Niagara Gazette


June 10, 2013

HIGGS: Trott Vocational through the years


Niagara Gazette — The school itself was a three-story brick building with 43 classrooms, an auditorium and gymnasium and pool. Additional shop sections were added in 1960 making the total costs including land, building and equipment at $520,625.06. The first principal was Harmon L. Gregory. William Jack joined the teaching staff at Trott Vocational in 1930 as a business instructor and left in 1942 to become principal at Niagara Falls High School.

I discovered that in January of 1946, returning veterans attended Trott in a section on the top floor that was designated strictly for them with a separate curriculum from the high school downstairs to help them learn a trade and obtain employment. A Niagara Falls Gazette article stated more than 400 veterans from all over Niagara County took advantage of this opportunity. There were also classes held in the evening for 18-30 year olds who took advantage of apprenticeship training in various trades such as millwright skills, chemistry, drafting, welding electrical and others. Over the years, girls enrolled at Trott to study cosmetology and practical nursing. This certainly met Dr. Lewis Wilson’s original vision and mission as stated at the 1929 dedication.

Another Gazette article from 1947 noted the Trott baseball team, coached by Milt Krum, was left with only two experienced players that year: Steve Rogala, a pitcher and Bob Martin, an outfielder. Some new but inexperienced candidates under consideration for pitching staff to join this team to bring it back to full strength following graduations were Mario Capanola, Ralph Colangelo, Herb Force, John Manarino and Chet Majchrzak.

The 28th graduating class of Trott Vocational in 1957 numbered 103 seniors, including Dominic Gabriele, Valedic Toriun, Constantino Rosini and Salin Tatarium who were pictured in the Niagara Falls Gazette. On June 26, 1961 the 33rd graduating class included Honor Students, Joseph Rizzo, Gloria Rephart, Lea Ann Howarth, Michael Promowicz and Judy Viso who was also class president. Other graduates mentioned and pictured were Tim McCoy, Robert LePage, David Kinney, Fred Sawicki, Stan Sikora and Judith Kew.

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