Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

071_Goodrell and Warren Harding Junior High Schools


071_Goodrell and Warren Harding Junior High Schools


This is a page from the collection "Bicentennial Reflections: History of Des Moines Public Schools, 1876-1976" by Dr. Robert R. Denny, published by the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa in 1976.

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East High faculty members and students presented her with a silver goblet commemorating her life as a teacher and student. As president of the East High School Alumni Association, Miss Goodrell received a number of honors. To show their appreciation of her leadership and guidance at East High School, the alumni sent her to Europe with all expenses paid. Throughout her 40 year career she had three basic characteristics. She was always described as strict, firm and fair. Mr. L. K. Boutin, a former pupil under Miss Goodrell, described her as "well respected and well thought of." Dr. Harry Dahl, a member of the school board when May Goodrell was built, described her as "outstanding." Miss Goodrell was rushed to the hospital on August 29, 1939 after she suffered a fracture of the right hip in a fall. Bronchial pneumonia resulted. This disease was given as the cause of her death. May Goodrell died September 3, 1939 at the age of 80. Her sister and family are still living here in Des Moines. Her memory is still kept alive by the school that was named after her - MAY GOODRELL - THE PRIDE OF DES MOINES. In the mid-1970s Goodrell finds itself faced with a number of empty classrooms. The opening of Hoyt Middle School to the east of them took a good many students who were formerly in the Goodrell attendance area. Their enrollment in 1972 was over 1000 and in 1975 was about 720. Their educational programs include Title III Career Interest Student Survey as well as Title III Rent-A-Kid. In the World of Work they have typing and business training. They participate in the Police-School Liaison program and have a learning disabilities resource teacher. They also maintain a math lab, special help for reading improvement, student tutoring and peer counseling. Principals of Goodrell Jr. High School have been: 1955 - 1959 Merle F. Schlampp 1959 - 1971 Raymond D. Bishop 1971 - Norman Miller Harding Jr. High WARREN HARDING JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL Euclid Ave. and Cambridge Grades 7, 8, 9 Naming of the School About the time this school was being built, there seemed to be a marked tendency to name school houses after American presidents. Warren Harding Junior High, completed in 1926, was no exception to that rule. It was named for the then recently deceased Warren Gamaliel Harding, 29th President of the United States, who had been in office only 29 months when his death occurred in 1923. Dates of Construction The corner stone of Warren Harding was laid on Thursday, May 7,1925. The student body and faculty moved into the building in February 1926. During the 1959-1959 school year, a complete remodeling of all shower and locker facilities was done in conjunction with the building of a new gym for the boys. All hall lockers were replaced and a new inter-com system installed during the summer of 1971. The Student Council financed the purchase of placement of a monument at the corner of East Euclid and Cornell during the 1971-1972 school year. The monument enhances the corner and gives the name of the school and the year of its opening. Brief History Warren Harding Junior High, built at a cost of $587,692, opened its doors in February, 1926, with an enrollment of 525 students. There was a steady increase in the student population until a peak enrollment of 1095 was reached in September, 1960. The new gym and remodeled facilities put into full use with the opening of the 1959-1960 school year enabled Warren Harding to have an expanded physical education and intramural program.