From The Little Tornado School Handbook 1956-1957


            The school cafeteria is located in the grade school building. Lunch, for the high school students, is served from 12:00 to 12:30.

            Whenever school is dismissed early at noon, students are not to go to the cafeteria to eat until the regular time, unless arrangements have been made previously with the cooks. The price for students is 25 cents per meal. Milk is included. Lunch tickets costing $2 each may be obtained in the office.

            There is to be no running to the cafeteria, or any crowding or shoving while waiting in line.


            Locker space is furnished for every student in school and is signed for at the beginning of the year. These lockers are to be kept neat and clean, and the coats are not to be hung on the locker doors, but on the coat rack or in the locker.


            Except in case of emergency the telephone is not to be used by students, except before school, at noon, or after school. Any long distance call must be okayed by the principal or superintendent.


            The gymnasium is available for intramural sports, for plays, or other activities, when no engaged for regular school activities. Only tennis shoes or stocking feet are permissible on the entire playing floor.


            The school library offers a wealth of books to supplement the textbooks that are issued to all students. There are approximately 3,425 books available for student use plus pamphlets, periodicals, five sets of encyclopedias, the Encyclopedia of American Biography, magazines, newspapers, and the Educator’s index.

            The library is arranged according to the Dewey Decimal System. If there is any difficulty in finding a book, a librarian or student librarian may be consulted.

            Books may be checked out for a period of two weeks. If kept after this length of time without renewal, a fine of two cents a day is charged. No grades will be recorded on the student’s permanent record file until his fines have been paid.


            The assemblies that are given throughout the year are for the education and pleasure of everyone. Al students must attend these assemblies and are required to observe orderly attention.

Bus Rules

  1. The driver is in full charge of the bus and pupils. Pupils must obey the driver                promptly and willingly.
  2. Outside of ordinary conversation classroom conduct must be observed.
  3. Pupils are to assist in keeping the clean by keeping their waste paper off the floor. Pupils must also refrain from throwing things on the bus.



            The Lettermen’s Club consists of boys who have earned letters in basketball, football, baseball, tennis, or as managers.

            The club holds regular meetings and conducts business pertaining to all phases of athletics and awards received.

            Several different activities have been sponsored by the club such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Football Banquet, Basketball Jamboree, and a smoker.

Drill Team

            The Drill Team, known as “Puellae in Pedites”, consists of a group of girls organized to assist the athletic department in presenting more varied entertainment, to aid and develop school spirit, to serve the school in any capacity necessary to create a finer closely knit student body.

            Members are selected according to the rules set forth in the by-laws.

            The officers of this club consist of a President, Secretary-treasurer, and Historian.

Block “Y”

            Block “Y” is the girls’ athletic club of Yelm High School. Any girl who earns a letter is a member of Block “Y”.

            Any girl participating in Block “Y” activities, has earned at least 400 points, and been chosen on a first or second team in Block “Y” will be awarded:

            Letter “Y” & Stripe—Freshman Year

            Stripe                          Sophomore Year

            Stripe                          Junior Year

            Pin & Stripe               Senior Year

Points can be earned as follows:

Walking                                                                                                       2 points per mile

Bicycling                                                                                                       1 point per mile

Horse riding                                                                                                  1 point per mile

Dancing                                                                                                         2 pints per hour

Skating                                                                                                        2 points per hour

Bowling                                                                                                       2 points per hour

Swimming                                                                                                   2 points per hour

Rowing                                                                                                        2 points per hour

Tennis                                                                                                         2 points per hour

Tumbling                                                                                                     4 points per hour

Volley tennis                                                                                               2 points per hour

First team                                                                                                                 75 points

Second team                                                                                                            50 points

Attending Block “Y”                                                                                               15 points

Sand lot baseball                                                                                         2 points per hour

Table tennis                                                                                                 2 points per hour

Skiing                                                                                                          3 points per hour

            Girls also must attend Block “Y” recreational night at least 9 times. Meetings are held on the first and third Monday of every month.

            In 1954 Block “Y” selected a sports queen. This is to be a yearly event.

Spelling Award

            The aim of the Spelling Award is to promote an interest in better spelling, and to increase the vocabulary of the student.

  1. In the primaries there will be 4 students picked from every class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior).
  2. The top four students will compete in a Students Body assembly fro the final award.
  3. The award will be based on the total words missed.
  4. The person missing the fewest words will win.
  5. A time limit of one hour will be used.
  6. The prizes, if any, will be selected by the Honor Society.
  7. The words will be submitted by the various classes and their advisors.


Eagles and Oddfellows Best Citizen Award

            Each year a good citizen award is given at the Award Assembly to one boy and one girl for their outstanding citizenship. The Eagles present the award to the boy, and the Oddfellows present it to the girl.

            The rules for selecting the awards are:

  1. Respect for the rights of others.
  2. Accepts responsibility and is dependable.
  3. Activities.
  4. Personality and personal appearance.

The citizenship committee consists of all the teachers and as many students.

Best Citizen Award

            The Best Citizen award is made at graduation to the outstanding citizen of the year. This citizen is chosen by the faculty and an equal number of students. The candidates are judged on their activities, ability to accept responsibility, personality, influence for good, and scholarship.


            Seniors earn a plaque by having three (3) majors or two (2) majors and one (1) minor. The plaques are handed out at the award assembly. The majors and minor awards are found in the Little Tornado.

The YHS Girl’s League


            Over the past month I have been reviewing a scrapbook from the Yelm High School Girls’ League in the 1950’s. Technically, every girl in the high school was a member of the Girls’ League much the same as students taking agriculture classes are considered members of the FFA. Since the club was so large, most of the decisions were made by the Girl’s League Council, elected officers that did much of the work in the club. The Girls’ League organized the Mother Daughter Banquet, the predecessor of the modern Mother- Daughter Tea. They also organized “Tornado Week” a combination between a homecoming spirit week and an organized freshmen initiation. The Girls’ League and the Girls’ League Council met to discuss these events as well as other issues faced by high school girls such as careers, college and dating, at school and at conferences with other area Girls’ Leagues.

            The Girls’ League in some ways encouraged the advancement of women through encouraging careers and leadership, but it was far from a radical feminist organization. The careers it encouraged were generally limited and much of the leadership and skills promoted were within traditional women’s spheres such as the home and the church and the family. To learn more about the Girls’ League and gender roles read here.

            The Girls’ League and the activities it sponsored were important parts of the culture of the high school and the town. The events, such as “Tornado Week” and the Mother- Daughter Banquet consisted of many elaborate traditions and were always well attended. To learn more about the role of the Girls’ League in the culture of Yelm and the high school click here.

            The Girls’ League and the girls of Yelm High School were very interested in anything involving boys and dating. The adult leaders of the Girl’s League often discouraged things such as long term relationships and public displays of affection. However students were encouraged to go to dances as couples and dance with members of the opposite sex. To learn more about discussions of dating in the Girls’ League click here.

Gender Roles


            Many ways the Girls’ League encouraged traditional gender roles, but it also tried to advance the role of women.

            The Girls’ League and the Home Economics classes prepared the food and decorations for the Mother- Daughter Banquet. The banquet featured a “model show” in which the Home Ec. Students showed off clothes they had made. Regional conferences included discussions of traditional female roles with topics such as “Learn to Live Attractively” and “Grooming.” The Mother Daughter Banquet once included a speech on “The Art of Being a Woman.” The Girls’ League was in charge of decorating the school for Christmas.

            The Girls’ League did more than just encourage women to be polite, well dressed and useful in the home. It also encouraged the women to be self sufficient, cultured and responsible. By having the girls prepare the food it made them directly responsible for the quality of the banquet and allowed them to save money. On a side note, while the girls prepared the food, the FFA boys served the girls and their mothers. Though the model show initially sounds rather superficial, it was really an opportunity for the girls to show off their skills in dressmaking. The Girls’ League also offered women numerous opportunities to show off skills they had attained. The banquet and the conferences featured numerous skits, pantomimes, dances and musical performances.  The banquet and conferences featured speeches on women in school, the community and the church. The banquet featured speeches on educational topics such as people’s travels to other countries, “The Early Days of Yelm” and speech impediments in children. Through, discussions, meetings and information sessions, the girl’s they also encouraged women to have careers, go to college, and hold leadership roles.

            Though the Girls’ League encouraged the traditional separate role of women, having them cook, sew and decorate, it also promoted the role of women in careers, college and the community.

High School Culture


            The Girls’ League and the events it organized were an important part of the culture of the high school and the town. These events, such as the Mother- Daughter Banquet and Tornado Week consisted of many elaborate traditions and were well attended.

            The Mother Daughter Banquet, now the Mother Daughter Tea was open to all the girls, not just seniors. Every year it featured a guest speaker, a number of entertainers, such as dancers and singers, a fashion show and ended with the installation of the next year’s Girls’ League Council. In the Early 1950’s about 160 mothers and daughters attended the banquet. The banquet was such an important event that the girls and their mothers bought corsages (from the school) for the evening. In the middle of the decade it was proposed to change the banquet to a tea as a change from the usual and because they were having a hard time borrowing enough dishes. However this did not happen because many girls complained that the banquet was one of the few chances their mothers had to go out to dinner.

            Another important event organized by the Girls’ League was the “Tornado Week” every autumn. Tornado week began on Monday with a girls’ Spirit Week. The week included spirit days like “shoeshine day” where freshmen girls would shine shoes for a few cents that would be donated to the Girls’ League, “Blue Monday” where everyone wore blue, “Little Girl Day” when freshmen were dressed like children, and “Housewife Day.”

            The freshmen girls were “adopted” during the week by older girls. At the end of the week the upperclassmen dressed their “little sisters” in costumes which were displayed in a special assembly on Friday. In the assembly the freshmen and their upperclassmen were given awards for originality and humor.

            There was also a football game on the Friday of Tornado Week. Unlike Homecoming Week, Tornado Week was not centered on a particular football game; it was simply about initiating the freshmen and having school spirit. In fact one year there wasn’t a football game scheduled during the week the event was to be held so the junior girls played the senior girls in a football game. 

            Yelm High School’s “Tornado Week” concluded with the Girls’ League Tolo- a large girl-ask-boy dance. In the mid. 1950’s between 88 and 120 people attended the dance (out of about a student body of about 250). Students were encouraged to go to the dance as couples with single tickets selling for 25 cents and couple tickets selling for 35 cents. The dance featured recorded music provided by the Girls’ League Record Committee and activities like one where all the girls pop balloons with boys’ names in them and dancing with the boy whose name was in the balloon.

             The Yelm High School Girls’ League and the events it sponsored were important parts of the culture of the high school and the town. The events were well attended and very popular and consisted of many elaborate traditions.



             The Girls’ League and the girls of Yelm High School were very interested in anything involving boys and dating. The adult leaders of the Girl’s League often discouraged things such as long term relationships and public displays of affection. However students were encouraged to go to dances as couples and dance with members of the opposite sex.

            Almost every Southwest Washington Girls’ League conferences included discussion of dating. At the conference in Randal there was a discussion group called “Learn to Live Spiritually” included discussion of marriage. At the same conference “Learn to Live Socially” included talk of dating and “Learn to Live understandingly” which was supposed to discuss other cultures became a discussion of dating.

            The 1954 conference featured a speech entitled, “You in Society.” The woman who gave the speech discussed appropriate dating behavior and whether blind dating was a good idea. She also discussed “going steady” and warned that it could distract girls from their studies and their other school activities.

            The Yelm Girls’ League also had their own discussions of dating. At one meeting the girls discussed the fact that many girls were getting married while still in high school, and one girl remarked that “Marriage is a fad.” Another meeting included a discussion of behavior among couples in the halls, in study hall and in school activities. The girls eventually concluded that while there was a problem with couples kissing on the dance floor the behavior of couples wasn’t out of hand. An adult leader responded to the girls’ conclusion by stating that couples could show their affection for each other without “carrying on.” The meeting ended with a skit demonstrating the approved and disapproved behavior.

            While the girls were often discouraged from certain activities, they were encouraged to go to dances as couples and to dance with members of the opposite sex. Tickets to dances were cheaper (per person) for a couple than for singles and dances included activities involving dancing with members of the opposite sex.

From the Student Handbook – The Little Tornado 1951-52

Introduction:  Each year students were given “The Little Tornado” to read.  In it were the rules to live by when attending Yelm High school.  Here is an excerpt from the 1951-52 edition.

 Air Raid Drill

 At the sound of the intermittent ringing of the fire bell, shop bell, and yard horn all students are to leave their books, get their coats and to their assigned shelters and lie down on the floor with their head pointed toward the wall.  Students are also to put their coats over their heads.  They are to quietly to the assigned shelters keeping to the right in the halls.

 If students are outside, in the gym, or at shop they are to run to the high school and go their assigned places.

 There will be one person from each class to call roll call to see that everyone will also be assigned a shelter.

 In each shelter there will be a first aid crew of four girls and four boys.  A fire crew will consist of ten boys from the school in case a fire breaks out.  There will be eight litter bearers and a messenger from each class.

 Practice air raid drills will be held each year when students are at lunch, at a ball games, loading or unloading on the buses, and in an assembly.

A Board’s Eye View of the Fifties


 Mr. Hansen and Mr. Lemoine appeared before the board concerning the irrigation lots and taxes. Discussion was held on water taxes and the lots owned by the irrigation company. (March 18, 1950)

 Offer was submitted by the Union Oil Co. To deliver fuel oil to the school at 2.69 a barrel delivered at Yelm. (March 18, 1950)

 Mr. Wilson and Mr. Jay Warner form McKays Ford agency and Mr. Bert Brewer from the Superior Coach appeared before the board and offered a ford bus to the school for $8,520.46 with a trade in on the ’37 International $750 to be used as the only down payment. It was decided not to take any action at the present time on whether or not to purchase a bus this year. (July 25, 1951)

 Mr. Eby moved that the School District pay a forty dollars rental fee on a Thermofax Copying machine and return it rather than purchase it outright.  Mr. Kirsten seconded.  Carried.|

 Present: Phillips, Kaufman, Peoples, and Hastings. Payroll, vouchers and contracts signed and approved. Shirley Pierce representing Fort Lewis Dairy appeared before the board to present a bid of 5 cents for a half pint of  milk less 2%.

 Lee LeFbrve representing Flett Dairy appeared before the board to present a bid of 5centshalf pint for milk less 2%.

 Motion by Peoples, seconded by Hastings to accept Flett Dairy bid. Motion carried. (August 18, 1954)

 Mr. Peoples moved that the board approve the purchase of a Rol-A-Lab for the use in elementary science classes. Mr. Wilcox seconded. Carried. February 7, 1956

The Union Oil Service Station operators from McKenna were present to request the school’s gasoline business for 1959. December 10, 1958

 Mr.  Eby moved that the School District advertise forgasoline bids to be received at the next regular meeting on January 14, 1959 

 Mr. Edwards seconded.  Carried.  Lengthy discussion took place regarding the expenditure of funds for an inter-com system   A study of the financial report revealed that the District could assist in the purchase of an inter-com system and not give up other planned projects. December 10, 1958 Mr. Kirsten moved that thermostatic controlled valves be purchased for the Yelm Grade School and installed at the earliest convenience by the school maintenance staff. Mr. Edwards seconded.  Carried December 10, 1958

 Mr.  Eby moved that the District provide approximately $800.00 toward the purchase of an Inter-Communication System for the Ye1m School Campus.  Mr. Edwards seconded, Carried. December 10, 1958

 Mr. Panks moved approval of moving of grandstand to other side of football field. Mr. Kirsten seconded. Carried. (May, 21, 1959)

 Mr. Ely moved that Mr. Edwards be appointed to supervise and oversee the construction of a baseball backstop. Mr. Kirsten seconded, carried.  (May, 21, 1959)

 The Board made an inspection tour of the athletic field to determine what should be done with the baseball grandstand and backstop. The original plan to move the grandstand to the west side of the field and build a roof over it was reaffirmed.  It was suggested that we request enough used poles from P. S. P.& L. to bui1d a backstop. (July 8, 1959)

 The Board gave their common consent to the purchase of new desks for one classroom in the elementary school.  The Superintendent read the quotations for reroofing the bus garage.  It was suggested that an investigation of the feasibility of using galvanized iron on the roof be made before a decision is rendered as to whether or not the garage should be roofed at this time.  It was proposed that consideration be given to the abandonment of the high school auditorium and that the area be remodeled for classrooms.  (July 8, 1959)

 Mr. Harold Brezicha was present to hear the bids for reroofing the bus garage.  In as much as the full membership of the Board was not present and there exits some indecision as to what type of job to do, it was mutually agreed that action on the roof bids be deferred until a later meeting. (August 18, 1959)

 The recommended list of fire extinguishers for all school buildings as suggested by the ABC Fire Extinguisher Co. was reviewed.  Additional extinguishers needed, according to the report, would cost in excess of $500.00.  It was the recommendation of the Board that Fire Chief Brown and Mr. Lyle Tracy be requested to check the placement of extinguishers about the school buildings.

It was recommended that the janitorial staff participate in school fire drills.  (August 18, 1959)


 Motion made by Cook, 2nd by Capen that Mr. Southworth be notified that the Board is not satisfied with his supervision of the Grade School and that renewal of his contract is in doubt – motion carried. March 18, 1953

 Public Hearing held in Auditorium.

 Ralph Peoples represented the group and presented the School Board with a petition containing by and excess of 500 signatures asking the Board to reconsider it’s request for the resignation of Mr. Southworth. Mr. Peoples also presented a statement signed by all the grade teachers stating that harmony and co-operation existed between the teachers and the Principal.

 A great deal of open discussion was held with some of the Board stating their reasons for asking for the resignation. Meeting recessed for executive session to the office.

 Visitors present: Ed Harrison, Truman Wilcox, Ralph Peoples, Jim Brown.

 Discussion was held on the petitions and the renewal of Mr. Southworths contract.

 Motion made by Kaufman not to renew Mr. Southworth’s contract. Motion failed for want of a second.

 Motion made and seconded to rehire all teachers with the exception of Mrs. Feldmier and she be requested to go to college to complete her 5th year, and will not be offered a contract. Motion carried. (April 14, 1953)

 Report on Skogman. Mr. Skogman the 5th grade teacher has been drafted. (November 18, 1953)

 Sick Leave – When a teacher is absent from duty because of sickness, or death in the immediate family no deduction will by made for the first five days. Deduction beyond the provisions of this clause will be made at the rate of the amount paid the substitute. Sick leave may be accumulated up to a total of 20 says, starting with contract year of 1955-56. Certificate from Doctor must be presented to Supt. for illness of more than five successive days.

 1. All members of the faculty will be expected to contribute to the good of the whole by maintaining membership in W.E.A. and N.E.A.

 2. Since we thoroughly believe that a good teaching job necessitates some knowledge of the student’s background and home life, we ask all teachers to give preference to the nine meetings per year of the P.T.A.

 3. Teachers are asked to be at school not later than 8:20a.m. in the morning and stay until 4p.m. unless excused by the principal.

4. Since we believe in the education of the whole child, it is necessary that each teacher carry his fair share of the load outside of the regular classroom activity. (June 12, 1954)

 Mr. Newland reported that the teaching staff has started to work on a set of recommended “written policies” and that all employee groups would be consulted in regard to the “policies” that affect them directly. (January 11, 1956)

 Considerable discussion was held concerning the retention or dismissal of the athletic coach. The Superintendent explained that the present school administration had insufficient grounds upon which to discharge the person in question and therefore could not concur in any decision to fire the coach. The Superintendent agreed to make Mr. Tomlinson aware of his status and to help him change to another position. The board, after an informal polling, requested the Superintendent to seek the resignation of Mr. Tomlinson. (February 7, 1956)

 The Superintendent called to the Board’s attention that one teacher being offered a contract was 65 years of age and that the offer could be withdrawn if they felt if advisable.  No complaint was registered.  (July 8, 1959)


 Mr. Baker and his son Virgil, appeared before the Board to discuss Virgil’s admittance to school. No action taken as it was felt that with Virgil’s promise for good behavior would be sufficient to work out the problem with Principal Bob Marshall. (August 18, 1954)

 Present: Mr. Phillips, Peoples, Harbert, and Kaufman[.] This meeting was called at the request of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Glaser and Mr. and Mrs. James Gasaway, whose sons, Bernard and Gary were suspended from high school on Monday September 27, because of and infraction of school rules which took place on Friday evening, Sept. 24th when the boys attended the school dance under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Both boys made written application to the Board for reinstatement. The boys were readmitted to the school on a probationary basis.  (September 30, 1954)

 Mr.  & Mrs. Sidney Bayne appeared before the Board to register a complaint that their son had been discriminated against at the time of the Spring Concert when he was ruled out of the Chorus.  (May, 21, 1959)

 It was the consensus of opinion of the board that two members of the teaching staff should accompany the basketball team should it be required to travel to Sequim for tournament play. (February 7, 1956)

 Mr. Peoples moved that if the written request presented by Don Otto for readmittance to school is satisfactory to the Board and the Administration, that he be readmitted to school on a probationary basis with the understanding that he shall be barred from school social events for the balance of this semester. Mr. Wilcox seconded. Carried. (September 24, 1957)

 Miss Elizabeth Shaw appeared before the board to request that she be permitted to participate in the Graduation ceremonies. She had failed thesecond semester course in American History for the second time. She promised to take a correspondence course during summer. (September 24, 1957)

 A lengthy roundtable discussion ensued. A written opinion from the County Prosecuting Attorney was reviewed.  Mr. Edwards moved that the School Administrators hereby authorized to establish regulations for reasonable at the and personal grooming on the part of all students and that a pupil who fails to meet the established standards should not be permitted to enter school at the start of a school year and, furthermore, it shall be the responsibility of the principal to determine whether or not a pupil is adhering to the standards of good grooming and dress at all times. Mr. Panks seconded.   Carried. (May, 21, 1959)

 Standard Athletic Rules

 1. Short Hair (doesn’t have to be butch or crewcut.)

2. Smoking and Drinking

  A. If any member of the Coaching Staff catches a boy he will be dismissed from that sport for that year. If you prove yourself you may participate in the next sport by agreement of the coaching staff. A boy will receive two chances. After the second one he will be dismissed from any sport for a period of one year in which you must prove yourself.

B. Team Control: Any member of the squad has a duty to the team, to advise the captain of anyone who is breaking training. A conference will be held between Captain, Staff, and the individual in question. If guilty a boy will be benched for one game in football, two games in basketball, one track meet, and two baseball games. A boy will receive two warnings, on the third time he will be dismissed from all sports for one year. Then he must prove himself.

 C. New Trainers:  Boys who have past record of breaking training rules will be given a chance to prove himself and then be able to turn out. To turn out for football he must train the previous summer. To turn out for basketball he must train the entire football season. Boys turning out for spring sports must be training during the basketball season. There rules apply to those boys turning out for the first time. Boy who turn out for a sport once are bound by the training rules.

3. Hours: Week day nights, including Sunday-10:00 p.m. Nights before games-9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday night 2:30 a.m. These time limits will be in effect throughout the year. A conference will be held on the first offense. Penalty on second offense will be determined by the time element.

4. Changing sports: In spring sports there will be no changing of sports after initial turn-out (with exceptions). To turn out for a sport, you must have been active in a preceding sport, or two sports a year.

 5. Late Practice: Individual rules will be given for each sport, however organized activity will begin at 3:50 for all. A written excuse is required for any tardiness.

 6. Missing of practice: Excused only by coaching staff of sport.

   A. Doctor’s written excuse

   B. Parent’s written excuse

   C. Teacher’s written excuse

   No excuse for working for pay.

7. Dressing room rules:

   A. No profane language

   B. No horse play

   C. Towels will be issued, one to each, and you are responsible to put you own towel in the towel box.    For each towel left on floor or not in box, an extra lap will be given.

   D. No one in coaches room. Knock before entering.

   E. No talking at halftime of games, unless you have  a question, or you are asked one.

   F. Coaches will be called Coach, followed by the last name only.

   G. A player must wear his own equipment.

   H. Practice equipment must be cleaned at least once a week. This will be checked.

   I. Clean equipment for game night. Have sweat sox that stay up.

 The District

 Collins school board Mrs. Boyles, Phil Layne, and H. F. Hastings met with the Yelm board to discuss the proposition of consolidating the Collins school district and the transfer of some of Collins to Lacey. After considerable discussion it was decided that Yelm board would all try to be present at the reorganization hearing on Dec. 11, 1950 at the courthouse in Olympia. The Yelm board also indicated that should consolidation take place they would be willing to maintain two teachers at Collins as long as the attendance warranted it. (November 29, 1950)

 A group from the Collins area came to protest any action to close the Collins School. After and extended discussion Chairman Phillips called for a motion to decide the issue. April 13, 1955

 Mrs. Pickett and Mrs. Loutzenhiser appeared before the Board to inquire about the possibility of establishing a kindergarten  April 13, 1955

 The board has set this meeting ahead one day so as to avoid the obvious conflict with the Thurston County Reorganization Committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday, February 8 in the Yelm High School. The board mutually agreed that the local board members would not initiate discussion relative to the Rainier district and is (if) such discussion did start the Yelm attitude would be that of indifference. On the mater of the Collins area the board’s position would be that of resisting any proposed changes until a county-wide redistricting plan is submitted for consideration. February 7, 1956

 Members from Collins present: Dist. #12 Vivian Broyals, H. F. Hastings, W. H. Reichel (July 25, 1951)

 A delegation from the McKenna P.T.A., including Mr. Kirsten, Mr. Kelly and Mrs. Rogers requested the Board to give consideration to the erection of a playshed on the McKenna school grounds. June 12, 1957

 Mr. Peoples moved that the Board agree to cooperate with the Longview School District in support of the Southwest Washington staff for Educational Diagnosis of Exceptional Children. Mr. Wilcox seconded. Carried. October 9, 1957

 A delegation from the Collins Area presented a written statement outlining their reasons for petitioning a transfer of their area to the North Thurston District. Chairman Phillips explained the purpose of the County Organization Board and expressed the Yelm Board position, namely, that the Yelm Directors would resist any move to transfer territory from the Yelm District on a piece meal basis. October 9, 1957

 The report from the Pierce County School Superintendent’s Office regarding the transfer of property between the Bethel School District and the Ye1m School District was studied.  Since a new, revised petition for transfer is to be presented to the Pierce County Organization Committee, the Board decided that no action be taken at this time expect to inform the Thurston County Organization Committee that the Ye1m School Directors are not favorable to giving up any territory along the Tanwax Road.                       (July 8, 1959)


 April 13, 1955

 The suggestion was made that consideration be given to the payment of extra wages for bus drivers on special trips. January 11, 1956

 The Superintendent p resented a revised teacher salary schedule (see attached copy) and recommended a wage increase of twentydollars per month for full-time non-certificated employees and pro-rated amounts for less than full-time workers.

The Superintendent further recommended that salaries for the School Principals be determined as follows:

The McKenna Principal to receive basic teacher salary plus 1/12 basic plus $300.00.

 The Elementary Principal to receive basic teacher salary plus 2/12 basic plus $600.00

The High School Principal to receive basic teacher salary plus 2/12 basic plus $1200.00

Mr. Eby moved that the Activities Pay Schedule be revised in part to read:

Football Coach        $408

Basketball Coach     $408

Baseball’-. Coach     $l44 

Mr. Panks seconded. Carried.

Mr. Ebv moved that the recommended teacher salary schedule the administrative salary schedule and the non-certificated employee wage recommendations are adopted. Mr. Panks seconded.  Carried. April 8, 1959




 Mr. Thomas Norton, American Legion Commander, appeared before the Board to acquaint them with the Report of Department Education Committee Meeting, 4lst Annual American Legion Convention, August 7, 1959.(See attached sheet)                  August 18, 1959

   Chairman:      Mr. Leonard Biel, High School Principal, 3rd Dist. Ed. Chmn.

 Item 1:                       2 YEAR COURSE, US HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT:

           Heretofore, action recommended placed educators in impossible position, namely, giving the above course in the last two years of High School, possibly at the expense of other classes presently required by State Law.  Allowed no flexibility or leeway in selecting time for these classes.  To alleviate this hardship, the committee did not retreat from previous mandate and with draw the recommendation, but made a new resolution concurring in the requirement, broadening the time base to read “SUBSEQUENT TO SIXTH GRADE.”

 Item 2:  University and College recommendations unchanged (deemed of no interest to this board).


             Concerning past recommendation that the exercise and oath be the first order of business in all schools, the consensus of this committee was that this would reduce this action to a routine ( and possibly meaningless) gesture, thus defeating it’s purpose.  The Committee recommended that Post representatives maintain contact with local educators and administrators to encourage compliance with present State law to hold this exercise once weekly, Department of Washington policy be re-written to this effect, and an effort be made to have all meetings of the Student body and major athletic events open with either the Exercise or, music available, the National Anthem.  It was agreed that recorded music over a suitable PA system would be satisfactory provided a good recording was used and the record be replaced when it became noisy.

 Item 4:                       USE OF UNESCO MATERIALS BY EDUCATORS:

                        The policy against the use of UNESCO materials was re-affirmed, though it was agreed that, with proper safeguards, this material could fill a need at a saving of school funds and teacher labor.  Those using could mark the material ( as with a rubber stamp), warning students and others that this information was informational, only, and that the information contained therein may be extremely biased.

 Item 5:                       STUDY GUIDES:

                   In as much as an AMERICAN LEFION committee is listed as assisting in the makeup of these guides, and, in as much as guides have been altered by inclusion of materials not approved in the joint meetings, as well as the deletion of material that were so approved, it was recommended that the Department Commander appoint a standing committee to run a continuing position of approving all materials therein, while Department Policy definitely opposes them in other areas…(See Item 4, UNESCO).


                  This was my item, and since we were pressed for time, only a short discussion was held.  Since the scope would require considerable work in presentation, this item was tabled until next convention, with the Committee recommending all Posts to carry out programs presently being used.  Several members of the group stated that safety programs were being used to good advantage, sad all Post Commanders were urged to survey the needs of their communities and cooperate in any way possible with local school and community officials in any undertaking of this type.

                        As Commander of the Joseph Redberg Post #164, I will be glad to help in this, as well as any other programs.  Feel free to call on me at any time.

                      Thank you.

                     Thomas Morton M. SGT. USAF (RET).

 Community Relations

 The Superintendent reported that the dirt between the high school and the boiler room had been removed with the generous help of Mr. Simmons and Mr. Mosman who furnished the loader and tractor and considerable personal time and energy.  August 29, 1955

 Mr. Wilcox moved that the Eastern Star Lodge be permitted to rent the playshed and cafeteria for $10.00 plus a $5.00 fee for the janitor. Mr. Peoples seconded. Carried June 12, 1957

 Mr. Kirsten moved that McKenna Community Church be permitted to rent the Plashed for $10.00 a day plus janitor’s charges, if any.  Mr. Ely seconded.  Carried. (May, 21, 1959)

 A letter from the Cherie Dance Studio requesting a reduction in rental fee for the use of the Elemenatary Playshed was considered.

Mr. Eby moved that the Superintendent inform Cherie Schmidt that our standard rates of rental shall be maintained. Mr. Kirsten seconded. Carried.                  (August 18, 1959)

 Church & State

Proposal of Dr. Manley of the Methodist church to release students 45 minutes for religious instruction was submitted to the board by chairman Reichel. Motion was made and seconded to reject the released time proposal. Carried. (January 21, 1953)

 The Board discussed a request made by the Methodist Church for the use of ten Cafeteria tables.  Mr. Eby moved that the Superintendent permit the tables to be borrowed provided every effort has been made to get them elsewhere. Mr. Edwards seconded.  Carried.

Suh = November 12, 1958

 Mr.  Kirsten moved that the School District purchase a plastic chalk holder for each teacher as a Christmas remembrance.  Mr. Eby seconded.  Carried, December 10, 1958

 High School students Dwight Robinson and Leslie Peck appeared before the Board to request permission for the establishment of a V.C.Y. Club (Voice of the Christian Youth, Inc.) in the High School.

 The board felt that their decision should not be made in haste and so deferred their action on this matter to the December Board Meeting. November 10, 1959

 In view of recent interpretations by the State Attorney General’s office the Board felt that religious orginizations should not be permitted within the schools.

 Mr. Eby moved that the petition by th proponents of a Voice of Christian Youth Club requesting permisson to establish a VCY Club in the Yelm High School be denied. Mr.Kirsten seconded. Carried. December 9, 1959

 Father Maat requested the use of six classrooms for a summer Church School during the last two weeks in June. By common consent the Board approved the rental of classrooms if such action is allowable under the law.

The McKenna PTA

The McKenna PTA

By Ashley Hunt (2004)      

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) was a very important part of the social fabric of McKenna. During the 1940’s and 1950’s amazingly thorough scrap books were kept describing the activities connected to the McKenna PTA. Scrapbooks were kept prior to this, but were lost in a school fire (as noted in the 1947 scrapbook). The PTA was involved in nearly every event that took place within the community. The PTA involved not only, parents and teachers, but also included prominent community members.  The PTA membership was directed by an executive counsel.  This counsel consisted of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and there was actually a position for the person who made the scrapbooks.  These people were well respected within the community and served as an organizing counsel for activities with in the community. Upon reviewing these scrapbooks the importance of the PTA is more than evident.

The PTA met once a month for their general meetings. The average attendance was about forty people. In comparison to the actual total population of the community this was a significant amount. Each person paid fifty cents in dues (The books were unclear whether this was monthly or yearly.), these dues were to help raise money to fund meetings and events. For an extra dollar a month a person could receive the monthly PTA magazine. The PTA sent out reminders to members in the mail as well as placed an ad in the Nisqually Valley News in order to remind community members about the monthly meetings.  At meetings members discussed up coming events such as fairs, watched plays and slide shows, or listened to speakers. At the majority of the meetings there would be a guest speaker who might talk about social issues, or provide guidelines for running schools and/or homes. Some examples of these topics are “School Organization,” “Why Some Children Don’t Learn to Read”, and “School Responsibilities of Parents and Teachers.”  Some guest speakers talked about current world events, or give presentations about foreign places. In one newspaper ad announced that there would be a speaker on “Conditions in Finland.”  Beyond that the PTA would have “round table discussions” on topics regarding the school and community, during these discussions they would bring in a neutral moderator to ensure fairness during the discussions.  The topics would regularly focus on the topic of the speaker from that meeting. Other topics that required decision making would also be made during these discussions. It is obvious that from the topics within the meetings that the meeting were intended more for entertainment (Picture 1, Picture 2) than for actual education or awareness.  Beyond the meetings other events that were hosted by the PTA including Founders Day, Christmas Programs, Halloween Events, and the School Fair (for beginning of the school year), a business meeting and “social time” would also follow every meeting.  A meal (Picture 2) for those in attendance was also much anticipated part of the evening. It seems that PTA planned many of the social events within the community.

The community during this time also recognized, or rather felt, that the PTA was an important part of the McKenna School and the community. An example of this would be that they had founders day for the founders of the PTA itself. They would have a carnival activity and plays that incorporated the founders of the PTA. Another action that the community would take that showed the importance of the PTA was that they would write poems about the officers and the teachers. (These poems were also saved in the scrapbook). Also, the existence of the scrapbooks themselves shows that the activities hosted by the PTA were of great importance to the community members.