From the archives of Liberal’s hometown newspaper since 1886.
Researched and compiled by A.J. Coleman, L&T Reporter
More space for the students of USD 480 is something that the Liberal Board of Education is talking over right now. There aren’t enough classrooms or storage closets, and many students scramble to eat breakfast and lunch in short shifts.
The district faced the same problems in 1963, when the Times announced plans to expand.
“Expect architect’s preliminary plans for South Junior High here March 21,” read the headline of the Southwest Daily Times.
“The board of education last night gave John Shaver, Salina architect, the go-ahead to draw up final plans for the north elementary school and the additional West Junior High School and also the South Junior High school,” the story read.
Shaver was expected to submit preliminary plans for South Junior High in a special meeting of the board on March 21. Earlier the board had approved preliminary plans for the north elementary school and the West addition.
Plans for the north school (eventually named McArthur Elementary) called for “seven wedge-shaped class rooms grouped in a circle around an area which can be used for all school and activity meetings,” the article read.
The addition to “West Junior High” would add a total of 12 classrooms. The plans for the “South Junior High” school had been held up because of the delay in acquiring the site, 11.7 acres in the Karen Park addition on Pine Street.
“Duane Covalt gets principal position,” read the Southwest Daily Times headline. Duane Covalt, a teacher in the Liberal school system for the past four years, had been elected by the Board of Education to fill the one of the two elementary principal vacancies.
Covalt, a junior high history teacher, also taught two years in Washington Elementary School. He held a masters degree in elementary education with an emphasis on administration. A native of Woodward (Okla.), he obtained his bachelor’s degree from Panhandle A&M College and his master’s from Western State college of Colorado at Gunnison.
His wife Barbara was an elementary teacher. Superintendent Marvin P. Forker said that he was not yet ready to assign principals to schools for the next term until another person could be hired.
The two principalship vacancies were created by the death of Jesse Gardner, Lincoln Elementary School principal, and the retirement of Joe Pierce, McKinley Elementary School principal, to become county superintendent.
At this time, there were no women in administrative positions in the district.
A native of Liberal was traveling all the way to the “Big Apple” to be on a TV show. Big news like this met the ears of the press and appeared in the paper one March evening.
“Mrs. Barrington, fastest flipper, to New York for ‘To Tell The Truth’ appearance,” read the headline of the Times.
Mrs. Marry Barrington, International Pancake Race winner, had been invited to appear on the “To Tell The Truth,” program in New York City. Mrs. Barrington would leave Liberal and stay at the Victoria Hotel, the paper reported. The program was to air over Channel 2 and 6 on March 25, 1963.
Mrs. Barrington said that she was quite thrilled with the prospects of taking her first plane ride. The trip would be her first out of the Five-State area.