From 1812 – when the New York state legislature authorized the formation of common schools to provide basic educational needs to a community’s students – through the early part of the 20th century, one room school houses made up the greatest part of the education system in Sullivan County.
In 1870, when the county had a population of 34,557, of which 13,635 were of school age, there were 198 school districts here. Those 198 districts employed 196 teachers, handling an average daily attendance of 4091 students. Most of those teachers were women. By 1939, there were 98 school districts in the county, and most had grown beyond the one room school-house. Still, women made up a significant part of the workforce needed to keep these districts running efficiently. Continue reading
Fort Ticonderoga will host the Seventh Annual Colonial America Conference for Educators on Friday, May 15, 2015, in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. This day-long conference, while intended for educators, is open to anyone with an interest in helping connect students with history.
The conference focuses on the period 1609-1783 and features presentations by classroom teachers, museum educators, and archivists. The conference precedes Fort Ticonderoga’s Twentieth Annual War College of the Seven Years’ War, a weekend-long seminar focused on the French & Indian War (1754-1763). Continue reading
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor will again offer its school trip grant program, Ticket to Ride. The grant offers transportation and educational program funding for schools across New York State. By covering bus and tour fees, the program makes it possible for schools to take advantage of first-rate educational field trips to designated museums and historic sites throughout the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Continue reading
Alexander Hamilton is boffo at the box office. The heretofore unsung Founding Father best known for losing a duel is the subject of over two hours of song and dance in the new musical Hamilton. The Off-Broadway show is packing people in to rave reviews and reactions and is expected to move to Broadway this summer. Hamilton has become a bit of a phenomenon that has taken Manhattan by storm.
Hamilton also is of critical importance to health and future of this country. While that might seem like an over-the-top assertion, it isn’t. Continue reading
Fort Ticonderoga is launching the Edward W. Pell Graduate Fellowships for students seeking practical, hands-on internship experience at a historic site and museum.
The fellowships run from June 15 to August 15, 2015, and include internships in Collections, Exhibitions, Education, and Interpretation. Continue reading
The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands has announced that a $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to college bound high school seniors or college students from the Hudson Highlands region who have shown an interest in the history of the area and have demonstrated this interest through participation in related activities. Continue reading
Despite the death of founder Donald G. Carpentier, a full slate of workshops and symposia are scheduled for Eastfield Village during the summer of 2015. Under the aegis of the non-profit Historic Eastfield Foundation, the 39th Annual Series of Early American Trades and Historic Preservation Workshops will offer education and hands-on training at the unique restoration village located in East Nassau, New York.
Beginning in June and running through August, the workshops will appeal to a wide range of students, including homeowners looking to deal with issues concerning historic home maintenance and restoration, as well as tradesmen, craftsmen, and museum personnel seeking to advance their knowledge and skills. Continue reading
SUNY Adirondack and Open SUNY are offering an online course on New York State History for the 2015 Spring semester. You may register through either institution and you do not need to be a matriculated student.
The semester begins on January 20th and ends on May 8th. The course is a 200-level undergraduate course, but students may work at the graduate level. Continue reading
Just a few months after losing a re-election bid as county school commissioner, Ottilia Beha accepted a position in New York City, where she began teaching in 1903. By 1909, she had taught at several public schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, and had served as assistant principal at two facilities, gaining valuable experience.
In fall of that year, she was among 258 teachers to take the licensing exam for elementary school principal. Ottilia finished at the top of the group, leading to a promotion as principal of a Brooklyn school with 800 students and a staff of 19 employees. Continue reading
For most of us, there are one or more teachers who made a difference in how our lives turned out. It might have been their kindness, teaching ability, understanding, or enthusiasm that inspired or affected us deeply. Whether you’re young or old, they remain “Mr.” or “Mrs.” to you throughout life, even if your ages differ by only a decade. It’s partly force of habit, but the special ones merit a lifetime of respect for one compelling reason: they made a difference.
For a great many folks attending school in Lewis County in the years on both sides of 1900, and an even larger group in a distant city, that person was Ottilia Beha. Such an unusual name was fitting for an unusually dedicated teacher. Continue reading