THE OLD SCHOOL
THE NEW SCHOOL

Text reprinted from a 1937 edition of the Buccaneer
Photos from the Alumni Association archives

September, 1935! Bedford Avenue, Bellmore, N.Y. A small wooden, six-room building with an old-fashioned school bell--this was the setting into which the first students of the Wellington C. Mepham High School were introduced. The Old School

Orginal Teachers At that time there were 150 of us, only six teachers and the principal. They were: (in photo) Mr. John Carr, Mr. Herman Tennant, Mr. William Jaatinen, Miss Felice Gunther, Mr. Sanford H. Calhoun, principal, Miss Agnes Berwind, and (not in photo) Miss Doris Moyle. The only subjects that were taught that first year were English, Latin, elementary algebra, general science, civics, and economic citizenship.


The first day of school, September 1935. (Click for larger image)


The staff is in the center column, third row from the bottom.
Mr Carr, Mr Jaatinen, Miss Gunther, Miss Berwind, Mr Calhoun, Mr Mepham, Miss Moyle, secretary(?), Mr Tennant.

Each student who once attended the old annex has some different memory. Let us recall a few. Remember the fun that we had during the passing of classes? We always met our friends... that was inevitable, because the two halls were so small. We ate lunch in the Bellmore Grammar School cafeteria or on the grounds of our tiny campus. It was our freshman year and we attained the highest percentage of students who passed-- 95.435 per cent for the entire school.

Spring was one of the best times of the year, and that period when studies suffered the most. Directly outside the classroom windows were several huge cherry trees which imparted their ethereal aromas to Mepham's struggling students. Who could work under such conditions? We gave several dances. Our great dramatic attempt was a one-act play named "Elmer".

So much for our life in our small wooden schoolhouse. Never shall we forget those joyful days in the "old school".

And then September 1937! Camp Avenue, North Bellmore, N.Y. A modern, red brick building on a twenty-one acre campus-- this is Mepham High School grown up. With an increased faculty, student body and janitorial staff, three classes of students entered the new structure in the year of '37. What a change for the entire group! An almost unbelievable metamorphosis had taken place, and an entire school had to readjust itself. The process was, however, quick and easy.

In four years our student body has grown from 150 to 1100, our faculty from 6 to 45, our janitorial staff from 1 to 10, our classrooms from 6 to 43. Mepham has put itself on the map in sports, it leads the state in wrestling, and has challenging football, basketball, baseball and track teams. All sorts of clubs hava been formed including dramatics, debating, commercial and camera groups. A school newspaper, "The Buccaneer," has been established and a chapter of the National Senior Honor Society has been organized.

Such changes have taken place in two short years. May the Wellington C. Mepham High School continue to grow and develop for years to come.



From Board News Letter by Sanford H. Calhoun, dated October 1935

COURSES OF STUDY:- Lack of space necessarily limits the number of courses offered this year to three:- College Entrance, General, and Commercial

Excerpted from a publication of the Mepham Student Personnel Service An Introduction to High School Life and Vocational Opportunity:

"A curriculum is a course of study. At Mepham there are three curricula. Students planning to go to college elect the College Entrance Curriculum while those going into business elect the Commercial Curriculum. All other pupils elect the General Curriculum."



By spring of 1936 there were 238 students in the old school and Mr Calhoun anticipated another new class being added in September 1936 so he hired additional teachers.

From Board News Letter by Sanford H. Calhoun, dated May 1936