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More on the Springfield Effingham Academy PTA
2.06 echoes PTA pres
Some of the past presidents of the Springfield and Effingham Academy PTA. Front left to right: Virginia G. Thompson 1947-49, Annie T. Calhoun 1958-61, Mary Ruth T. Hendrix 1973-76, Ida M. Gnann 1952-58, Lois E. Arnsdorff 1951-52, Lillis E. Johnson 1963-65 and Euclid C. Mingledorff – past President of Clyo PTA (Clyo was closed). Back row: Barbara Ackerman representing husband Neel 1966-68, Boma C. Webb 1940-42, Daisy K. Rahn 1949-51, Saralyn T. Arnsdorff 1952-53 and Sara Johnson – past president of Clyo School PTA. Not shown: Sarah S. Ford 1975-77 and Faye May 1978-79. (Photo from Springfield Herald Feb. 23, 1978) - photo by Photo provided

This is a summary of the continuing PTA history by Mattie Lou Hinely of the Springfield PTA from 1928-46.

During the years 1930-31 a procedure of paying a $1.00 prize to the room with the most parents present was begun. The seats were installed in the auditorium, a chart was provided for primary room, 35 books were donated to the library with a book drive, pianos were tuned and record cabinets were provided for the school and library records. Mr. Jesse Shearouse gave a flag pole and the school bought a flag. They began to meet with Public Health to plan dental clinics and health classes.

In 1931-32 under the direction of President Mrs. J. C. Varnell a music room was furnished, a desk was furnished for the library, trash baskets purchased and trees were planted on campus. Suppers raised funds. Enrollment was up to 93 members in the PTA.

1932-33 saw the leadership of Mrs. J. H. Shearouse. Funds were raised with plays. The Science Room was remodeled, Diphtheria serum was provided for children unable to pay for immunization and milk requested for undernourished children in some grades. Magazine subscriptions were given to the library, maps and globes provided and auditorium repairs funded. The Welfare Committee provided donated clothing for the indigent. Beautification was begun. Grade mothers functioned for the first time. Prize for attendance was discontinued due to a funds shortage. The treasury had $10.59 at the term end.

Mrs. Shearouse returned to office after Mrs. B. J. Shealy resigned in 1933-34. “Mothers’ singers was begun”, magazines subscribed for library, eye chart purchased, suite of furniture bought for music room, text books for needy pupils provided, encyclopedia purchased for the library, pianos tuned, stage curtain and scenery provided and the stage floor was repaired. A community chest was begun to provide clothing for the needy. The year ended with $22.00 in the treasury.

In 1934-35 the President Mrs. A. D. Gnann and Welfare Committee Chair Mrs. J. C. Varnell had cooperation of the county nurse in carrying out Typhoid and Diptheria Clinics. A public health program was begun in the community through cooperation. Additional auditorium seats, magazines and a set of reference books added to the library. The Halloween carnival netted only $20.95. Funds were supplemented with $108.00 from beauty contests, sale of lunches at the Courthouse, sale of ice cream and plays. The year ended with a bill due of $3.00. (Times were hard.)

Mrs. Gnann led again in 1935-36. 14 children were provided $2.00 for clothing. During the year clothing, medicine and books were provided to the needy as well as three children reentered school with PTA assistance. The stage scenery was repaired; library was given magazines and 308 books bought for the library. The PTA in cooperation with the NYA secured playground equipment. The association assisted Trustees in floating a bond issue for the erection of a new school. Through the usual projects money was raised and the treasury had a balance of $123.82 at year’s end.

After resignation of Mrs. Fred Brinson, President, Mrs. Bowers Gnann, Sr. led the group in changing the Bylaws, plans for landscaping the campus, $100 contributed to buy opera chairs for the auditorium, $15 given to purchase song books, donations obtained to fence the campus, flag for campus and Bible for auditorium purchased, contributed $132 toward joint purchase with Trustees of a piano and plans were made for a preschool clinic. By the end of the year, $40 was due on piano, $155.90 was in hand for the fence and the treasury had $48.49. Plans were laid to start a school lunch program as soon as possible. Mrs. J. M. Marchman and Miss Ethel Earl were sent to State Convention.

Mrs. J. M. Marchman resigned in November of the 1937-38 school term and Mrs. W. W. Jones was elected for the remainder of the term. The first Dental Clinic was held in cooperation with the county nurse and the PTA approved expenditure of $30 for dental corrections for 19 destitute and 30 low income families. Preschool clinic was held April 29th and discussions for TB (Chest) Clinic were begun with the association joining other schools in the county to protest dismissing the county nurse for economic reasons. The Public Health Nurse was retained. Fence building was approved but lunch room was unable to be started due to lack of available cooking and serving space. A printing machine and library books were provided. The Science Department and Library were partly furnished and supplies added.

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: