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 Lannon School Index

Lannon State Graded (Elementary) School Teachers 

and School History

Compiled by Mike Reilly 06/04/04

At the old stone school house

    There is evidence that from when public schooling was created in Wisconsin under the State first constitution, that grades only ranged from 1st thru 5th, and some sort of "high school" or upper level classes were offered to students. When a child started school was not determined by age so much, but what the teacher felt he or she knew in comparison to other students. For instance, a 4 year old might be judged to know as much as a 2nd grader and initially placed in that class level. Ruth Schmidt, the late Merton historian, wrote that when she went to school in the early 1900's, she learned more by osmosis, listening to the upper grades in her class doing their recitations, math problems, and so on, than she did from the curriculum she was taught. She was also in a school that had all eight grades in a single room. She started in the 2nd Grade and actually skipped two other elementary school grades along the way to "graduation". At this time, it's not known if Lannon started out with a single room school house or when the first school house was actually built on the site of the stone, and later, wooden building.

circa 1889 Principal 1st&2nd 3rd&4th 5th

At the new/old wood two-story

    By accounts this building started with four rooms (two down, two up ?)

  Principal 1st & 2nd 3rd ? 4th & 5th 
1900       Maywin Hayes ?

    Lannon became a "first class graded school" sometime before 1910. Up until this time the school probably only had grades 1-5.

(Question - Did teachers have not only a classroom with 1 or 2 grades to teach, but also specialize in teaching math, science literature, etc., to the entire school? There are many references to the Algebra Class or the Science Class, and the Literary Society. Also note that the Principal usually taught class as well.) The entries below for teachers up to 1987, except for the position of Principal may/don't actually reflect the class(es) they actually taught

    Also, did the position of Principal exist prior to 1915 (see Education History)? By newspaper accounts, one William Ryan was the Lannon principal in 1909; were there "supervisory teachers" before and/or after this?

    The class distribution below reflects what many, but not necessarily what Lannon had: Grades 1-3 were considered "Primary", 4-5, "Intermediate", and 6-8 were "Grammar" school grades.

  Principal 1st,  2nd & 3rd 4th & 5th  6th, 7th & 8th
1909 William Ryan Annie Mylang Amelia Harmon Julia Byrnes
1921 (P) Margaret Cosgrove Miss Nellie Cawley Miss Marie Gill Miss Marion Sharpe
1922   " Miss Bronson "
1923   Miss Burnett    

    By 1924, Lannon State Graded School was offering 9th and 10th Grades

The school (in 1925-35?) had three rooms downstairs and two up.

    In a interview with Keith Gissal, 10/18/2000, he explained that 8th was in the same room as the 9th &10th grades; 8th on one side of the room, the "high schoolers" on the other. Depending on when you entered 8th, the "high schoolers" were being taught either freshman or sophomore curriculum, the next year they were taught the other. So as a 8th grader, you could have listened to sophomore class level courses being taught, then as a freshman (when you moved across the room the next year) you could have sat through the same sophomore curriculum or be taught the freshman version.

  Principal 1st & 2nd 3rd & 4th 5th & 6th 7th & 8th 9th & 10th Librarian
1925   Miss Mabel (?) Gehl    Marie Tobin Doris Wood Marion Holkenbrink  
1926   "          
1927   " Miss Lenice Bowl        
1929 Glenn Werner "          
1930 Robert Stewart "   Miss Merry      
1931 " "   Miss Gertrude Thayer? Miss Ella Hilgert    Misses Hilgert and Thayer
1932 " " Miss Veronica Costello?       Gertrude Thayer?
1933 "   "     Robert Stewart "
1934 "           "
1935 "           "
1936 "(?)   Miss Councilman 3rd Grade       Mrs. William (Margaret) Miller
1937 Philip Pejza (new) Miss Stein Room 1 " Misses Curtis and Andersen Room 3   Philip Pejza "
Sept. 1938 - May 1939 " " " " Miss Ethel May Curtis " "

Teachers at the new school

1939 - new Lannon Elementary School is built and dedicated on September 1st,  and classes began on Monday September 11th. Grade 1 had 8 enrolled; grade 2 - 10; grade 3 - 14; grade 4 - 19; grade5 - 14; grade 6 - 23; grade 7 - 17; grade 8 - 14; grade 9 - 16; and grade 10 - 9. The teachers were Mr. Philip Pejza, principal; Mr. Gumm; Misses Lees, Knoebel, and Roche assistants. Mr. Hayes, music, and Mr. Phillips, band. The girls of the upper grades have formed an athletic association with Miss Lees as advisor. Mrs. William (Margaret) Miller, librarian, announced that the library will soon open, and a new shipment of books is on the way. 


Principal Philip Pejza

 Miss Roche

Miss Alice Knoebel Miss Evelyn Lees

 Mr. Gumm

Philip Pejza Librarian, Mrs. William (Margaret) Miller Art Band, Professor C. W.. Phillips Music Supervisor, Mrs. Hayes
    1st/2nd 3rd/4th  5th/6th 7th?/8th 9th/10th        
1940 " ?     ? "        
1941 "       Earl Powell "        
1942 John Stier (?)         thru May 1942        
1943 Glenwood Graulich all new teachers starting                
1944 "                  
1945 "                  

Note: This 8th Grade graduating class was the first to have to go (be bussed) to other area high schools (mainly Menomonee Falls). The 9th and 10th grades were discontinued at most area elementary schools. The children then became "tuition students"; the municipality in which they lived had to pay the school district where they now went to 4-year high school a yearly fee.

  Principal Kindergarten 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th 6th 7th 8th Librarian Art Band or Gym? Music


Stanford C. Witter

1955     Bernice P. Plato                      
1956     "                      
1957     "                      
1958     "                      
1959     "                      
1960     "                      
1961     "                      

Note: After the Hamilton School District was formed and the new high school built in 1962, Lannon reverted to grades 1-5, though there may have been a kindergarten class as well.

  Principal Kindergarten 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th Librarian Art Band or Gym? Music
1963     Bernice P. Plato                
1964     "                
1965     "                
1966     "                
1967     "                
  Principal Kindergarten 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th Librarian Art Band or Gym? Music
1970       Miss Becker              
1971         Ms. Buchowski ?            
1972 James Butler         Thomas Krenzke          
1973 "           Mr. Tempski        
  Principal Kindergarten 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th Librarian Art Gym Music
1980       Helen Pantelis              
1981       "              
1982       "              
1983       "              
1984       "              
1985       "              
1986       "              
1987   over-crowding    "              
1988   Judy Gurath Karen Thompson "       Mrs. Rintelman Mr. Wickler Mr. Stout  
1989     *" Mrs. Olson, Mrs. Vermillion "       " " Mr. Condon  
  Principal Kindergarten 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th Librarian Art Gym Music


Syl Racinowski

    " Helen Weighter     " " "  
1991 "       " James Toshner   " " " Sandra L. Landgren
1992 "         James Toshner plus   " " " "
1993 *"           Cindy Piotrowski " " " "
1994 Louise Champan                    
1995     Karenlee Kubanek     Helen Pantelis          
  Principal Kindergarten 1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th Librarian Art Gym Music
2000                 Guy Holling    

Circa 1930 - The Lannon School Notes recorded the happenings at Lannon Graded School, penned by various students and teachers for inclusion into the weekly Menomonee Fall News.

Doris Wood married James Walter

Marion Holkenbrink married John Walter

* The girls of the upper grades have formed an athletic association with Miss Lees as advisor. Miss Lees was also in charge of music for grades 5-10.

1940, May - Miss Roche announced she was leaving to teach in Milwaukee, and Mr. Gumm left to teach at Lane School near Milwaukee.

  "My father was principal of the school from 1937 to 1942 and I attended first and second grades there with Miss Alice Knoebel as my teacher from the fall of 1940 to May or June 1942. Two corrections -- we spell our name Pejza, not Pejsa. My father also spelled his first name as Philip, not Phillip.  My father taught 9th and 10th grades, as I recall in addition to being principal. 

    You have to remember that I was a very young student there sixty years ago, so my memory of events that long ago is somewhat faded. The school building was brand new when I was there. I do remember that there were several assemblies, one at Thanksgiving and one for Lincoln's birthday, probably for Christmas too. There was also a carnival of sorts -- my mother told fortunes in one booth. For a nickel or so, you could "see a night view of Lannon" -- they took you into a darkened classroom and pulled up a window shade. I remember that on November 11, probably both in 1940 and 1941, there was a minute of silence in all the classrooms to commemorate the armistice at the end of World War I. Classmates of mine were Allan Cawley (from a farm west of town) and Judy Walters, whose folks I believe ran the grocery store at the corner. The old school was still standing kitty-corner from their store but was unused. 

    In those days there was little job security for teachers -- employment was at the whim of the local school board. So about every five years my dad would look around and find a better job. He had come from Lublin, WI, up in Taylor County, where he had been principal of a 4-room school. So Lannon was a step up. At first we lived in a house on the outskirts of town. Then for about two years, we lived in Menominee Falls, before moving back to Lannon, about a block south of the school, next to a garage. He left Lannon after 5 years to take a job teaching math at Campion High School, a Catholic boarding school in Prairie du Chien, run by the Jesuits. He couldn't find a house in Prairie du Chien right away, so it was October 1942 before the rest of the family moved."

Rev. John Pejza (Son of Philip Pejza) [email protected]

Sept 1945 - 131 students attend Lannon State Graded School including its' 2-year high school classes.

Nov. 1949 - Lannon Grade School started a hot lunch program providing soup.

Sept. 1950 - Lannon had a half-day kindergarten class for 4-year-olds.

Fall, 1962 - Hamilton High School opens with 375 freshmen and sophomore students.

1968 - 

Oct. 1970 - 280 students enrolled at Lannon School, more than twice the number in 1945.

Was Mr. Tempski the one-armed teacher?

May, 1985 - Village requests State approval to allow Lannon School to use an existing holding tank until sewer can be established. The 5,000 gal. tank has to be pumped nearly every day.

In at least 1987, there were too many kindergarten students for Lannon to handle, so some had to attend class at Maple Avenue School in Sussex, then go back to Lannon for 1st Grade in Sept. 1982  The students had Mrs. Jan Wunrow at Maple Ave.

1989 - Besides Mrs. Olson and  Mrs. Vermillion each teaching a 1st grade class, there was a third 1st and 2nd Grade split/combined  class with Karen Thompson as teacher.

1992 - Mr. Toshner taught a combined/split 4th and 5th Grade class due to over-crowding.

12/7/93 - Lynelle Sandron hired as an emotional disabilities aide.

* 4/12/94 - Louise Champan interim principal at Lannon Elementary School after Sylvestor (Syl) Racinowski takes an extended leave of absence due to rheumatoid arthritis is named his official successor. Ms. Champan is a 19 year teacher veteran. 

July, 1994 - Plans unveiled for addition to Lannon Elementary School; referendum passes in Nov, 1994

1995/1/20 - Bernice Plato died, age 71, former 1st grade teacher and reading specialist. Spent 34 years teaching, starting at Lannon Elementary in 1955. In 1968 became reading specialist serving Willow Spring, Lannon, and North Lisbon School (today's Lisbon Town Hall. Retired in 1989; resident of Menomonee Falls.

1995/1/24 - 1st Graders in Karenlee Kubanek's class construct a model Lannon neighborhood.

1995/2/12 - Helen Pantelis, 4th Grade teacher at Lannon, dies in a car accident; was in Hamilton School District for 25 years, since 1970. In 1980 she came to Lannon teaching 2nd, 4th, and 5th Grades. Helen taught in Milwaukee for 5 years before coming to Hamilton School District. She was born in 1940.

Teaching at Maple Avenue Elementary and Lannon


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