Friday, June 11, 2010

Remembering teachers past

JAMES A. MYERS was born in Casper, Wyoming, in 1906, but he was raised and spent his entire professional education career in Chadron – serving the Chadron Public Schools for 44 years.

The son of a railroader, Myers grew up at 635 King Street in a house built by his father. That was his address for more than 50 years.

Young Jim went through elementary and secondary school in Chadron, then enrolled at the Chadron Normal College, where he earned his degree in 1928. He signed on as a math teacher at Chadron High School, a job he held for 21 years. For some of those years, he also did double duty as an Assistant Principal. That was followed by some 23 years as CHS Principal – from 1949 to 1972, when he retired.

During those years at Chadron High School, many students knew the Home Ec teacher…..others knew the coaches……others were well-acquainted with the shop teacher. But EVERYONE knew the Principal, Mr. Myers. In those years, it was hard to see him as a fiercely dedicated educator committed to quality education, which he was. He was deeply respected (some might say feared). It took several years for some of us to warm up to this quiet and gentle man who was an effective teacher and administrator.

Myer’s wife, Nellie, taught elementary grades for many years; she passed away in 1969.

Myers was feted at a banquet at the end of the 1972 school year. More than 200 people gathered at the Middle School gym for the “Jim Myers Day” event. Former students and colleagues joined in the celebration, including long-time Superintendent of School H. A. Schroeder.

Former students paying tribute to Myeres included Harold Clark from the class of 1929; Gordon Larson from the class of 1934; Ozzie Ostrander, class of 1947; Mick Megown, class of 1958; Neil Daniels from the class of 1962; Bob Roos, class of 1969; and Jan Baumann from the class of 1972.

While Myers was presented with an engraved wrist watch in honor of his retirement, he made it clear that it’s the good memories he’s taking away that will be most cherished.

I remembered having looked back at some of the yearbooks in my office, and the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the multitude of fine memories that I’ll be taking with me,” said Myers.

Myers moved to Vancouver, Washington in 1972 to be near his son, Ralph, and family. Dr. Ralph Myers was a research chemist for Crown-Zellerbach paper products.
Jim Myers died in 1990