Some of My CHS Teachers Taught My Dad

Margi Whitright left a comment on my Helen Ketterer story: We loved these pictures of Miss Ketterer.  Who went to Central and DIDN’T have to interact with her at some point?  She was working at Central when my mother was a student there.  Mother was born in 1914 and said Miss Ketterer was very young when she went to work there, obviously.

I pulled out my Dad’s 1931 Girardot.

Holy Cow! Helen Ketterer wasn’t the only faculty member that was there when my Dad was in high school. I recognized five names. [Update: Bill East pointed out one that I missed: Cornelia Gockel, who taught Business.]

Here are three pages from Dad’s 1931 Girardot

1931 Girardot Faculty P16

Note Irene Smith, above. We knew her as Irene Wright. Also Cornelia Gockel

1931 Girardot Faculty P17

Above page shows Miss Ketterer.

1931 Girardot Faculty P18

This page has Edna Haman, Mary Z. Reed and Clara Krueger (more about her later). I like the comment by math teacher J. Ross Adams: Hope we’ll all soon be riding airplanes, don’t you?

Miss Krueger’s retirement party in 1963

Cape CHS Miss Krueger's retirement party 1963

Cape CHS Miss Krueger's retirement party 1963

The Southeast Missourian’s Out of the Past column, produced by Sharon Sanders, contained this note:

75 years ago: May 24, 1927

Cape Girardeau Central High School Chapter of National Honor Society has been organized, with school receiving its charter last week; charter members of society are Mildred C. Johnson, Mary E. Drum, Ruth Berry, Lucy J. Vangilder, I. Duard Meyer, Dorothy H. Samuels, Vera E. Kasten, Aleene Kimmick, and Helen M. Ketterer; sponsor of local chapter is Clara Krueger.

10 Replies to “Some of My CHS Teachers Taught My Dad”

  1. Add another one who was still on the faculty in 1966–Cornelia Gockel, who was head of the Business Department.

    Mary Z. Reed was the only one I had for a class, and I’m sure anyone who knew her remembers her affection for trees. It may be apocryphal, but supposedly at the beginning of the year, she always asked students what they did during the summer. As the story goes, there was always one guy who said he was a lumberjack to upset her. I guess she was one of the original “tree huggers.”

    1. I never had Mrs. Reed for any classes but my husband Bill to this day calls me” Tree Reed “when I chastise him for cutting down a healthy tree!!!

  2. You threw me with Irene Smith, then I realized it was Irene Wright, right? I took every class Mrs. Wright taught, except English. She was an unforgettable teacher.

  3. Good catch, Bill. I updated the page to add Cornelia Gockel. I must have missed her because I didn’t have any classes with her.

    And you’re right about Smith becoming Wright.

    Miss Reed looked the same in 1931 as she did when I had her. You’re right, she was one of the earliest “sensitive souls” I met. She had the saddest puppy dog eyes. I hadn’t heard the lumberjack story, but I can just see her in my mind’s eye hearing it.

    What surprised me was that so many of those teachers had gone to school out of state. Haman had been to Chicago and Wisconsin; Reed, Chicago and California; Krueger, Colorado; Smith-Wright was Wisconsin.

    Most of the other faculty members attended Missouri schools. You have to wonder why these five teachers (not counting Miss Ketterer, who attended SEMO when it was the State Teachers College) traveled all over the country for their education, then settled in Cape Girardeau for more than 30 years.

  4. I noted that Mary Z. Reed had studied at both the Chicago Art Institute and at USC. I was suprised, too, that she had traveled so far away for her studies and the returned to Cape Girardeau for endless years of employment there. I remember her quirk of pointing articles in newspapers out with her nose while she held the paper in her hands.

  5. My mother commented this morning that when Dad was in high school, Miss Reed boarded with his family for awhile.

    Amazing how you find out stuff that is interesting, but of probably of no value at all.

  6. Wow, these bring back a lot of memories also, one of my favorite teachers was miss smith, english, my wife graduated there in 1966, as phyllis cotner.
    Lanny and larry barnes, were some good friends of mine, in school..
    Again thanks.

  7. I like this blog and the writing style you use throughout your entry. You truly have a gift and a way with words. I pray you keep creating such powerful content on a everyday basis, as i definitely look forward to reading it.

  8. Ken,

    This is the first time I’ve seen these pictures and your commentary. I’m responding to your question about why some of the teachers, after moving around various parts of the country, stayed in Cape for 30 years. Maybe when they were young, they considered themselves lucky to find jobs during the Depression, and by the time World War II had ended, some of them might have been so scarred by the economic insecurity of the Depression that they were no longer willing to be quite so adventurous. It’s just a thought.

  9. I also have year books from the 1930s at central.

    Great looking back at all of the mabrey family on the

    foot ball teams then and also on teams in 1950s. what

    wonderful years.

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