Cleveland Heights High School 1901-1966 page 9
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1946-1955 The Realization Of A Dream

The year 1946 marked the beginning of an optimistic decade in the history of Heights High. The year was less than a week old when a Cleveland Heights citizen, Harry Hosford, electrified the Heights student body by announcing his gift of $100,000 towards a football field for the school. The plans for such a field had been drawn up in 1927 by the Osborn Engineering Company, but because the school bond issue had been defeated that year, the plans had been dropped. Mr. Hosford, a resident of the area for thirty years but a gentleman unknown to Heights High students, made the dream of twenty years a reality! The Heights Backers Club, organized in 1946 to support the athletic programs in the high school and to promote better athletic facilities, undertook to raise the remaining needed funds. The jubilant student body would not forget Mr. Hosford, and two years they dedicated the new stadium to it's benefactor.

The spring brought athletic honors to Heights as the baseball team won the LEL championship and also clinched the district championship.

The war had been over for one half year, but the aftermath of battle was yet felt at Heights. More than thirty under-graduate servicemen returned to their classes in 1946 to complete requirements for graduation. Many more returned to the school to discuss college choices and to make application for admission to college.

In the spring of 1947 a memorial plaque was presented by Roland Gittlesohn (Heights graduate) in honor of the war dead. It was dedicated by Mr. Morley in company with World War II Chaplains Rev. Howard McCormick, Rabbi Juilus Nodel , and Rev. Yoder Leith. Mr. Morley's dedication speech stated "In loving memory and with deepest gratitude , I hereby dedicate these plaques to the young men of Heights High School who gave their lives in the service of their country in World War II. To all persons who enter and leave this building through the main front doorway, the memorial will be a constant reminder of the supreme sacrifice former students have made."

The baseball team continued to dominate the Heights sports' scene by winning the LEL championship and later the State championship in the spring of 1947.

1947-State Champions

The Student Council and the National Honor Society revived the Heights Handbook at the beginning of the new school year (1947-48). Complete with floor plans , club information and teacher list, the booklet has since been printed every year to guide bewildered sophomores in their first semester at Heights.

The first city orchestra contest since pre-war years was held early in 1947-48 school year. Under the direction of Raymond Gerkowski, the Heights orchestra claimed a first place rating. Spring 1948 brought more good news. The band under Raymond Gerkowski would make a 1300 mile spring vacation good will tour through the east and south. An important stop was in Washington , D.C. where the band was invited to serenade at the doorway to the Capitol. The itinerary included plans to visit Mount Vernon and to play the Star Spangled Banner in Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key had been inspired to write the national anthem. The Heights choir also traveled on a four day Canadian tour during the spring vacation.

The remodeling of the girls' locker room at the beginning of the new school year brought "misery" to Heights fairer sex. Replacing the sixteen separate showers was one long stall providing a practical means of check on cleanliness. Such a system had already been employed in the boys' locker room.

November 5, 1948 marked a landmark in Heights High history with the opening of Hosford Stadium. Constructed on the old Tiger football field the new stadium was equipped with lights for night games. Mr. Hosford was driven around the new $35,000 cinder track amidst the cheers of Heights students. Mayors William Dunlop and Earl Aurelius presented thank-you addresses to the donor. Mr. Hosford dedicated the field to "the youth of Cleveland Heights, those who fought to preserve democracy and those who would work to preserve democracy in the future." Marring the evening's festivities was the outcome of the game- a disappointing 13-13 tie with Elyria.

A new auto shop course was introduced in November. It was a double period course and it included a study of the theory of the automobile.

After having been in existence for many years high school, fraternities and sororities were declared illegal by Ohio Law. A new concept of social clubs had to be developed. In 1949 Mr. Stephen Ruppert was given the task of establishing a school-sponsored organization for social clubs. He organized a successful Inter-Club Council which eased the strained relations between the social clubs and the school.

Heights expands

The new addition would also include dressing room, a lobby, locker rooms, stage rooms and an elevator. Classrooms on the third floor would be used for chemistry while the rooms on the second floor would not be partitioned until the enrollment increased. Until then the sixteen rooms were to be used as studyhalls. Enrollment by 1948 was already close to 2,000. In December 1950 the elaborate new-wing was ready for the students.


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