My Extra-Curricular Work at Lincoln


This chapter may read as if I'm bragging (and perhaps I am!) but I am proud of the extra work I did and want my children to know about it. I want them to realize I am a person, not just a grandmother.

After I had been in the main office a year or so, Dr. Roy Howard, head of the Special Education for the Seattle Schools asked if I would keep the records of those attending the Martha Washington School, Florence Crittendon School, and Firlands. These schools don't exist now. Pregnant High School girls weren't allowed to remain in school back then. Their parents either sent them to out-of-town relatives or they lived at Florence Crittendon until the baby was born. Girls with problems were sent to Martha Washington School in Burien.

I kept all of their records and was one of just three or four who knew their last names. When they finished their high school course, I ordered diplomas along with those of Lincoln seniors and their names were included in the graduation program.

Once I participated in the commencement luncheon at Martha Washington and in my remarks I inadvertantly said "-I hope you continue in the way you are-" at this there was a giggle and I hurriedly said I hoped they continued their studies.

The head teacher took me through the school and dormitory once and I remember all the stuffed animals and dolls on their beds. Once I had the records of an 8th grader.

The people at Firlands were much older, some adults. I remember one boy was from a southern state. When I received his records I was appalled. From then on no one could convince me that education for blacks and whites was equal.

When Social Security was voted in, I received dozens and dozens of requests for confirmation of birth dates from school records. In discussing these requests with other school secretaries, I found I was the only one who took time to search when the permanent record couldn't be found. Once the only thing I found was one report card. Giving the date and the student's name sufficed.

My job was not counseling, but I did some anyway. At the beginning of the last semester of a student's senior year I had to check the records for number of credits, and if they had the required subjects or were signed up for what was needed. If they lacked either credits or required subjects I called them in and advised them what to do.

When World War II drafted boys and just a few credits were lacking, I was allowed to add four, I think it was, for their basic training. My sister-in-law's brother left school before graduation lacking just one or two credits. When credits for his army training were added, I ordered a diploma for him (and he's never thanked me!) His was one of a number of such cases I discovered when their records were requested.

This part of my work I am proud of. So many I helped without their knowledge.

I loved my work and I loved the students, even the ones who were sent to the office to see the vice-principal. I'm sure this was the reason that the two times our office was broken into that no serious damage was done, records were not destroyed as had happened in other school offices, nor furniture broken.

I loved vacations, but looked forward to getting back to work.

If I had my life to live over, I would work in a school office again.

Handwritten on White, 7"x 8 1/2" center spiral notebook paper. JA typed 8/20/2000.

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