Niagara Gazette

Opinion

May 6, 2013

HIGGS: Comments and more on landmark school building

Niagara Gazette — Anthony Manarina sent me an email reminding me that “Vincent Ladd, a stern but dedicated man, ran a tight ship as principal at North Junior during our years there during the early 1950s.” He also recalled John Overhiser, one of his teachers who taught math and geometry and said he was a tough teacher who taught life lessons in his classes without the sugar coating. He mentioned others; Lucille Carella, Paul Balassone, Al Mis and of course the Dominianni sisters, Blanche and Adeline.

Now, who can help us remember his great Latin teacher — tiny lady with great white hair as he recalled. He said it was an interesting place to be, and there was a lot happening socially in the world and in our school.

Well, it did not take long or even a prompting as John Loss called me also to recall some memories of his days at North Junior. He remembered Vincent Ladd and also Jacob Goldstein as vice–principal. The great Latin teacher was Mary Nixon and she also taught Spanish. Margaret Mould was the French and German educator. He reminded me North Junior included 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades and high school was 11th and 12th. He went on to Trott Vocational and worked on the Niagara Power Project and now lives on Grand Island.

Another connection — he is somehow related (on the Shanesey side) to, and became close to my good friend Connie Rodhy who recently passed away. We talked about the former school buildings being reused such as Trott as a Niagara County Resource Center and the NF High School now the NACC. Also the former LaSalle High School is now the LaSalle Preparatory. All of these former schools no longer with us are the result of a population decline when our industrial employers left us. As a student in driver training he recalled they were taken to Augustus or Townsend Place to perform the “three-point-turn” during the dreaded road test. It was nice to hear from both of them.

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