Lannon State Graded (Elementary)School Teachers
and School History
Compiled by Mike Reilly 06/04/04
At the old stone school house
There is evidence that fromwhen public schooling was created in Wisconsin under the State firstconstitution, that grades only ranged from 1st thru 5th, and some sort of”high school” or upper level classes were offered to students. When achild started school was not determined by age so much, but what the teacherfelt he or she knew in comparison to other students. For instance, a 4 year oldmight be judged to know as much as a 2nd grader and initially placed in thatclass level. Ruth Schmidt, the late Merton historian, wrote that when she wentto school in the early 1900’s, she learned more by osmosis, listening to theupper grades in her class doing their recitations, math problems, and so on,than she did from the curriculum she was taught. She was also in a school thathad all eight grades in a single room. She started in the 2nd Grade and actuallyskipped two other elementary school grades along the way to”graduation”. At this time, it’s not known if Lannon started out witha single room school house or when the first school house was actually built onthe site of the stone, and later, wooden building.
circa 1889 Principal 1st&2nd 3rd&4th 5th 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895
At the new/old wood two-story
By accounts this building started with fourrooms (two down, two up ?)
Principal 1st & 2nd 3rd ? 4th & 5th 1896 1897 1899 1900 Maywin Hayes ? 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908
Lannonbecame a “first class graded school” sometime before 1910. Up untilthis time the school probably only had grades 1-5.
(Question – Did teachers have not onlya classroom with 1 or 2 grades to teach, but also specialize in teaching math,science literature, etc., to the entire school? There are many references to theAlgebra Class or the Science Class, and the Literary Society. Also note that thePrincipal usually taught class as well.) The entries below for teachers up to1987, except for the position of Principal may/don’t actually reflect the class(es)they actually taught
Also, did the position ofPrincipal exist prior to 1915 (see EducationHistory)? By newspaper accounts, one William Ryan was the Lannon principalin 1909; were there “supervisory teachers” before and/or after this?
The class distribution belowreflects what many, but not necessarily what Lannon had: Grades 1-3 wereconsidered “Primary”, 4-5, “Intermediate”, and6-8 were “Grammar” school grades.
Principal 1st, 2nd & 3rd 4th & 5th 6th, 7th & 8th 1909 William Ryan Annie Mylang Amelia Harmon Julia Byrnes 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 (P) Margaret Cosgrove Miss Nellie Cawley Miss Marie Gill Miss Marion Sharpe 1922 ” Miss Bronson ” 1923 Miss Burnett
By 1924, Lannon State GradedSchool was offering 9th and 10th Grades
The school (in 1925-35?) hadthree rooms downstairs and two up.
In a interview with KeithGissal, 10/18/2000, he explained that 8th was in the same room as the 9th&10th grades; 8th on one side of the room, the “high schoolers” onthe other. Depending on when you entered 8th, the “high schoolers”were being taught either freshman or sophomore curriculum, the next year theywere taught the other. So as a 8th grader, you could have listened to sophomoreclass level courses being taught, then as a freshman (when you moved across theroom the next year) you could have sat through the same sophomore curriculum orbe taught the freshman version.
Principal 1st & 2nd 3rd & 4th 5th & 6th 7th & 8th 9th & 10th Librarian 1924 1925 Miss Mabel (?) Gehl Marie Tobin Doris Wood Marion Holkenbrink 1926 ” 1927 ” Miss Lenice Bowl 1929 Glenn Werner ” 1930 Robert Stewart ” Miss Merry 1931 ” ” Miss Gertrude Thayer? Miss Ella Hilgert Misses Hilgert and Thayer 1932 ” ” Miss Veronica Costello? Gertrude Thayer? 1933 ” ” Robert Stewart ” 1934 ” ” 1935 ” ” 1936 “(?) Miss Councilman 3rd Grade Mrs.William (Margaret) Miller 1937 Philip Pejza (new) Miss Stein Room 1 ” Misses Curtis and Andersen Room 3 Philip Pejza ” Sept. 1938 – May 1939 ” ” ” ” Miss Ethel May Curtis ” ”
Teachers at the new school
1939 – new Lannon Elementary School is built and dedicated onSeptember 1st, and classes began on Monday September 11th. Grade 1 had 8enrolled; grade 2 – 10; grade 3 – 14; grade 4 – 19; grade5 – 14; grade 6 – 23;grade 7 – 17; grade 8 – 14; grade 9 – 16; and grade 10 – 9. The teachers wereMr. Philip Pejza, principal; Mr. Gumm; Misses Lees, Knoebel, and Rocheassistants. Mr. Hayes, music, and Mr. Phillips, band. The girls of the uppergrades have formed an athletic association with Miss Lees as advisor. Mrs.William (Margaret) Miller, librarian, announced that the library will soon open,and a new shipment of books is on the way.
Principal Philip Pejza
Miss Alice Knoebel Miss Evelyn Lees
Philip Pejza Librarian, Mrs.William (Margaret) Miller Art Band, Professor C. W.. Phillips Music Supervisor, Mrs. Hayes 1st/2nd 3rd/4th 5th/6th 7th?/8th 9th/10th 1940 ” ? ? ” 1941 ” Earl Powell ” 1942 John Stier (?) thru May 1942 1943 Glenwood Graulich all new teachers starting 1944 ” 1945 ” 1946 1947
Note: This 8th Grade graduating class was thefirst to have to go (be bussed) to other area high schools (mainlyMenomonee Falls). The 9th and 10th grades were discontinued at most areaelementary schools. The children then became “tuition students”;the municipality in which they lived had to pay the school district where theynow went to 4-year high school a yearly fee.
Stanford C. Witter
1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 Bernice P. Plato 1956 ” 1957 ” 1958 ” 1959 ” 1960 ” 1961 ”
Note: After the Hamilton School District was formed and the newhigh school built in 1962, Lannon reverted to grades 1-5, though there may have been akindergarten class as well.
Principal Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Librarian Art Band or Gym? Music 1962 1963 Bernice P. Plato 1964 ” 1965 ” 1966 ” 1967 ” 1968 1969 Principal Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Librarian Art Band or Gym? Music 1970 Miss Becker 1971 Ms. Buchowski ? 1972 James Butler Thomas Krenzke 1973 ” Mr. Tempski 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 Principal Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Librarian Art Gym Music 1980 Helen Pantelis 1981 ” 1982 ” 1983 ” 1984 ” 1985 ” 1986 ” 1987 over-crowding ” 1988 Judy Gurath Karen Thompson ” Mrs. Rintelman Mr. Wickler Mr. Stout 1989 *” Mrs. Olson, Mrs. Vermillion ” ” ” Mr. Condon Principal Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Librarian Art Gym Music
” Helen Weighter ” ” ” 1991 ” ” James Toshner ” ” ” Sandra L. Landgren 1992 ” James Toshner plus ” ” ” ” 1993 *” Cindy Piotrowski ” ” ” ” 1994 Louise Champan 1995 Karenlee Kubanek Helen Pantelis 1996 1997 1998 1999 Principal Kindergarten 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Librarian Art Gym Music 2000 Guy Holling
“My father wasprincipal of the school from 1937 to 1942 and I attended first and second gradesthere with Miss Alice Knoebel as my teacher from the fall of 1940 to May or June1942. Two corrections — we spell our name Pejza, not Pejsa. My father alsospelled his first name as Philip, not Phillip. My father taught 9th and10th grades, as I recall in addition to being principal.
You have to remember that Iwas a very young student there sixty years ago, so my memory of events that longago is somewhat faded. The school building was brand new when I was there. I doremember that there were several assemblies, one at Thanksgiving and one forLincoln’s birthday, probably for Christmas too. There was also a carnival ofsorts — my mother told fortunes in one booth. For a nickel or so, you could”see a night view of Lannon” — they took you into a darkenedclassroom and pulled up a window shade. I remember that on November 11, probablyboth in 1940 and 1941, there was a minute of silence in all the classrooms tocommemorate the armistice at the end of World War I. Classmates of mine wereAllan Cawley (from a farm west of town) and Judy Walters, whose folks I believeran the grocery store at the corner. The old school was still standingkitty-corner from their store but was unused.
In those days there was littlejob security for teachers — employment was at the whim of the local schoolboard. So about every five years my dad would look around and find a better job.He had come from Lublin, WI, up in Taylor County, where he had been principal ofa 4-room school. So Lannon was a step up. At first we lived in a house on theoutskirts of town. Then for about two years, we lived in Menominee Falls, beforemoving back to Lannon, about a block south of the school, next to a garage. Heleft Lannon after 5 years to take a job teaching math at Campion High School, aCatholic boarding school in Prairie du Chien, run by the Jesuits. He couldn’tfind a house in Prairie du Chien right away, so it was October 1942 before therest of the family moved.”
Rev. John Pejza (Son of PhilipPejza) 3Cjpejza@hotmail.com
In at least 1987, there were too manykindergarten students for Lannon to handle, so some had to attend class at MapleAvenue School in Sussex, then go back to Lannon for 1st Grade in Sept.1982 The students had Mrs. Jan Wunrow at Maple Ave.
12/7/93 – Lynelle Sandron hired as an emotional disabilitiesaide.
* 4/12/94 – Louise Champan interim principal at LannonElementary School after Sylvestor (Syl) Racinowski takes an extended leave ofabsence due to rheumatoid arthritis is named his official successor. Ms. Champanis a 19 year teacher veteran.
1995/1/20 – Bernice Platodied, age 71, former 1st grade teacher and reading specialist. Spent 34 yearsteaching, starting at Lannon Elementary in 1955. In 1968 became readingspecialist serving Willow Spring, Lannon, and North Lisbon School (today’sLisbon Town Hall. Retired in 1989; resident of Menomonee Falls.
1995/2/12- Helen Pantelis, 4th Grade teacher at Lannon, dies in a car accident; was inHamilton School District for 25 years, since 1970. In 1980 she came to Lannonteaching 2nd, 4th, and 5th Grades. Helen taught in Milwaukee for 5 years beforecoming to Hamilton School District. She was born in 1940.