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The Boom Years 1950 - 1960 - Part 3

"Of particular interest was the role television played (for the first time) in the bond vote. The Board minutes report criticism of one local station in particular which opposed the issue and especially the station's news reporter--Chris Cole, who usually centered his somewhat limited interest on crime news.

While in this election the people were against bonding their property for building purposes, they were eager to accept federal money apparently feeling they were getting something for nothing. Along with the bond proposals was one to accept or reject $720,000 in federal funds. This question passed with 4,368 "Yes" votes to 2,990 "No" votes.

In 1958, more schools went on double sessions as a result of the defeat of the bond issue. Even new Pueblo High School was forced to rent rooms at the Tucson Indian Training School in order to conduct classes. The School Board, realizing that it must call another bond issue, prepared its course carefully. Both the Star and the Citizen were consulted as well the Chamber of Commerce and other civic groups. As a result, backing was secured for a $7,358,000 bond issue set for October 21, 1958. The total was represented by four ballots--elementary school sites at $250,000; addition to Pueblo High School at $626,000; girls gymnasiums for Rincon and Pueblo High Schools at $471,000, and elementary school construction at $6,01 1,000.

All four issues passed handily. The vote was:

Elementary sites--9,167 "Yes" to 3,291 "No."

Pueblo High addition--9,085 "Yes" to 3,77 1 "No."

Gymnasium--6,831 "Yes" to 5,040 "No."

Elementary Schools--9,346 "Yes" to 3,29 1 "No."

Helping with passage of the bond issue was the Catholic Church of Tucson which, despite the parochial school system, urged its members to support the bonds.

The 1958 bond issue built the Pueblo and Rincon High Schools additions, additions to nine elementary schools and two junior high schools and eight new elementary schools and one new junior high school. The new elementary schools were to be Wheeler, Sewell, Hudlow, Whitmore, Myers, White, Brichta, and Roberts. The new junior high was Fickett.

Wheeler, Sewell and Hudlow Elementary Schools were completed in 1959, while the others were completed in 1960.

Wheeler Elementary School, 1818 E. Avenida del Sol, was opened in September, 1959. Scholer & Fuller were the architects and J. A. Binns was the contractor. The school was built with 30 classrooms and a general purpose room at a cost of $666,215.30. From time to time, portable classrooms have been used.

The school was named for Winnie Wheeler, a teacher and principal in District 1 for 31 years prior to her retirement in 1953. She was born in a small midwest town, Beaver City, Nebraska, and taught in several small schools in Colorado after studying at Colorado Teachers College at Greeley. She then became a "critic teacher" at the University of Wyoming, teaching new instructors classroom methods.

In 1922 Miss Wheeler was invited to Tucson to become principal of the original Holladay School. When it was torn down, she became principal of Roosevelt School. At the time of her retirement, she was also serving as principal of Richey School.

Upon retiring, she spent a number of years in Hawaii and then returned to Arizona to reside in Flagstaff. She was able to attend dedication ceremonies at Wheeler School on November 10, 1960. At that time a former student, James N. Corbett Jr. (at present, a Tucson City Councilman running for mayor), said of her: "She was the most understanding teacher I ever knew. Her main endeavor was to make good citizens." Among other former students of Miss Wheeler's was Henry Egbert, who later became principal of Sahuaro High School.

Miss Wheeler died at Inspiration Hospital in Miami, Arizona, April 4, 1962, at the age of 73.

Sewell Elementary School, 425 N. Sahuaro Avenue, was opened in September, 1959. It was designed by Terry Atkinson and built by Murray J. Shiff Construction Co. at a cost of $342,000.52. It had 12 classrooms and a general purpose room. Later, four classrooms and a library were built at a cost of $94,877.

The school was named for W. Arthur Sewell, who started the Tucson High School band in 1919 and continued to lead it until 1950. He remained as Supervisor of Instrumental Music for District 1 until his retirement in 1956.

Sewell was a native of Kansas and graduated from Bethany College of Music at Lindsborg, Kansas, later receiving his master's degree from DePauw University of Music, Indiana, in 1932. During World War I, Sewell directed the 46th Infantry Band. While with District 1, Sewell wrote a number of march pieces including the THS school song.

At his retirement, when he directed a concert by the THS band, Sewell said, "You've got to have equipment for school music, and Tucson has always been generous in supplying those needs."

First principal of Sewell School was Miss Gertrude M. Wagner.

Hudlow School, 6900 E. 5th Street, opened November 9, 1959. It was built with 12 classrooms and a multi-purpose room by W. F. Conelly Construction Co. at a cost of $299,366. Burr DuBois was the architect.

Four classrooms were added in 1962 at a cost of $148,970.

The school was named for Ulah Hudlow, who taught in Tucson District 1 from 1921 to the year of her retirement, 1955.

She was born in Russellville, Arkansas, and moved with her family to Bisbee, Arizona, where she attended grade school. She also attended schools at Globe, Safford, and at the Santa Rita mine in Sonoita.

She completed her high school and normal school work at Tempe Normal School in 1909. Later, she attended summer school at Tempe and received her BA degree in 1936 from Arizona State Teachers College at Tempe.

Her first teaching assignment was at Thompson Valley near Prescott where in 1909-10 she taught grades one through nine. In 1911, she taught the fourth, fifth and sixth grades at Buckeye grammar school and in 1912 she taught at Rohrig School near Tempe. From 1913 to 1920, she was at Washington School in Winslow and Winslow High School.

Arriving in Tucson in 1921, she was assigned to Drachman School and remained there until 1925 when she was transferred to Roskruge Elementary School to teach the first grade.

The following year she taught first grade at University Heights. She became principal of University Heights in 1948.

Hudlow School's first principal was Mrs. Bernice Harkrader.

With the mushrooming expansion of the District 1 physical plant in the 1950-60 decade, came the necessity for providing housing for the many non-educational functions. It was during these years that the maintenance shops and warehousing facilities were built at 480 S. Campbell Avenue. The shops, etc., were constructed in 1954 at a cost of $181,700. They now house the garages for school busses and other vehicles, repair shops, paint shop, supplies warehouse, clothing bank, laundry and various affiliated facilities.

Also during this period, the athletic grounds on South Campbell were developed. The grounds were used chiefly by Tucson High School.

Confronted with the massive new physical complex, the School Board and Supt. Morrow realized that the administrative organization needed expansion, modernization and refinement to keep pace and through the 1950's and 1960's constant change was made in the structure of the administration, located at Education Center, 1010 E. 10th Street. The history of the physical expansion at 1010 E. 10th Street is recorded earlier in this volume. With a two-story addition completed using 10-cent levy funds, the center still was not adequate.

Space was being rented by the District in a building at 75 N. Park Avenue, across the street from Education Center, for the Special Education Department. Other space was rented at 821 E. Broadway for the Education Materials annex.

When Supt. Morrow assumed his duties in 1941, the administrative arm of the District was small; its responsibilities were at a minimum. Later, of necessity, the administration was vast but kept relatively simple in its structure. In 1951, a report on the "Administrative Organization and Relations for the Tucson Public Schools" was turned over to the School Board was turned over to the School Board by a special study committee. Its findings revamped the administrative structure, placing the School Board at the top of the organizational chart with the Superintendent directly below the Board in the line of responsibility. Below the Superintendent were four divisions--Assist-Superintendent, Administrative Assistant, Assistant Superintendent for Buildings and Grounds, and Comptroller-Purchasing Agent.

Many refinements and expansions were made in the organizational chart of the administrative arm of the School District.

Offices and officers were: Board of Trustees, Mrs. Bruce Dusenberry, President; Mrs. Walter Hafley, Clerk; Mr. Soleng Tom, Member; Dr. Harmon Harrison, Member; Dr. William Pistor, Member.

Superintendent, Dr. Robert D. Morrow; Assistant County Attorney, Lawrence Ollason; Public Information, John H. Fahr, Director; Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Thomas L. Lee; Assistant Superintendent for Administration and School Services, Dr. Elbert D. Brooks.

Business Manager, H. V. Summers; Assist-Business Manager, Norman R. Willis; Administrative Assistant to Business Manager, E. Talbott; Financial Director, James S. Culbreth; Purchasing Agent, James L. Bee; Director of Data Processing, E. A. Kester.

Asst. Supt. for Secondary Education, Allan Hawthorne; Asst. Supt. for Elementary Education, Frederica Wilder; Supervisor Intermediate Grades, Dorothy G. Talbert; Supervisor Primary Grades, Mrs. Jewell C. Taylor; Supervisor Special Education, Mrs. Laura D. Ganoung; Pre-School Coordinator, Ulysses G. Upshaw; Principal Adult Evening School and Adult Basic Education, Delbert D. Shadley; Coordinator Cooperative Education, Chester L. Sheaffer.

Director Educational Materials Center, Wendell Eckholm; Director of Music, Dr. Max T. Ervin; Director of Art, Dr. Nathan I. Krevitsky; Director of Engineering, W. Paul Norris; Director of Maintenance & Operation, William A. Burke Jr.

Bookstore Director, Peter C. Charowhas; Director of School Lunch, Mrs. Lucille S. Davison; Coordinator of Auxiliary Agencies, Herbert H. Cooper; Director of Health Services, Dr. Frederick M. Kenan; Director of Personnel Department., John Timbers; Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Dr. A. M. Gustafson; Director of Research, Dr. Charles F. Grubbs; Co-ordinator of Radio-Television, Glenwood E. Broyles.

A more full and complete explanation of the above responsibilities and duties would require a volume separate from this school history and it would be out-of-date upon publication because of the ever-increasing advancements made in the field of education.

Two areas, however, merit expansion in this history because of finances involved. These areas are the business manager's office, under the directorship of Hubert V. Summers, and the responsibilities of Herbert H. Cooper's office in school site acquisitions.

Joseph Magee (for whom a school was later named) was installed as comptroller and purchaser in 1951 and later was officially made the business manager. Upon his death in 1960, Summers was appointed business manager. Under Magee's direction and with the aid of a citizens' committee in 1956, modern business procedures were installed and continued by Summers. Today the computerized department rigidly controls school expenditures. Departmental budgets are lined out and are so scrupulously adhered to that in 1967, one department in Education Center was denied the use of the printing department's Xerox machine because the department had expended its budget in that minute respect.

First Hundred Years, By James F. Cooper, Edited by John H. Fahr, Tucson, Arizona, 1967