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John L. Wetherill School

March 2, 1931 - Present

Wetherill School, December 16, 2001

Wetherill School, December 16, 2001
Wetherill School, December 16, 2001 John A. Bullock III.

24th & Potter St.

Principals | Faculty | Staff | Sports | Classes | School History | Recollections

Miss Laura U. Dougherty; Photo courtesy of Eleanor Nealy
Miss Laura U. Dougherty
(Photo courtesy of Eleanor Nealy)

[Another Picture]

Miss Laura U. Dougherty (1931 - 1956) - 1, 5, 6
Mr. William G. Nealy, Jr.; Photo courtesy of Eleanor Nealy
Mr. William G. Nealy, Jr.
(Photo courtesy of Eleanor Nealy)
William G. Nealy, Jr. (July 1956 - June 1982) - 2, 5, 6

Faculty: Some Teachers:

Miss Jolene Beggs, Music - 1
Miss Adelaide Cornogg, Sixth grade (?) - 1
Leonore R. Mullin, (d. 8/12/2000)
Miss Sherwood, Kindergarten - 1

(Picture of first Wetherill Kindergarten class, 1930)

Miss Springer, Kindergarten (c. 1945-46) - 4

c. 1959-1966:

Mrs. Painter - Kindergarten - 2
Mrs. Farkas - First Grade - 2
Mrs. McClure - Second Grade - 2
Mrs. Beatty - Third Grade - 2
Mrs. Long - Fourth Grade - 2 (Mrs. Long's husband, Charles, was superintendent of schools)
Mrs. Berger - Fifth Grade - 2
Miss Watkins - Sixth Grade - 2

Mrs. Barrie W. Vaughn - 2

"[My wife,] Barrie W Vaughan taught vocal music at Martin and Jefferis before going to Wetherill in 1946 and served the balance of her teaching career there." - 5

Mrs. Roberts - 2
Anthony Panalopolous (Instrumental music) - 2


Fall 1956 - Spring 1963: - 3

Picture of the 1956 Wetherill School Faculty - 5

Kindergarten:   Wilhelmina K. Patterson followed by Marion Painter
lst Grade:          Elizabeth Coeburn followed by Deborah Farkas and Georgianna Bowen
2nd Grade          Elizabeth McClure and Eleanor Bullock
3rd Grade          Lydia Bliss (later Beatty) and Louise Casciano
4th Grade          Eunice Long and Anna Holt
5th Grade          Catherine Giles followed by Ethel Berger and Mary Mutzel
6th Grade          Adelaide Cornogg and Lavina Watkins

Music: Barry Vaughan

A list of Wetherill School faculty taken from the notes of William G. Nealy, Jr., principal July 1956 - June 1982: - 6



BOWEN, Georgiana W March 2, 1931 June 1964


COBOURN, Elisabeth March 2, 1931 June 1962


CORNOGG, Adelaide D March 2, 1931 June 1963


GILES, Catharine McAskie Sept. 1943 April 26, 1961


BULLOCK, Eleanor Sept. 1945
also Sept 1953
June 1946
April 19, 1976


NOTHNAGLE, Clara J Sept. 1945 October 31, 1956


VAUGHAN, Barry W Sept. 1947 June 1964


WATKINS, Lavina J Sept. 7, 1946 June 16, 1972


BOFFEMMYER, Leonore R Sept. 7, 1946 June 12, 1959


BLISS, Lydia Sweney Sept. 7, 1948 June 16, 1972


LONG, Eunice Oct. 2, 1950 June 16, 1972


CASCIANO, Louise Sept. 3, 1952


SMITH, John J Sept. 1953 June 1957


HOLT, Anne Logue Sept. 1954 June 1973


HARTMAN, Thelma Z Sept. 1955 June 1956
FARKAS, Deborah Miller Sept. 5, 1956 June 1971
PATTERSON, Wilhelmina Sept. 5, 1956 June 12, 1959
SELIGMAN, June Sept. 5, 1956 June 1957
DAVIS, Reese Sept. 1957 June 12, 1959
RHOOD, Frances Sept. 1957 June 1958
ROYER, Lee Sept. 1959 June 17, 1960
PAINTER, Mrs. Marion Sept. 1959 June 1968
MUTZEL, Mrs. Mary Sept. 1959 June 1964
PECK, Miss Sara Lou Sept. 1960 June 1961
KOMARNICKI, Mr. James Sept. 1961 June 1964
NEMETZ, Miss Carol Sept. 1962 June 1965
BERGER, Mrs. Ethel Sept. 1962 June 1970
GORDON, Mrs. Christine Sept. 1964 June 1968
HORNE, Miss Patricia Sept. 1964 June 1965
MONKAITIS, Miss Jeanette Sept 1964 June 1967
STANDRING, Mrs. Lucille Nov. 1, 1964 Nov. 3, 1972
MARTINEZ (WILLIAMS), Mrs. RUth Sept. 1964 June 1977
CARTER, Mr. George Sept. 1965
ROBERTS, Mrs. Maureen Sept. 1965 June 1968
DEJARNETTE, Mr. Willie Sept. 1966 Dec. 23, 1975
FASS, Miss Margaret Sept. 1967 March 20, 1970
HOLMES, Mrs. Mildred Sept. 1968
RUDNICK, Mrs. Selina Sept. 1968
JACKSON, Mrs. Clara Sept. 1968
CONNOLLY, Mrs. Frances Sept. 1966 Oct. 31, 1971
(DEJARNETTE) MURRAY, Miss Pamela Sept. 1970 June 1979
WALKER, Miss Connie Sept. 1970 Oct. 1971
GOLDSTEIN, Miss Sandra Sept. 1971
BRODY, Miss Helene Nov. 1, 1971 June 1976
CARUSO, Miss Lynn Sept. 1, 1972 June 1976
DOYLE, Miss Belinda Sept. 1, 1972 June 1974
CRIST, Mrs. Margaret Sept. 1, 1972
SAVAGE, Miss Ann Sept. 1, 1972
COUGHLIN, Miss Joan Nov. 6, 1972 June 1974
SUMMERS, Mr. Jan Sept. 1, 1973 June 1974
BALLARD, Mrs. Mary Ann Twarog Sept. 1975
SEIVERD, Mrs. Karen Sept. 1976
PALM, Ruth Sept. 1976
MASISCHIN, Jonathan Sept. 1977
WEBSTER, Mrs. Alma Sept. 1976 June 1980
WILSON, Miss Alice Sept. 1976 June 1977
KAIN, Mrs. Cheryl Sept. 1977 June 1978
HIEGLER, Bernardine Sept. 1976
SMITH, Deborah Sept. 1979 June 1981
ARCE, Juanita Sept. 1981
JACKSON, Jane Sept. 1981
BLAKE, Gertrude
WEIR, Arlene
WRIGHT, FLorence
MOYER, Amanda
KRAUS, Maureen (Secretary)
WOODLAND, Miss Grace
ROTHSTER, Mrs. Faye Feb. 2, 1968 Feb 3, 1978
GEORGE, Mrs. Eleanor Feb. 22, 1978 Nov. 23, 1981
BURNELL, Nancy March 1, 1982
McKIM (?)
(KREIDER), Patricia Fry
GIBBS, Suzanne


Staff: Mr. William E. Walley, custodian for many years and beloved by pupils and teachers - Thanks to Kay Hutchinson, niece, bkhutch@dmv.com

Custodians c. Fall 1956 - Spring 1963
Mr. Costello
Mrs. McVay - 3

Sports: Some Phys Ed. Teachers

Phys Ed.:
Lee Royer - 2
Mr Jim Korminicki - 2, 3
Mrs. Martinez - 2

Classes: Picture of Miss Marion Sherwood's Kindergarten class, 1930, (the first Kindergarten class at Wetherill) courtesy of Janet Andrews Moulder, jmoulder@aol.com 

Kindergarten Class 1938

Picture of Miss Springer's Kindergarten class, 1945-46,
courtesy of Janet (Goldsworthy) Kelly-Ogurko, born2beluved@aol.com

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 @ born2beluved@aol.com 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, born2beluved@aol.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, jgebhartiii@yahoo.com

"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.  

"Catherine Giles and her husband were killed in an auto accident on the Conchester Highway in 1961 or 1962.  He was Principal of Chester High School.

"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, racersax@magpage.com


1 - Thanks to Kay Hutchinson, bkhutch@dmv.com

2 - Thanks to John (Ed) Gebhart III, jgebhartiii@yahoo.com, for this information

3 - Thanks to Jgodin13@aol.com for this information

4 - Thanks to Janet (Goldsworthy) Kelly-Ogurko, born2beluved@aol.com, for this information.

5 - Thanks to Bob Vaughan, bbvaughan@aol.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 john@oldchesterpa.com

2001, 2002, 2006 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 02/24/07