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History of Springfield Parent Teacher Association
Above is a February 1955 photo of past PTA presidents of Effingham Academy in Springfield. They are, from left to right: Mr. Walter Gnann, Mrs. A. D. Gnann, Mrs. Bowers Gnann, Sr., Mrs. J. M. Marchman, Mrs. W. W. Jones, Mrs. Raybun Webb, Mrs. Troy Tebeau, Mrs. Leslie Thompson, Mrs. Ralph Rahn, Mrs. Felton Arnsdorff, Mrs. Alton Arnsdorff, Mrs. Sidney Bazemore and Mrs. Leroy Watts. - photo by Photo provided

The following was written by my late grandmother, Mattie Lou C. Hinely and she presented it to the Effingham Academy PTA.  

Introduction: As the National Congress of Parents Teachers (Association) prepares to celebrate its 50th Anniversary, and as the Georgia Congress its 41st year, Effingham County will in September 1947 celebrate its 19th birthday. In order that these years be recalled as have passed each past President will account for his and her term or terms of service. The history is dated 9/7/28 – 5/30/46.

The following served as President: 1928-30 Mrs. J. H. Shearouse, 1930-31 W. A. Gnann, 1931-34 Mrs. J. H. Shearouse, 1934-36 Mrs. A. D. Gnann, 1936-37 Mrs. C. Bowers Gnann, (Sr.), 1937-39 Mrs. J. M. Marchman, 1939-40 Mrs. L. B. Ackerman, 1940-42 Mrs. W. R. Webb, 1942-44 Mrs. J. M. Marchman, 1944-45 Mrs. Harry Ramsey, 1945-47 Mrs. Troy Tebeau, 1947-49 Mrs. Leslie Thompson and 1949-50 Mrs. Ralph Rahn.

On invitation of Trustees and Superintendent R. B. Eleazer of Effingham Academy persons interested in the welfare of school and pupils met to discuss organizing a PTA. District President, Mrs. Guy Wells of Statesboro and Mr. Lee Howard, Vice-President of 7th District of Congress of the Parent Teacher Association, were present to discuss purpose of the Association and procedure of organization. Superintendent Eleazer acted as temporary chairman and Miss Winifred Shearouse was elected temporary secretary to the proposed organization.  

At this first meeting the following committees were appointed: nominating, membership, Constitution, bylaws and program. The group decided to meet on September 14 (1928) to complete organization.  Mr. Dallas Spurlock, member of the Trustees of Effingham Academy acted as chairman at this second meeting.  Bylaws were presented by Mrs. Y. E. Bargeron and adopted. The following officers were proposed by the nominating committee: President Mrs. J. H. Shearouse, Vice-President Mrs. W. D. Beckwith, Treasurer Mrs. J. E. Zeigler, Recording Secretary Miss Winifred Shearouse and Corresponding Secretary Mrs. Y. E. Bargeron. Miss Winifred Shearouse declined nomination and Mrs. Harry Ramsey was added to the slate of officers and all officers were elected as proposed.  Regular monthly meeting date was scheduled for 2nd Thursday evening in each month. Charter members of the association were: Mrs. C. B. Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. Y. E. Bargeron, Miss Gladys Bell, Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Bragg, Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Calhoun, Mrs. A. B. Cummings, Miss Grace Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Eleazer, Mrs. Clay Elkins, Mrs. Ida Gnann, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Gnann, Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Grovenstein, Miss Lois Harvey, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Hawk, Mrs. Frank Hodges, Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Hooker, Miss Olive Human, Mrs. F. L. Ingram, Mr. C. A. Jerald, Mrs. W. I. Loper, Mrs. Lena McLeod, Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Marchman, Miss Myra Marchman, Mr. and Mrs. Ossie Marsh, Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Moore, Miss Janette Morrow, Mrs. Addie Neidlinger, Mrs. Jean Pittman, Mrs. A. S. Roach, Mrs. Corrie Seckinger, Miss Jane Sessions, Mrs. B. J. Shealey, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Shearouse, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Shearouse, Mrs. Minnie Shearouse, Miss Winifred Shearouse, Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Spurlock, Mr. Orley Strange, Miss Annie Tebeau, Miss Edith Tebeau, Mrs. Fred Tebeau, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Tebeau, Mrs. S. O. Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Varnell, Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Wilson and Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Zettler.  

The 63 charter members and one additional member agreed upon and paid dues of 35 cents. PTA Congress publications and standard of excellence were used as guides in carrying out aims of the organization.  Furnishing the school library was begun. Funds were raised with a Halloween carnival which netted $50.55.  Sale of lunches added to funds and school year closed with a balance of $137.78 in the treasury.  During the year Mrs. A. S. Roach replaced Mrs. Beckwith as Vice-President and Miss Jane Sessions was elected Secretary. The same officers served for 1928-29. This organization began the year with encouragement that it had ranked 1st in membership representation in the past spring district conference. During the year PTA officers followed suggested installation service, a scrap book was begun, faculty was entertained at beginning of term, play ground equipment was bought, song books purchased for the school, seats ordered for auditorium, additional supplies provided for library, contributions made to State and National dues and special aid was given in form of tuition and pantry showers.  Funds were supplemented by Halloween Bazaar and suppers. The year closed with $100.00 in the treasury.  Delegates were sent from the local organization to 7th District Conference during the year.  

To be continued...

This article was compiled by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society.  If you have comments, photos or information to share contact her at 754-6681 or email: