Hampton Academy & Winnacunnet High School Alumni Association
65th Anniversary, Historic Souvenir Booklet, 1972

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By Arthur J. Moody, Class of ’53


Student Publications

During the very early years of the Academy, there were two literary and debating societies. According to Dow’s “History of Hampton” (p. 494), the Olive Branch Society’s greatest asset was its collection of books. Mainly a student organization, Principal T.O. Norris was listed as its President in the 1849-50 “Catalogue” of the Academy. When the Society’s 600-volume library was destroyed in the Academy fire of 1851, the club apparently ceased to exist.The Ciceronian Society of Debaters existed at the same time with the Olive Branch Society. It, too, evidently died out. However, throughout the early part of this century, Academy debating teams flourished. And a debating club or a prize-speaking society existed at the High School until the last years of the school. At the new school, Winnacunnet High School, Chapter 1473 of the National Forensic League was established in January 1959.

No record can be found of any publication which the early societies at the Academy might have issued. But a fine monthly publication was put out by the students of the High School beginning with the 1897-98 school year. Entitled “Academia“- “A monthly magazine devoted to the interests of the Hampton Academy and High School” – it carried an assortment of guest editorials (some from Alumni), fiction, historic pieces (such as “The Oldest House in North Hampton” – the Dearborn Home), space-fillers and “Chit Chat” – a collection of humorous anecdotes occurring at the Academy. Carrying three covers of ads (many for Exeter firms), it was published under the motto: “Pro Bono Publico” (For the public Good”), and the creed: “The typical American scholar must be a deep reader, a profound thinker, a continual searcher after the unknown.” Student contributions usually were signed with a pseudonym. Annual subscriptions to the finely printed, nine-issues-per-year (October through June) periodical were 50¢. In 1898-99, the Editor in Chief was Elizabeth Reynolds ’99 and Class Editors included Annie M. Fogg for ’99 and Austin C. Gill for ’00. Assistants were Henry B. Hobbs ’99 and Elroy G. Shaw. The slick-paper cover carried an engraving of the Academy building – the same photo which was inserted in Dow’s “History” by the Academy Trustees.

For the year 1925-26, “The H.A. Trumpet” (later: “The Hampton Academy Trumpet“) began publication. More a newspaper than a literary publication, it, too, was published outside the school, carried advertisements and conformed, more or less, to a schedule of nine monthly issues from October to June. Its overall dimensions were less than those of “Academia,”and, in 1926-27, issues had a card-stock cover. Editorials, Alumni news, school notes, fiction, “travelogues.” poetry and contemporary jokes made up the “Trumpet’s” format. Most of the material was signed by the students’ real names. The Editor in Chief for 1926-27 was Alice H. Tarr ’27 and for 1927-28 it was Frances I. Drew ’28.

About 1936, the “H.A. Script,” begun as a project in English class, became the school paper. The “Script” was published periodically (three to six times a year) until H.A. & H.S. ceased to exist in 1958. Before formal yearbooks or annuals were issued by the Senior Class, the last issue in the spring was considered the yearbook issue with its entire contents devoted to the graduating Seniors. Later, when separate yearbooks were printed in 1945 and thereafter, the last issue continued to be the Senior Issue, containing event which occurred too late for coverage in the yearbook (such as the Class Trip). The last issue in the very late years was put out by the incoming staff, mostly Juniors. All issues of the “Script” were Mimeographed and included drawings, cartoons, editorials, Class News, humor, news of Alumni, some short stories, sports and club news as well as columns such as “All Around H.H.S.” and “Dustpan” – an unsigned gossip offering.

The yearbook issues of the “Script” in the late 1930s and early 1940s were especially well done. Students of the Office Practice class Mimeographed the 20-page1938 issue,which included glued-in photos of all 31 graduates and a group shot of the four-member faculty. The photos were taken by the Commercial teacher, Miss Doris C. Fowler. In 1944, a drawing (usually humorous in nature) of each class member was included. The next year, 1945, the yearbook assumed the identity of “The Buccaneer{*} and was printed outside the school by some sort of photocopy process. Photos of the graduates and the activities were reproduced by that process. From 1947 through 1958, “The Buccaneer” was the work of a professional printer, the Hampton Publishing Company. Paid ads usually took care of the expense of publication. The yearbook grew larger (100 pages for 1958),was published in soft- and hard-cover editions, and truly became a mirror of the accomplishments of the Seniors and the activities of the whole school.

{* “Buccaneers” (“Buccs” for short) was suggested as the nickname for Academy athletic teams by Coach Alexander M. Sulloway ins the late 1930s. (“Buccanettes” was used for distaff teams.) It was only natural that the school’s yearbook assumed the identity “Buccaneer.”}

When the Hampton Junior High moved into the Academy building from the Centre School in 1958; it brought along the established nickname “Little Indians” and associated yearbook name. “The Papoose.” The Junior High’s colors continued to be blue and gold with H.A. & H.S.’s blue and white being assumed by the new High School, Winnacunnet. The Academy Jr. High students (currently grades six through eight) publish a school newspaper called “The Pow Wow,” continuing the American Indian association with the Junior High School.

Thus, the “H.A. Script” and “The Buccaneer” ceased with Hampton Academy and High School. But examples of the High School publications described have been preserved for posterity and can be seen at Tuck Museum. Also on display in the Academy and W.H.S. Collection are copies of the W.H.S. yearbook “Sachem.” That publication, of course, is much larger than any Academy annual. With W.H.S. graduating classes numbering over 200 and a faculty-staff complement of over 70, literally hundreds of photos – a few in color – preserve the moments of high-school travail and victory for Warrior fireside memories of tomorrow.

School papers at W.H.S. have not always fared as well. The “Smoke Signal,” from November 1960, informed readers of events and accomplishments at the school. Columns such as “Watch on Winnacunnet” and “Dear Winnie” along with a “Buy, Sell, and Swap” section have been used over the years. Photos were included in 1968. “The Rodent,” it combination of news, literary works and social comment, was also attempted in late 1970 and 1971 under the slogan “All the News That Fits.” Currently, the school’s “above-ground” paper, “Winnacunnet Watchdog,” is spreading the news of W.H.S. to the student body

The Last Years of Hampton Academy and High School

During the last years of the Academy and High School, a few Alumni returned to teach at their Alma Mater. These were: Betty (Brown) Blatchford ’42 (Girls’ P.E.), Marilynn (Hollis) Campbell ’51 (Art) and Walter M. Brown ’39 (Social Studies, Biology, Athletic Coaching). The three were on the faculty at the same time in 1955-56 and 1956-57. “Jack” Brown, who was Captain of the first basketball team in 1938-39, became Principal of the Academy Junior High in the early 1960s and served concurrently as Administrative Principal of the Hampton School District. Thereafter he was Principal in North Hampton. While Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Portsmouth, he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1967. Earlier – for four years between 1939 and 1943- Margaret Tobey ’31 (now Mrs. Wm. Thayer Barry) taught Domestic Science Courses at the Academy. Several other Alumni have taught at the Junior High and at W.H.S.

During the last few years before the demise of the Academy and High School in 1958, total enrollment approached the 300 mark – far above capacity. However, the September enrollment for the first five years (1950-1954) of the decade was fairly constant: 217, 228, 215, 219, 234. In 1954, nine instructors taught full time at the school while seven others, including the school nurse, divided their time between the Academy and the Centre School, especially that school’s Junior High. The Centre School, itself was overcrowded by 1955-56 to the extent that some classes of the grades K-8 school were held in the Chapel of the Congregational Church. Also, Junior High Manual Training classes were, once again, taught at the Academy. And the construction of an athletic field south of the Academy by the Trustees provided playing areas for Junior High students. The School District considered building a 10-room junior High on that land in 1954 but decided instead on a new school for primary grades.

New classes such as Consumer Mathematics were added at the High School, and Sociology was updated and renamed “Problems of Democracy.” Teachers coped with the growing problem of entering students’ poor writing, spelling and reading skills – basic subjects apparently neglected since the early elementary grades. A remedial-reading program helped to alleviate the situation.

By the Academy’s penultimate school year, 1956-57, principal Russell had given up his teaching schedule in order to spend full time on administration. For the last year, one of the teachers, Elton B. Smith, assumed the duties of Assistant principal while curtailing his teaching responsibilities. According to Mr. Russell’s last report to Dr. Edward C. Manning, who succeeded Roy Gillmore as Superintendent, the last year saw extensive crowding at the school. September 1957 enrollment was nearly 290 with an entering Freshman Class of 107, the largest ever. The total for the previous year was 253 and the year prior to that, 232. For the last year or two, some classes, especially Home Economics, were moved to “The Annex,” a nearby Town-owned house (“The Martel Property”) rented by the School District (at $1 per year for the last school year). The vacant Home Ec room at the school became a home room and biology lab. Classes also met in the partitioned-off library, the teacher’s room and on stage in the auditorium-gym. The new Guidance Department functioned in the visiting team’s locker room while I the other locker-room facility was used by both the Buccaneers and their opponents.

Of the imminent closing of the Academy and High School, Principal Russell wrote that it “marks the end of an era in secondary education in Hampton. I believe Hampton Academy and High School has served the community well. It has met the educational needs of the youth in this area in an adequate manner. Our graduates have gone out to take positions or have continued their education in many post-secondary institutions.” The Principal concluded his final report published in the Town Report for the year ending December 31, 1957) by thanking all who had lent time, money and effort to increase the quality of the school’s offerings above the level provided by public funds: “Again we wish to thank the many organizations and friends that have kept things to help the school. The trustees, the service clubs, the P.T.A., the alumni association. church organizations, several town departments and many individuals. Their generous acts have increased the activities that we have been able to have.”

As the date for the 71st and final graduation at Hampton Academy approached, the replacmadministrationet High School, was well along on its construction schedule. The new regional high school – with a school board elected from the four towns – would not be too different in adinistration and control from the Trustee-operated Hampton Academy. The Board of Trustees’ membership always had representation from a number of area towns and, in effect, was a regional high school. (The founding of W.H.S., which opened on schedule in September 1958, is touched on briefly in the next section of this history.)

With the graduation of the 42-member Class of 1958 on June 13, 1958, the 148-year history of Hampton Academy as a secondary school came to a close. The day before, Edward S. Seavey. Jr. ’32, Editor of Hampton Union, published a fine editorial of reflection and retrospection for e school’s final day of glory. In it, he reviewed the Academy’s history and its triumphs, dwelling on the school’s “original aim of fostering in young people a thirst for higher attainments (which) is never waivered.” The editorial was fittingly filled “A Fond Valedictory.”

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