Memories of Leroy Elementary School: Sharon Dodd Rodgers ’66

Guest Author: Sharon Dodd Rodgers ‘66 

I attended Leroy Elementary School in 1953 through 6th grade.  I repeated first grade; therefore I had Mrs. Peck and she remarried 2nd year and was Mrs. Henry.

I remember Mrs. Nelson whom I believed lived at the corner of Proctor and Rt. 86. The old house is still there.

I remember Mrs. Novak and principal Mrs. Raleigh, who also taught 6th grade.  Her office was in a classroom in the lower section which had been added on.

We ate lunch in the basement which seemed crowded and we had a real cook — Mrs. Rogers, I believe.  At some point we moved up to the gym for lunch.

Mrs. Novak’s class was in the basement.  I also remember Mr. Summerville.  He taught fifth grade.  He was very tall and thin and drove a Volkswagen, which was very funny to me as a kid because the car was so small.

My Aunt and Uncle, Annabelle and Forest Wiltshire, were custodians. They lived with their daughter on Rt 86 at the end of the school property.

My cousin, Lucille walked home for lunch and I always pestered her that I was going to come with her but never did. Lucille still lives in the same house right across the street from the Tavern….it was called Bucky’s Tavern at that time.

The bus garage was a long wooden garage sitting on the side by the playground.  We used to sit behind it and play in the dirt.

Not much changed in the upper original level since I went there.  Bathrooms and drinking fountain pretty much the same.  The little room across from the girls’ bathroom and up about five steps was where we went for polio shots and illness.

I remember kicking a dead rabbit that had been hit out in the road. Someone told on me and I was hollered at and told it was going in my permanent record.  Always wondered where my permanent record was!

Mrs. Peck or Henry turned me over her knee once in front of my class and paddled me for flying a paper airplane across the room.   She also reprimanded me for not reading Dick and Jane.  But I had already read the book because I could read before going to school and she did not believe me.

I loved the giant slides on the playground. Vacation Bible School was also held at Leroy Elementary in the summer in the basement.

If we did not have electricity at my house during the winter months, then the only way we knew if there was school  was to wade through the snow to the road and wait to see if the bus came.

When it snows in Leroy, it snows pretty good.  Many cold mornings standing and waiting for the bus, and our bus driver was Jay Baker.

Later, when the freeway (I-90) went through, if we heard trucks we assumed there would be school.  If no traffic sounds, probably no school because nothing had been plowed.

My greatest joy is that my sons Jason and Brian attended school there as well as my grandson Nicholas for half day kindergarten.

It is a shame to see it go but it was past due — to many problems and major repairs needed. However, our memories of Leroy Elementary will live on in our hearts.

Photo of Leroy Elementary School is courtesy of the Riverside Local School District.

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