was about.
"I cannot express how much I completely adored my music teachers, Mrs. Vaughn and Mrs. Roberts. These wonderful women took their jobs very seriously and delivered from the heart. Their singing voices could charm birds and they instilled in me a level of self confidence that has had a profound impact on my personal and professional life.
"I'm sure the world has changed several times since I left Wetherill School. I'm just grateful that I could be there when I was."
John (Ed) Gebhart III, firstname.lastname@example.org
"John Gebhart's stories about Mrs. Long's class
were especially interesting. Her comments about praying the day that bussing first
occurred: her husband Charles was Superintendent of
Schools for Chester then.
"Many of these teachers lived in the neighborhood and walked to work which further strengthened the community feeling there. I remember that I was in Adelaide Cornogg's last class prior to her retirement in 1963 and that Mr. Nealy said that she had come to John Wetherill when it opened its doors in 1933. It would be interesting to hear some stories from the 30's and 40's.
"I have a very strong memory of wonderful days there. I attended from fall 1956 through spring 1963. The idea of neighborhood schools where the pupils went home for lunch is so alien to contemporary life; I had the good fortune to also attend the First Presbyterian Church where many of the Wetherill teachers also taught Sunday School."
"I attended there in my youth (1935-1939-40). Laura U. Dougherty was the Principal then and ruled with the proverbial "Iron Hand"."
E. Saxon "Sax" Wyatt, email@example.com
1 - Thanks to Kay Hutchinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 - Thanks to John (Ed) Gebhart III, email@example.com, for this information
3 - Thanks to Jgodin13@aol.com for this information
4 - Thanks to Janet (Goldsworthy) Kelly-Ogurko, firstname.lastname@example.org, for this information.
5 - Thanks to Bob Vaughan, email@example.com, for this information.
6 - Thanks to Eleanor Carroll Nealy, Trainer, PA, widow of William G. Nealy, Jr., for this information taken from notes that Mr. Nealy had kept during his tenure as Wetherill School principal.
If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about this school, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2001, 2002, 2006 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 02/24/07