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Memories of Wilton School days

Precious memories live in the hearts of all who attended Wilton school grade 1-12 for their education on the flat in the 1900s. It is a joy to share some of the highlights experienced there during my twelve years.

Lunch time was a great meal in grade school at the town hall cafeteria and we all loved to walk from the school with our teachers. Mrs. Ames and Mrs. Horne always greeted us and set up our table areas for our great lunches. Later in junior high and high school, we went to the new cafeteria built near the gym where Marge and Veronica Robbins along with Esther Kennedy served us wonderful food. High school students would greet the grade school pupils and assist them at their tables.

One assignment I had was to assist in the grade school gym classes, helping Mabel Shea’s second graders each week. The basketball stars for her class were Jim Richardson, Dick Putnam, Jim Nelson, Jim Tighe, and Jim Kennedy. I’ve kept in touch all those years with their families.

Our junior high basketball team won many games in that era. High school boys and girls gave us so many great victories during those years. Remembering Jean McGettigan and Bill Gebbons under coach Ira Stickney upsetting Conant’s team 35-30 and Milford’s 28-18 thriller at the Wilton gym. I was team manager and handled the equipment and snacks for the teams, who did get to a few tournament games for our league.

The girls high school team was champion for many years under Ruth Lange. One memorable game was when Marlboro tied Conant 33-33 in their last game and that was attended by many of us, thanks to bus driver Guy Draper, who always drove us to the games. A former Wilton resident Jean Hurley coached Marlboro and that tie gave us the championship by ½ a point!

Baseball for the boys was played at Pine Valley Field and many attended. Jim Doyle and Ira Stickney were the coaches.

Grade school elementary teachers remembered are Ruth Jenisch Wivagg, Evelyn Whiting, Mabel Shea, Margaret Conlin, Bertha Wells, Helen and Florence Rideout, Lillian Lowry, Barbara Manning, Angela Berube, Frances Pellerin and Rowena Werden Bryan, as well as countless others.

We all loved our junior high teachers. Jennie Esty Elliott, Helene Green and Clinton Stevens, who was the shop teacher. Of course, those are just a few names.

In high school under superintendent Newell Paire, favorite teachers included Dorothy Vigue Tatarunis, Ruth Lange, Mary Hurley, Jim Doyle, Ira Stickney, Daniel Marcelones, Ralph Ghetti, Ken Sargent, Jim Trefry, Jean Pollock, Lorne MacArthur, Arlene Dupree, John Hastings and George Mailman.’ School nurse Mrs. Gilbert took care of us as needed.

I kept in touch with all my elementary teachers over the years and as a former English teacher, I wrote a book, “Feather In My Cap,” dedicated in 1984 to eleven of my grade school students who died suddenly. My first grade through sixth grade teachers all received a copy of the book as a gift.

More on Bill Webb’s remembrances of his Wilton school days in next week’s Cabinet. Mr. Webb, in addition to being a former student in the Wilton School District was also an elementary school teacher from 1954-1986. He now resides in Reading, Mass.

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