It’s midterm time at Staples High School — so how about a pop quiz for everyone?
The subject is “Westport schools.” The answers are below. No cheating though — and no Googling!
- How many students were in Staples’ first graduating class? And what was special about them?
- Edward T. Bedford provided the funds for Bedford Elementary School and Bedford Junior High. But he also helped build another Westport school. Which was it?
- If you went looking for the old Burr Farms Elementary School, what would you find there today?
- True or false: The Doors, Eric Clapton, Rascals and Rolling Stones all performed at Staples.
- Name 2 predecessors of Greens Farms Academy.
- If a sneaker brand was associated with Bedford Middle School, what would it be?
- A longtime principal of the original Saugatuck Elementary School on Bridge Street shares the same last name as the founder of one of Westport’s first private academies. What is that name?
- The 2nd principal of Staples High School has a parkway in Connecticut named for him. Who was he?
- Two Staples High School athletic teams practiced in the basement of the old school, on Riverside Avenue. Which teams were they?
- Many decades ago, the Westport Board of Education rejected a proposal to add Spanish to the foreign language curriculum. Why?
Before I give the answers, here’s the reason for today’s quiz:
On Sunday, January 29 (3 p.m.), the Westport Historical Society hosts a reception for its new exhibit.
“Westport School Days: 1703-Present” offers a wide and fascinating look at the evolution of education here in town. From the first formal class (on “Green’s Farms Common”), through the growth of private academies and public schools, to today’s nationally renowned system, there’s a lot to learn.
Maps, photos and memorabilia — report cards! a bench from the original Adams Academy! — make for intriguing viewing.
Whether you went to school here or not — and whether you were an A student or spent all your time in the principal’s office — this is one exhibit not to be absent for.
And now, your test results:
- There were 6 students in Staples’ first graduating class. All were girls.
- Edward T. Bedford helped build both Bedford Elementary School and Bedford Junior High — and also Greens Farms El.
- Burr Farms Elementary School is now the site of large homes, on Burr School Road. The athletic fields are still there, however.
- False. All of those acts actually did appear at Staples — except the Stones.
- Greens Farms Academy’s predecessors include Mrs. Bolton’s School and the Kathleen Laycock Country Day School.
- A sneaker brand associated with Bedford Middle School would be Nike. The school is built on the former site of Nike missile silos.
- Both the boys and girls rifle teams practiced in the basement of Staples High School, when it was on Riverside Avenue. There was a shooting range down there.
- Dorothy Adams was the longtime principal of Saugatuck Elementary School. Ebenezer Adams founded Adams Academy. Both buildings remain. Saugatuck is now elderly housing on Bridge Street; Adams Academy is a historic site on North Morningside Drive.
- The Wilbur Cross Parkway is named for Staples High’s 2nd principal. He went on to become a distinguished professor at Yale University — and the governor of Connecticut.
- The Board of Education rejected a proposal to add Spanish to the foreign language curriculum because they believed it would have little value for Westport students.
(For more information on the Westport Historical Society exhibit, click here.)