1948-49: The Yelm PTA

Introduction: The Yelm PTA maintained scrapbooks for a number of years of their existence. The 1948-49 scrapbook contains many artifacts from the era, including newspaper clippings, photos and fliers. These were all painstakingly mounted and labeled. (Opening page of the scrapbook) The materials in this section are from that scrapbook. This scrapbook maintained by Mrs. Alice Prescott won “honors” at the state convention that spring.

Teachers in the Yelm School District

Grade School

Superintendent Marvin Stevens

Principal Harry Southworth

1st Grade Cassie Pierce

Thea Spencer

2nd Grade Mae Hubbard

3rd Grade Elsie Wheeler

2nd and 3rd Grade Georgianna Southworth

4th Grade Ruby Donaldson

5th Grade William Skillings

4th and 5th Grade Grace Groutage

6th Grade Casmir Biesiada

7th Grade Lillian Nichols

Alice Prescott

8th Grade Frances Smith

William Olsen

High School

Superintendent Marvin Stevens

Principal Frank Bower

English Mari Hoff

English Evelyn Coubrough

Commercial Eugenia Fairbanks

Social Science Edgar Prescott

Home Economics Joan Witcher

Vocational Ag Martin Teeter

Science, P.E. John Spencer

Music Anton Hillisland

Teacher’s Reception Held at Grade School Thursday

Nisqually Valley News September 30, 1948

The new grade school auditorium was no too large to accommodate the large group of people who turned out en masse to welcome the teachers at their reception on Thursday evening. The affair was sponsored by the Yelm Garden Club, aided by various other organizations. A most delightful evening was spent in meeting and greeting the teachers and friends.

Mrs. Clarence Hughes, program chairman for the Garden Club, presided and called upon Mayor Nate Henderson, who extended official greetings to the teacher. Superintendent Marvin Stevens responded and presented principals Frank Bower of the high school, Harry Southworth of the Yelm grade school and William Thun of the McKenna grade school, who in turn introduced other members of the faculty. Mrs. Eva Vandiver gave two lovely solos, taken from the Desert Song. Truman Wilcox also sang two beautiful solos, with Mrs. Alice Meredith at the piano.

Much interest has been shown recently regarding a Parent Teacher Association in Yelm, therefore Mrs. Truman Wilcox told of the activities of the McKenna PTA and offered the aid of the McKenna group (said to be the oldest in the state of Washington), in helping to organize an association such an organization and finally voted to set next Tuesday evening, October 5th, for the organization meeting. This meeting will be held at 8 o’clock in the Yelm grade school auditorium. Mrs. Harold Wolf obtained a long list of names of future members at the meeting, but everyone in the Yelm district is urged to come and join the PTA next Tuesday evening. We are all interested in out school regardless of the fact that we may have no children of our own attending.

Mrs. Phoebe Miller, president of the Garden Club, together with a committee, arranged baskets of fall flowers on the stage and in the school cafeteria where the refreshments were served. Mrs. Marvin Stevens and Mrs. Chester Riechel poured from a long satin damask covered table, centered with asters and rose buds, and flanked by tall white tapers, Mrs. Earl Pollard was in charge of refreshments.

Corsages were presented to the lady teachers and boutonnieres to the men. Clever programs were received giving a complete list of the teachers and also presented a novel mixer for meeting and greeting them.

The W.S.C.S., Altar Society, the Wesleyan Guild, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Missionary Council of the Assembly of God Church, the American legion Auxiliary and the Des Chutes Grange all aided in making the evening a success.

Parent-Teacher Association Formed Here Tuesday

Nisqually Valley News October 7, 1948

After some fifteen or more years, Yelm again has a Parent-Teacher Association. Judging from the enthusiasm shown at the meeting held in the grade school auditorium on Tuesday evening, this group shows promise of becoming one of the important and certainly much needed organizations of the town. School Superintendent Marvin Stevens opened the meeting. After extending greetings, he introduced Anton Hillesland, music instructor, who presented a group of student of the Yelm High School band in several selections. Already the band shows much promise, after only a few rehearsals.

Mr. Stevens then introduced Mrs. H.O. Martin, of the McKenna P.T.A. who was in charge of the organization of the new unit. The McKenna P.T.A. is the oldest of such organizations in the state of Washington. Mrs. Martin appointed Mrs. Truman Wilcox as acting secretary, who read the call for the new organization. Mrs. Martin then introduced Mrs. Gussie Robinson, president of the McKenna P.T.A.

Mr. Stevens was then asked to speak. He responded by outlining the many advantages gained by the school and pupils as well as the parents by having a Parent Teacher Association. The school and the pupils need the parent’s aid and certainly the parent must need to know of their child’s school life and conditions.

Mrs. Martin nest presented Mrs. Frances Eacrett, of Shelton, who the District president of P.T.A. Mrs. Eacrett was enthusiastic in her praise of the beautiful and modern Yelm schools. She said many schools in the state were over crowded and few have the space, the new modern equipment and the new buildings that Yelm has. She told of the laws governing a Parent-Teacher organization and explained its purpose and means of carrying on. She had a most pleasing personality and all enjoyed hearing her as well as the vice president, Mrs. Waldo King, of Olympia. Mrs. King told of ways and means of financing the organization and of problems clarified in her unit.

After the group voted to organize the election of officers was held and the meeting date set for the first Tuesday evening of each month. The next meeting will be on November 2nd at the grade school auditorium.

Several nominations were made for each office, and the following were elected as officers for the Yelm P.T.A. Helen Wolf, president; Milo Schneider first vice resident; Louise Pollard, second vice president; Eva Tucker secretary and Frank Bower, treasurer. The McKenna P.T.A., aided by Mrs. Eacrett and Mrs. King installed the new officers for the ensuing year and the district officers extended their congratulations and best wishes.

Mrs. Wolf expressed her appreciation and pledged her support in helping to make the Yelm P.T.A., a splendid organization. She thanked the visitors and especially Mrs. Martin and the McKenna unit for aiding in so many ways in the organization and invited them to be present often.

Milo Schneider was appointed program chairman and he requested the members to send in a note suggesting what type of programs they wished speakers or committee appointment suggestion. Frank Bower is already collecting dues which were set at $1 per person or $1.50 for husband and wife.

Mrs. Margie Eide suggested that the new organization should take as their first project the urging of everyone to vote at the coming election on Nov. 2nd and to vote for the five mill levy which will provide for the much needed school bus for the Lackamas district and help to maintain the present teaching staff at McKenna.

Refreshments completed the meeting and were provided by Mrs. Louise Pollard.

Special School Levy to Be Voted on November 2nd

Nisqually Valley News October 7, 1948

The voters of Yelm School District will have an opportunity to vote on a special 5 mill tax levy, which will enable the school to purchase new school buses. The school is operating buses that are over 12 years old and need to be replaced as soon as possible.

An additional bus for the Lackamas route has been purchased and is expected to be delivered and put in to service next week. Due to the fact that the 5 mill special levy proposed in September failed to receive a 60% majority (385 voted yes-324 voted no, which is only 54%) it was necessary to cancel plans for a new bus and to borrow money to obtain a used bus. The district was indeed fortunate to find another district that had an excellent bus with new motor, new tires and brakes, that was too small for their route.

If this levy fails, the board will probably be forced to reduce transportation services. This will mean that all those within two (2) miles will be compelled to walk or furnish their own transportation. The State law requires schools to furnish transportation for only those living more than two miles. Those within two miles are being transported only as an additional service extended to them by the school board.

Pre School Group Meets in Kindergarten Room

Nisqually Valley News November 12, 1948

Called by the Pre School Committee, appointed by the Executive Committee of the P.T.A., the first meeting of Pre School took place in the kindergarten room on Tuesday, November called for the minutes of the Committee, which were read by Mrs. Percy Herness, secretary of the group. Mrs. Olson then asked mother to stand according to the age of their children and appointed committees for program and hospitality on this basis. Mothers of infants up to one year will have charge of the program and hospitality on December 2nd.

Mrs. Olson introduced Mrs. Waldo King, Mrs. William Sherman and Mrs. Loring of Olympia Pre School, who talked on the procedures followed in the Pre School organization. The Yelm group was asked to function for this year as a study group under the general PTA executive committee of TPTA, their president to serve on that committee and keep both groups in touch.

Mr. Dallas Edwards volunteered to present the need of kindergarten in Yelm schools to the School Board at its next meeting. Mrs. Olson presented the Pre School project – clothing for small children of St. Lo, France. It was agreed to make up a box to be sent at once and to collect items of clothing to be sent later, at the December meeting. Mrs. Wilma Demich volunteered to be responsible for getting the first package mailed. Mrs. Joe Alongi was elected vice president of Pre School. Mrs. Scharman presented the PTA magazine, “Parent Teacher,” and reminded the group that she would be glad to accept their subscriptions. Mrs. Frank Bower accepted payment of dues for PTA Membership.

The planning committee, consisting of Mrs. William Olson, Mrs. Joe Alongi, Mrs. Osborne Edwards, Mrs. Percy Herness, Mrs. Wilma Demich, Mrs. Harold Willard and Mrs. Harold Wolf, served coffee and cookies during the social hour which followed the meeting. A very enthusiastic response to the first meeting was gratifying to the committee and to all those people who have felt a Pre School organization was needed in the community.

Save the Date December 7

Nisqually Valley News November 18, 1948

Do you want to see “the wheels go round” in modern education – want to know how to today’s child learns his three “R’s” and how today’s schools differ from the ones “when you were young”? Do you think modern methods a bunch of fol-de-rol and long for the class room equipped with benches, a black board and a food stout ruler.

If you are interested in modern trends, in schools as they are operated today and most if all if you are interested in children – you will put a mark on your calendar for December 7th, the next PTA meeting to be held in the Yelm Grade School auditorium.

Kindergarten May Start in January at Yelm School

Nisqually Valley News November 25, 1948

Mrs. Dallas Edwards presented the Pre School report for a Kindergarten in January, at the meeting of the Yelm school board on Wednesday evening. Following is the recommendation of the school board:

Due to the fact that there is not sufficient funds in this year’s budget to employ a kindergarten teachers, the school board decided that they could not hire a teacher. A suggestion was made that the parents of the children would attend assess themselves a fee (probably of $1.00 a week) to defray the teachers salary for this first half year. In September, 1949, here would them be money forthcoming from the State to pay for the teacher.

The school board decided that other expenses could be paid for out of the present budget, including transportation.

The transportation would have to be worked out after a spot map was made showing the location of the students. Children coming in the morning would ride the regular bus. At noon a short route with one bus would be run probably to McKenna, Four Corners, etc., and back to Yelm, delivering the morning group and picking up the afternoon group would then ride home on the regular bus.

It was felt that in order to operate a kindergarten there would have to be an enrollment at least between 40 and 50.

A committee of Pre School mothers will be in charge of canvassing the territory, assisting Mrs. Edwards, to determine whether the above plan is feasible. Further announcement will be made concerning an opportunity to register children of kindergarten age by mothers who would be interested.

Large Crowd Present for Monthly PTA Meeting

Nisqually Valley News December 9, 1948

Eighty-five parents and teachers were present at the monthly P.T.A. meeting held Tuesday evening at the grade school auditorium. Mrs. H.E. Wolf opened the meeting with all singing “America” and saluting the flag. Rev. Frank May of the Assembly of God led in prayer. The High School Girls Trio, Sylvia Throssell Alice Waage and Frankie Halstead, sand “Steal Away” and “There Are Such Things,” accompanied by Utalee Medley, Mrs. Eva Tucker read the minutes of the past two P.T.A. meetings and also the minutes and suggestions of the three executive committee meetings. These were approved and accepted.

Mrs. Wolf announced the P.T.A. money raising project for the year which will be a box social and talent show on January 27th. Miss Opal Lynne sand a solo, accompanied by Sylvia Throssell.

The executive committee chairmen gave a brief report and introduced the members of their committee. Milo Schneider, program chairman, passed out yearbooks for 1948-1949. The neat little book gives the yearly program for every meeting, the theme being “World Understanding Begins at Home.”

Superintendent Marvin Stevens reported on the school legislative program which is to be submitted to the State Legislature. A plan to keep students in school until they are eighteen years of age or until graduation was reported on – the present law setting the age at sixteen. Mr. Stevens gave a fine demonstration on “Teaching Aids”, used on our own school, ending with a twenty minute movie stressing the fact that better education means better living.

W.R. Simcox led in community singing and the group was invited to meet at seven thirty each meeting night for community singing, proceeding the opening of the business meeting at eight.

A social hour followed the meeting in the cafeteria, with everyone enjoying pumpkin pie and coffee.
Talent Show and Box Social Held on Thursday Evening

Nisqually Valley News January 27, 1949

More than 200 people were present for this affair, and all the beautiful baskets sold readily.

As the paper goes to press it is too early to repot the results of the PTA Talent Show and Box Social, but the planning and practicing and list of local celebrities would guarantee that nothing short of a complete lack of co-operation by the weatherman could keep the big social event of the PTA calendar from being a real success.

W.R. Simcox is scheduled to lead community singing at 7:30 – a delightful custom which has grown in popularity at PTA meetings. At 8:00 the program is introduced by that genial and popular master of ceremonies Harry Southworth. Mr. Hillesland of the High School Music Department will lead the band in several numbers. Little Gail Vandiver, a very young artist who is following in the footsteps of her talented mother, will be heard in vocal selections. Mr. Simcox will lsing, accompanying himself onto the ukulele. “The Patterson Dinner,” a one act play will be presented under the co-direction of Mrs. A. Weeks and Mrs. William Mosman. The part of Mrs. Patterson is played by Mrs. Earl Pollard. Her three daughters are to be played by Miss Evelyn Coubrough, Colette Fields and Rita Belland. Her sister, Clara, is played by Miss Eugenia Fairbanks and the charming but unpredictable maid is played by Mrs. Ray Kinney. Bob Weeks will be heard in guitar solos. Tap dancing numbers are being presented by Lucile Brown.

Four male members of the faculty are to maker their debut in a hilarious skit which presents men acting as women do to similar situations. Marvin Stevens, Frank Bower, Harry Southworth and Jack Spencer were scheduled to appear in this production. Due to illness, Mr. Stevens will be unable to be present and his part is being played by Wm. Olson.

Lou O. Cochrane will auction the baskets following the program. The baskets will be received by Lee Scharmann, Nancy Heath and Suzy Nicolich and will be marked so as to be auctioned in appropriated age groupings (grade school, high school and adult).

General chairman for the affair was Herman Mueller. Publicity was handled by Mrs. Bob Wright with the assistance of the art class, directed by Marvin Stevens. Assisting Mr. Mueller on his committee were Mrs. Austin Weeks, Mrs. Frank Bower, Mrs. Ramsey, and Mr. and Mrs. Neal Sherman. Mrs. Weeks wishes to express the appreciation of the PTA to co-operating members of the cast and to Marie Curry and Rev. Wm. Richards.

Report of the Landscape Committee

A new project has been started by the Yelm P.T.A. for plantings around the new grade school building, comprising two hundred lineal feet.

The Agricultural Department of Yelm High School will take over as its project the filling in and planting of the lawn. This has already been started preparatory to the placing of shrubs which will be supervised by the assigned committee:

Mrs. Florine Bradley, chairman; Mr. Martin Teeter; Mr. George Sickles; Mr. Massey; Mr. Marvin Stevens.

Mrs. Florine Bradley


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