Honoring a Pioneer

February 1935, Nassau Daily Review

The new central high school that has been established in the districts of Merrick, North Merrick, Bellmore, and North Bellmore has been named the Wellington C.Mepham Central High School without a dissenting vote.

Rarely has a more appropriate distinction come to an individual during his lifetime. The District Superintendent of Public Schools in the Town of Hempstead is a pioneer exponent of central high schools as a means of providing secondary education for districts which should not attempt to support individual high schools.

Through Mr. Mepham's advocacy and recommendation the first central high school in the State was established a few years ago at Valley Stream. Several years later the second was established at Floral Park: the Sewanhaka Central High School. It was through Mr. Mepham's influence that the central high school for the Merrick and Bellmore districts was approved.

Besides, being, a pioneer advocate of the central high school, Mr. Mepham is almost a pioneer teacher of the new central high school district. Years ago, we are informed, he was principal of the public school at Smithville South, which, is now North Bellmore. He has resided in the district for many years, living at Merrick,

No man can trace the growth of the educational system, in the Town of Hempstead like Mr. Mepham. He has seen the Town outgrow the one-room school, pass through the stage of the many-room wooden school with the bell tower and finally come to the point where every district has a number of schools and million dollar high schools are the rule rather than the exception in the larger villages.

The numerical increases in teachers and pupils in the district during the last generation are statistics which Mr. Mepham can quote as accurately as the multiplication tables. They are so sensational they might be doubted if such growth were not typical of many phases of Nassau County's development in recent years.

The popularity of the name given the new high school is shown by the results of an essay contest among children in the four districts calling for suggestions. Nearly 600 papers were turned in and, an overwhelming number suggested that the high school be made a memorial to Mr. Mepham, furnishing convincing reasons that include some of the ones we have enumerated.