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Success and Failure 1910 - 1920 - Part 2
Other modernizations or improvements within the district during the 1910-1920 decade included:
--The School Board resolved that the high school students be permitted to have dances in 1917.
--The Board paid school teachers for wages lost due to illness, contrary to former policy
--Summer school for a six-week period was opened to enable students with poor grades to make them up.
--The first school nurse, Miss Katherine Kraft, was hired on a part-time basis.
--Minimum salary for teachers was established at $100 per school month in the grammar-school level.
On October 1, 1917, probably as the result of World War I, a Capt. Streit was hired to conduct military training at the high school.
--A night school was established on October 31, 1917. Classes were to be in commercial Spanish, typewriting, shorthand and stenographer training, dressmaking, shop arithmetic, construction and repair of automobiles, architectural drawing, business English, Red Cross instruction and folk dancing.
--Teachers who served out their contracts without either getting married or resigning were given a $50 bonus at the end of the year.
--Federal aid was accepted on June 28, 1918. Supt. Nims was "authorized to fill out and file with proper persons the regular application for Federal Aid for vocational industrial education, vocational agriculture and home economics for all day, part time or evening school."
--The first powered vehicle was purchased in 1918 by the School Board, a Buick truck for $905. The Buick was chosen over the Ford because the Buick boasted "demountable rims, electric lights, and an electric self starter."
--A motion picture "machine" was purchased for the High School auditorium.
--A new minimum wage for all teachers was set up in 1919 at $1,080 per year.
--A junior reserve officers' training corps was established in 1919 under Major M. G. Browne.
--Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people asked the Board to build a high school for colored students. (This was never built. The high school was not segregated, but, until 1951, the elementary schools were.)
As the decade ended, the high school had 19 teachers. The grammar schools employed 89 teachers. The budget was $249,782.20. Total enrollment at the high school was 538 students and there were 3,582 students in the elementary schools.
When the decade opened in 1910, S. C. Newsom was superintendent and remained until the spring of 1916. Newsom was highly regarded in Tucson as superintendent. His letter of resignation was dated March 28, 1916 and stated:
"Since my election to the superintendency of the Tucson Public Schools in May, 1908, George J. Roskruge, Doctor W. V. Whitmore, S. Y. Barkley and John B. Wright have served as members of the School Board. These gentlemen have all been in complete accord with my policy of simplification of the school curriculum, of intensive work, and of the employment of the very best teachers irrespective of any other consideration--in brief, that the schools exist for the children.
"Mr. Harry Drachman has declared himself as opposed to this policy. I do not feel therefore, that I care to serve as superintendent with Mr. Drachman as a member of the School Board. I hereby tender my resignation to take effect at the conclusion of the school term, June 1, 1916. Very respectfully, S. C. Newsom."
Newsom was followed by Supt. Harold Steele, a former principal of the high school. Steele remained in the position until the spring of 1918 and was replaced by F. A. Nims, the target of the Citizen in the 1919 bond issue. He departed from Tucson in the spring of 1920 to be replaced by C. E. Rose.
As the decade began, George J. Roskruge was President of the Board and members were W. V. Whitmore and John B. Wright.
Wright succeeded himself in the 1910 election. Whitmore became chairman and Wright was clerk. Whitmore was re-elected in 1911 with 345 votes and his opponent, a Mr. Worsley, received 172 votes. Whitmore was elected President and Wright Clerk.
In 1912, Roskruge was re-elected to the Board with 750 votes. His opponent, Dr. Rosa Goodrich Boido received 278 votes. Whitmore was renamed President of the Board and Wright was renamed Clerk.
Wright was unopposed in 1913 and received 189 votes. Whitmore and Wright were retained as President and Clerk.
The Board remained the same in 1914 with Whitmore being re-elected unopposed, and being re-elected President by the Board with Wright staying on as Clerk.
In 1915, Roskruge did not run for re-election. In an uninteresting election, S. Y. Barkley received 26 votes, G. W. Pittock received 1 vote and G. J. Upton got 1. Whitmore was kept on as President and Wright was elected Clerk.
Wright was opposed in 1916 by Harry Drachman who won a hotly-contested race, 716 to 695. Drachman was made President of the Board and Dr. Whitmore was elected clerk.
The Board's first woman member was elected in 1917, Mrs. Clara Fish Roberts, a former Tucson school teacher replacing Whitmore who did not run for re-election. Mrs. Roberts was immediately made President and Barkley was elected Clerk.
John E. White succeeded himself in 1918 and Mrs. Roberts was retained as President and White as Clerk. White had been appointed a member of the Board during the 1917-18 school year when Barkley resigned. Other member of the Board was Harry Drachman.
In 1919, L. E. Smith was elected to the Board in March. Drachman did not seek re-election. White was made President of the Board and Mrs. Roberts was elected Clerk.
Smith resigned after the 1919 bond failure and Dr. H. Spoehr was appointed in his place.
As the decade closed, enrollment for the school year 1919-1920 in the fall was 479 in the high school and 2,776 in the nine elementary schools--Roskruge, Safford, Holladay, Mansfeld, Drachman, Davis, University Heights, Menlo Park and Dunbar.
When schools closed in May, 1920, enrollment at the high school was 538 and 3,582 were enrolled in the elementary schools.
At this time, schools were financed by a state appropriation, divided among the school districts according to size, and by a county contribution to the school districts of $35 per pupil in average daily attendance. In 1917, a district school tax was made permissive by the state legislature.
First Hundred Years, By James F. Cooper, Edited by John H. Fahr, Tucson, Arizona, 1967