Archbold, OH

Letter To The Editor

I read with interest your article of John Downey’s no vote.

The statement “with all the extra demands placed on our administrator,” took me back to my first several years at Archbold.

I was hired in 1967. I replaced Jake Spengler.

For several years I continued the summer academic program for area high school students. We also had a driver education program for area students, and a science fair for any school that wanted to participate. I oversaw these programs.

During the early 1970s, Elmira, Ridgeville Corners and a part of Franklin joined the Archbold school district. We operated all the buildings.

That meant we had three cafeteria programs to operate. We had 21 bus routes. We made Ridgeville a junior high center, so we had to transport all seventh and eighth graders to that building.

I got Dave Rex to take the job of principal, and he did an outstanding job of running that program.

I was in charge of the cafeterias as well as the transportation program and buildings and grounds.

The enrollment at that time was over 1,800 students, the highest enrollment ever.

Gene Rupp, Mike Sullivan, Dave Rex, Charles Winzeler and I, along with teacher input, kept the curriculum up to date.

Newsletters and bulletins were published as needed. My office was also the ordering place for all school and custodial supplies. With all I did, I never felt overworked or burdened.

Meeting with parents or others having school problems gave me the opportunity to point out strong points of the school system.

After I was hired, I wanted to talk to Jake Spengler about the school system and the community. I finally located him, but not in his office. He was mopping roof coating on the industrial arts vo ag building.

I didn’t think it was necessary to have a transportation supervisor, a cafeteria supervisor, a curriculum director, and a dean of students.

I realize that times have changed and additional responsibilities have been placed upon school systems, so new positions are probably needed.

One of my most important duties was hiring good coaches. Chuck Forward and John Downey were rare finds, and two of the best.

Chuck established the wrestling program, and John made the football and track programs tops in the state. Barb Short was more than great in putting the softball program on top of the heap.

My most important responsibility was reading the Archbold Buckeye.

One day, a custodian called and inquired about the opening of school.

He said he had received his letter with all the details but had not read it in the Buckeye.

I said, “Do you have to read it in the Buckeye?”

He said, “Oh yes, nothing is official until you read it in the Buckeye.”

An informational full-page advertisement about the school programs came out that week. The announcement was updated and published at the start of each school year thereafter.

Richard Harris


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