Reflections: Speech’s influence at Cardington High School


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I was reading through “old” Cardington school newspapers and school year books and was reminded of a program that involved dozens of students between 1950 and the late 1960s.

Speech. Under the tutelage of Fae Burr, teacher, the school’s speech program gave dozens of students the opportunity to speak and debate in public.

It was December, 1950, when Miss Burr, speech teacher, received word the school qualified for membership in the National Forsenic League and a chapter was established at the school.

The chapter had to consist of a minimum of five members. They were Don Reinwald, Bruce Gantz, and Joan Richeson from the Class of 1950 and Charlotte Patterson and Jeanne Rengert, the latter two being freshmen.

Through the ensuing years speech students were members of the school’s Thespian Chapters, the debate teams, the Prince of Peace contests and many individual events, all under the direction and teaching of Miss Burr.

Marilyn Radel Davis and Betty Greenawalt Grooms remember Miss Burr picking them up in her automobile at 6 a.m. to go as far as Dayton to a speech event.

Prince of Peace contests were held in local churches and judges were local people. My mother loved judging them. Students winning in a Prince of Peace contest held in December, 1950, included Bob Bowman and Patty Long, first, and Charlotte Patterson and Evelyn Faust, placing second during contests held at four Morrow County churches.

The school’s debate team tied for second place in a debate tourney held in Delaware in February, 1956. Members of that team were Bill Phillips and Fred Cooney, affirmative and Philip Conaway and Louis Waterer, negative.

That same month James Murphy tied for first place in dramatic declaration at the speech tourney held in a Dayton High School. Others placing in that contest included Emily Reed, Carole Jones, Frank Levering, Dana Sherman, James Eastep, Esther Foust, Ann Schwartz and Smythe VanSickle.

Also in February, 1956, Cardington swept the county speech contest at Marengo with the same participants winning first and second places.

The Debate Team of Larry Beckel and Douglas Ebert, negative side, won all three rounds over three high schools in a National Forsenic League contest held in Lexington in December, 1966. Larry Smith and Gary Ebert, the affirmative side. won their first two rounds but dropped the last one to the host school during that contest.

I do not know just when these speech programs stopped being part of the curriculum but I do know that all of its success can be attributed to one person, the late Fae Burr.

Does this piece bring memories? It does for me — Miss Burr also directed our plays — and I was fortunate to be part of several casts. She was a great motivator as well as being a talented and caring teacher.

80 years ago, September, 1938: Professor L. W. Glauner, whose father, John, operated a clothing store in Cardington in the early 1900s. spoke to the local Rotary Club during its weekly meeting.

Morrow County Auto dealers sold a total of 13 new school buses in August. The Marion-Cardington Road (State Route 529) was transferred from the Morrow County Commissioners to the state highway department’s responsibility.

70 years ago, September, 1948: Shirley Levering of Cardington, was one of six Morrow County youths named to attend the Ohio 4-H Club Congress in Columbus that month.

60 years ago, September, 1958: Ohio State University Senior, Ralph Strohl of Cardington, was a member of the School of Agriculture’s Champion Livestock judging team.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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