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A bit about Miss Hartnett


Miss Hartnett graduated from Cortland State when it was a Normal School. A Normal School was a two year college program that prepared people to become teachers. Miss Hartnett went back to college to earn her Bachelor of Science Degree and completed it in 1935. She also studied for and received her Master of Science degree. She wrote an essay for Historic Truxton. In it, she said, "I took as many courses in administration and supervision as possible." Her professors traveled from Pennsylvania State University and Syracuse University to teach the classes in Cortland. Miss Hartnett was the principal of Hartnett School for 29 years.

At one time, the school originally was in Dr. Nelson's house. The janitor lived in the carriage house apartment until the number of students increased so much that some classes were moved into it. The lower floor was converted into classroom where Agriculture was taught. Homemaking was taught by itinerant teachers from Morrisville State School in the upstairs kitchen and dining room suite.

Miss Hartnett also explains, "A decision was made to include Typewriting in the curriculum. A good sized room next was converted into a space large enough for ten typewriters." In a separate building, near the United Methodist Church, music, vocal, and instrumental music were taught. "By this time," Miss Hartnett writes, "the faculty had grown from four teachers to 10."

In the early 1930s, people in Truxton wanted to build a new school building, but could not agree where to locate it. By 1935, "Truxton Central School set its cornerstone and opened its doors so the 1936 senior class was the first class to receive its diplomas in the new building," Miss Hartnett writes. Government subsidized building Hartnett Truxton School. It is the school we still use today. Many other nearby, smaller schools closed. East Homer continued to operate using two different buildings. One had 1-2-3 grade, and the other had 4-5-6 grade.

Lunches at Hartnett were hot lunches and were prepared by the home economics students. "By 1942, numbers had increased to 350 [students] so it was necessary to add more space. It was then that [local people] built on the cafeteria, kitchen, physical education office, shop and classroom," Miss Hartnett explains in her essay.

She provides us with a very interesting picture of the changes that occurred in 1949.

"In 1949, we purchased the Jones House with a few acres of property in order to own some water rights. We remodeled the house for a kindergarten on the first floor. It was fun studying the needs of five year olds and having the cubbies, furniture, toys and books ready for the first day of school.

"Now that we had room for the Dental Hygienist to work in an upstairs room there, we were relieved to move out the 'barber chair' and have more room in the front foyer. I had always dreamed of an elementary library built out in front of the foyer but one day when I looked at the front of the building and observed that panel depicting Progress that had cost the district a fabulous sum, I realized that dream was shattered."

Miss Hartnett shared that after World War II, the district built a quonset hut at a "nominal cost," where the art supplies were stored. She also makes it clear that even a long time ago, Truxton School shared staff for guidance and speech. Truxton aimed to serve adult students, too, and a few of the popular courses were photography, cake decorating, and driver's education. "About 1958," she writes, "we installed closed circuit television. T.V. was a valuable device for the school, but could never replace the teacher's presence in the classroom. The talk-back system didn't seem too satisfactory. It was costly and required lots of time for repairs, especially installing a cable. The first subject [taught this way] was 5th grade science…. And later elementary reading, 7th and 8th grade music and later German."

All in all, Miss Hartnett served the Truxton Central School for 41 years! During that time, she was a teacher and an administrator. She was a lifelong learner who we would recognize as a person committed to continuous improvement. She taught many subject including English, Latin, and General Biology. She was forward thinking and tried out new methods. She made changes as needed to support teachers and children.

She ends her essay by saying, "For some time [after retirement], I missed my work, the young people and the teachers. I still do, but I realize I had a very rewarding life and am now enjoying the fruits of my labor in the form of monthly checks from the retirement system and social security."


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Homer Central School District
Ms. Nancy Ruscio, Superintendent

80 South West Road
Homer, NY 13077
607-749-7241

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