Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

024_Early Board Members and Committeees


024_Early Board Members and Committeees


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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Lucas SchooL Olive McHenry SchooL (Photograph) E. 16th and Capitol Olive McHenry School (Photograph) 17th and Crocker The duties of these committees are as follows: The committee on buildings and grounds shall have general supervision of the property of the district. The committee on finance shall examine and audit the accounts of all school officers, make estimates of the expenses of the school year and have general supervision of the financial affairs of the school district. The committee on instruction in connection with the superintendent shall have the general supervision of teachers, textbooks, and the school work and shall recommend to the board such changes as the welfare of the schools may demand. The committee on supplies shall be in charge of all purchasing of all supplies and apparatus for use for the schools. The committee on printing shall give orders pertaining to the school district's printing. The committee on janitors shall have general supervision of the janitors, heating and ventilation. In other words, school board members took a very active role in visiting school personnel, both certified and noncertified, making suggestions for improvement, buying supplies, equipment, and in general running the schools. In time, these burdens became too time consuming. Also the public sought professional leadership for these jobs. The matter of hiring a full-time superintendent plus assistants in special areas to run the school district on a businesslike basis came to be the custom. However, there was great influence in these smaller districts by a vigorous board member. A particular board president might best be illustrated by George N. Frink who was elected to the board of education in the Capital Park District in 1898. He was chosen president in 1901 by by the members of the board and held that position for three consec- tive years. He worked diligently at getting the Capital Park System operated so that they could be accredited by NCA. He brought in winning coaches since the game of football was a fairly new one. He worked faithfully for the interest of the Capital Park Schools and the affluent area that it represented. He promoted the sentiment against consolidation with the East Des Moines Public Schools and sought to maintain a strong, vigorous, academic school system. The school yearbooks from Capital Park were dedicated to President George N. Frink which indicated that the students and faculty appreciated his dynamic leadership. Maple Grove (Photograph) S.W. 9th and Army Post Nash SchooL (Photograph) 15th and Forest Grant Park School District Grant Park School District was located in the Grant Park subdivision at the eastern edge of the urban area of Des Moines. Grant Park School was located at 30th and Dean on the present site of Willard School. The original building which housed the high school unit is pictured below. There were several other small school units that fed into this area on the east side. We have pictured here the original Grant Park School which faced east at the time. (Please recall that the present viaduct along the eastern edge of the Willard School grounds was not constructed until much later.) The year of consolidation (1907) of some 20 school districts to form the Independent Community School District of Des Moines, saw the inclusion of the Grant Park High School District. The Grant Park building that is pictured was continued as a K-8 unit after the consolidation. A disasterous fire broke out on December 14, 1923, and burned most of the original Grant Park building. However, the firemen were able to save part of the eastern portions of that building. Part of the first floor of the original structure is now incorporated in the present Willard School. It may be identified on the first floor as the lunchroom space that is now used by elementary scnoui children. At one time it was a small gymnasium in the old Grant Park high school unit. It was regrettable that the fire in 1923 destroyed all of the records in the building. Very little exists today to give the history of this area. As of this date, we cannot find that any high school annual was published by the Grant Park High School. These old annuals that have been found for some of the other high schools had proved to be a valuable source of data concerning the life, time, and school offerings of the older high school units. When such annuals exist, it is suggested that individuals contact the administration office at 1800 Grand in Des Moines with this assistance. It was along these lines that in February, 1975, we were finally able to get a picture of the original Grant Park building through the courtesy of one of the graduates of the high school who had this among her memorabilia. All such contributions are gratefully acknowledged.