Lannon Elementary School Teachers

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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 Roche

Miss Alice Knoebel Miss Evelyn Lees

 Mr. Gumm

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.

  Principal Kindergarten 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th 6th 7th 8th Librarian Art Band or Gym? Music 1948                             1949


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


Syl Racinowski

    ” 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

Circa 1930 – The Lannon SchoolNotes recorded the happenings at Lannon Graded School, penned by variousstudents and teachers for inclusion into the weekly Menomonee Fall News.

Doris Wood married JamesWalter

Marion Holkenbrink marriedJohn Walter

* The girls of the uppergrades have formed an athletic association with Miss Lees as advisor. Miss Leeswas also in charge of music for grades 5-10.

1940, May – Miss Roche announced she wasleaving to teach in Milwaukee, and Mr. Gumm left to teach at Lane School nearMilwaukee.

  “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)

Sept 1945 – 131 studentsattend Lannon State Graded School including its’ 2-year high school classes.

Nov. 1949 – Lannon Grade School started a hot lunch program providing soup.

Sept. 1950 – Lannon had a half-day kindergarten class for4-year-olds.

Fall, 1962 – Hamilton High School opens with 375 freshmenand sophomore students.

1968 –

Oct. 1970 – 280 studentsenrolled at Lannon School, more than twice the number in 1945.

Was Mr. Tempski the one-armed teacher?

May, 1985 – Village requests State approval to allow Lannon School to use an existingholding tank until sewer can be established. The 5,000 gal. tank has to bepumped nearly every day.

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.

1989 – Besides Mrs. Olsonand  Mrs. Vermillion each teaching a 1st grade class, there was athird 1st and 2nd Grade split/combined  class with Karen Thompson asteacher.

1992 – Mr. Toshner taught a combined/split4th and 5th Grade class due to over-crowding.

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.

July, 1994 – Plans unveiled for addition to Lannon Elementary School; referendum passes inNov, 1994

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.

1995/1/24 – 1st Gradersin Karenlee Kubanek’s class construct a model Lannon neighborhood.

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.

Teaching at Maple Avenue Elementary and Lannon