Trump Program

Thank You for Coming to Stuttgart .... Dr. Smith

From the June 6, 1975 issue of the Equestrian

Within a period of two years, SHS has been transformed from a chaotic mess which was virtually isolated from the rest of society, to an organized educational institution that plays an active role in the greater Stuttgart community. Students who attended Stuttgart during the 1972-73 school year were given a great deal of educational freedom. It seems that this need for "freedom" was brought about by the predominant belief of that time that the student could thrive in an atmosphere where independent study was encouraged. The school had experimented with the "trump program" the year before, and it had proved to be disastrous for the majority of students. Serious problems carried over into the 1972-73 year, even though the Trump program was discontinued. Returning students had become accustomed to the greater "freedom" that they enjoyed during the preceding school year. More over, a philosophical split had developed between members of the faculty and administration that concerned the two opposing methods of teaching (the conventional imposed order type and the new "free" type). Things grew progressively worse that year. In late February 1973, USDESEA concerned with both the situation and the upcoming evaluation of the school by accreditors, sent an inspection team whose purpose was to make a study of the school's problems and to offer solutions. In April, the inspection team's report was made public in the SATORI (school newspaper). The report read in part: "What we saw was not freedom so much as license. We do not feel that loafing in the halls for the greater portion of the day, writing obscenities on the walls, and destroying property should be included among these options. In spite of the range of philosophical differences, there is undoubtably agreement that an immediate solution to this situation is imperative." The team stressed that there was definitely a need for "order." Students were able to see that "changes were coming" and it was obvious that they were going to be drastic. However, students did not see any drastic changes until the beginning of the next school year. In late February 1975, another inspection team was sent from Karlsruhe to make sure that the school was worthy of accreditation. The team described the changes, which took place within the school since the last visit, as "phenomenal." Virtually all areas of learning were given an "excellent" rating. What caused this "phenomenal" change? During the summer following the first inspection team's report, a person came to Stuttgart because he was tired of the paperwork which was required of him as a superintendent of schools and he "missed working with high school students and wanted to get back to dealing with people, not papers." At the beginning of his first school year here, Dr. Donald Smith felt that "there should be more student involvement in the policies of Stuttgart High." It would have been easier for the administration to completely cut students out of the picture, in order to make the necessary changes, but Dr. Smith was more interested in the "human concern." Dr. Smith, with the help of administrators like Mr. Rowley, Dr. Netburn, Ms. Haynie, Mr. Furseth, Mr. Gentile, Mr. Zenyuh and Mr. Kraft, proceeded to elevate the entire educational program here at Stuttgart to the point where it is now. Under Dr. Smith's professional and understanding guidance, the program will undoubtably progress even further. Dr. Smith said in his first interview here at SHS that "for a great school you need beautiful people" . . . . . Well for a better world we need people like Dr. Smith. On behalf of the Class of 1975, THANK YOU FOR COMING TO STUTTGART.

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