Bullskin's One-Room Schoolhouse Students Reunited

By Basinger, Rachel R. | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Bullskin's One-Room Schoolhouse Students Reunited


Basinger, Rachel R., Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Laverne Sultzer and her classmates will be attending a class reunion today, but it won't be their graduating class.

Instead, about 40 to 60 people will gather to celebrate their attendance at one of nearly 20 one-room schoolhouses in the Bullskin Township area in the 1930s and 1940s.

Sultzer said that while each group from each schoolhouse once held individual school reunions, dwindling turnouts indicated a need for combined reunions.

Mudd School and Ore Mine School, however, still hold their own reunions every year.

Verna Cable of Bullskin Township said the first reunion was held in September of 1962 when Denver Shultz put it together in honor of teacher Oakie Christner.

And every year since then the group has gotten together to reminisce about time spent in a one-room schoolhouse.

Jim Ranker, who attended Johnson School, located at the end of today's East End Road, said the one-room school education was probably better than today's format.

"We were closer and we knew everyone and we all worked together," he said. "I think we got a good education. We learned to read and write and do arithmetic."

Sultzer attended both Rice and Crossroads schools and said the school day began at 9 a.m. with one teacher teaching grades kindergarten through eighth grade in that same classroom at the same time.

"Just before school started, the teacher or a student she chose would go outside and ring a big bell to call all the kids in," she said. "Then we began each day with the Pledge of Allegiance, Scripture reading and saying the Lord's Prayer."

Sultzer added that every day a lesson would be written on a very large blackboard and students would all have inkwells that they would use to write their letters. …

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