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Additional memories of Penn Ave School

Bicentennial memories Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


A Teacher Remembered

The Principal
Penn. Avenue School
Cumberland, Maryland

Dear Sir,

Fifty-six years ago, in the 6-A class at Penn. Ave. School, I answered, with the exception of math and English, all questions correctly.

Until and after the sixth grade, I was expelled on a regular basis. The last was in the eighth grade, and I was not allowed to return. I went on to Allegany High via a private school.

Why was I the top student in the 6th grade? The answer is the wonderful teacher I had. I am now almost 70, and I have spent most of my life with the memory of her still with me. I will never forget that little speech she gave to the students at the close of the semester. It was words of praise for the school's "bad boy" who had achieved much more than she had hoped for.

But it was not more than I had hoped for. I was determined to please this wonderful person who, coming to my desk on that first day of school, said:

"Ray, why don't you study? You could do very well in your subjects. Will you do this for me?"

But, then, there was the smile, the tone of voice, the look in her eyes—I had never experienced anything like that from any teacher. So, I answered, "Yes."

God bless this wonderful gal. I became an ordained minister, a teacher of music, a published writer, and a good citizen. And it is altogether possible the credit goes to her.

Her name? I remember only the person.

Ray Grayson
El Cajon, California

A research of the records disclosed the staff members assigned to Pennsylvania Avenue School during the years Mr. Grayson was in elementary school, and this list of teachers was sent to him. From the list of names, he identified Helen Parker as being the sensitive and humanly aware teacher whose effectiveness had left a life-long impression with him.


Bicentennial Newsletter

Courtesy of Steve Wilson and Sherry Zembower, South Penn Elementary School.


Collection Location:
South Penn School

Original Size:
26 cms x 20 cms

School yearbooks; Cumberland (Md.)--Genealogy.

Cumberland, (Md.), 1928

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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