John Bates Elementary School, Tulsa, OK
(and Phoebe Hearst Elementary)


About the Schools

The Teachers


Class Pictures

School-Related Activities

Memories from school

Bean Chowder


Blast from the past photos

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Principal: Mr. John Eddings Newspaper article

John EddingsI got in trouble a few times and Mr. Eddings got to know me. Like the time in 3rd grade when I went to school with bubble gum from my halloween bag. I got caught and said my older 6th grader sister had given it to me. Mel got called in, but I got in trouble.

Or the time when I found some carbon paper on the playground. It had apparently blown out of an open window and I picked it up. Realizing it was messy I thought I'd wipe it on my neighbor Wendel's shirt. I spent the rest of the afternoon at home standing at the bathroom sink trying to get the ink out with a bar of soap.

How bout the time when Jill Muelhausen turned me in because she thought I had drugs. We had all been saturated with weeks of drug training and so I thought I'd play a joke. I put some sugar into a baggy and pretended like it was my drugs. Jill told Mr. Eddings I had drugs. He tested it and it was sugar. I was just being ornery.

Mr. Eddings' daughter Jennifer was in my grade and I had P.E. with her.

Kindergarten: Mrs. Horn

Of course my memory of this is from Hearst Elementary, not Bates. There were 2 classes--morning and afternoon. The kindergarten building had a West front room and an East back room with doors on the North and South end. Mrs. Horn used both sides; there was no difference, except the back room had a bathroom. She would have story time, ABC flashcards, and little projects, like planting a bean in some dirt in a dixie cup and watching it sprout over the next few weeks. After Christmas we were allowed to bring one of our toys to school to share with others. Play time was definately the best part. I was too hyperactive for story time and one day I was sent to the other room for chatting too much. Already hyper and bored, I took out a red crayon and scribbled pictures all over the floor. I had to spend the rest of the day cleaning the floor with amonia and brown paper towels.

I guess I was already showing my naughty colors because one day I decided to kiss Mickey Lechwar. Basically, I chased him around both rooms during playtime until I caught him and then I kissed him on the cheek. Mrs. Horn had a clown in the front room that had a smily face with a rivet in the center so that the smile could rotate. When she heard of my conquest, she turned the smile upside down and told the class that somone (me) had made the clown sad. Puhleeeez.

I did like Mrs. Horn. I used to call her Mrs. Corn, and for me that was a compliment because I absolutely loved corn. She let us have nap time too and that was always nice. We'd all lay down on the floor and nap. Afterwards, the quietest boy and girl got to wear a king and queen crown. I was way too hyper for nap time, so I just faked it usually, wiggling and squirming. But I was competitive and wanted to wear that crown. One time Gene Uri and I were fully awake and were whispering to each other that we should try to be the quietest so we could win. And we did! LOL.

Music and Social Studies: Mrs. Barbara Jackson

Barbara JacksonShe taught us the classics: Tura Lura Lura (Irish Lullaby), I'm looking over a 4-leaf clover, and many more, such as Kookaburra:

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. Merry, merry king of the bush is he. Laugh, Kookaburra, Laugh, Kookaburra, Gay your life must be.
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, Eating all the gumdrops he can see. Stop, Kookaburra, Stop, Kookaburra, Leave some there for me.

She put music to classic poems:

I Hear America Singing (for the all-school bicentennial celebration at the Maybee Center)

The Statue of Liberty inscription:

Give me tired your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teaming shores.
Send these, the homeless tempest tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

She required us to memorize classic poems:

Psalm 23, Casey's at the Bat.

Then there were the officers and this weird committee. The details here are foggy but this is what I vaguely remember (please step forward and correct me where I'm wrong here):

  • Chairman: Called the meeting to order
  • Seargent at Arms: Lead us in the pledge of alliegance
    Followed by this song: "Flag of America, red white and blue. Flag of America, a salute we give to you."
  • Secretary: Kept minutes of the last meeting.
  • Weather: I loved being the weather person! I'd clip the day's weather from the paper and read it like an anchorwoman.
  • Current events: news clippings, school lunch menu (that's when everyone would pay attention).
  • Media: Jeff Fronterhouse got this nod several times. He was good at putting the arm on the record-player, and straightening out the film when the reel-to-reel would get jammed.

Media and Library: Mrs Code

Was this area called "Communications"? The word just popped into my head.

Mrs. Code ran the reading machines that were supposed to help us read faster. After going through our brainwashing, we'd usually go to English class and do reading tests in these colored reading books. It was supposed to be self-paced. I was really competitive though and cheated a little to get through my books faster. Whether or not I was good or faking it, I just remember getting through all the books, and still not being able to keep up with Mrs. Code's reading machine.

She also had the dubious responsibility of baby-sitting those of us who caught our buses after school. We would wait in her library and when the buses would arrive, she would say in a pinched voice, "91--line up" or "92--line up."

PhysEd: Mr. Stan Carson

Stan CarsonWho remembers Mr. Carson's twitch? The man would stand there with this arms crossed, talking to us, all the while flexing his butt cheeks.

We sat in 5 or so vertical lines going from the front of the gym to the back. There was a game we'd play on rainy days called 7 up. The teacher would pick 7 kids to be "it." Then, as we sat in our rows, we'd all put our heads down and hold up an arm with a thumb up. The elected kids would go around and randomly push people's thumbs down. When Mr. Carson called time, the 7 who got their thumbs pressed down would have to stand up and guess which one in the gang pressed their thumb.

I was elected hall monitor for a short stint. I had to check hall passes and made more friends than enemies. I mostly liked wearing the safety-orange belt.

Indoor Sports: crab soccer (with the big medicine ball), gymnastics, including trampoline! Outdoor sports: Track, kickball, softball, dodge ball, Red Rover
Playground: Tether-ball, 4-square, hopscotch, jungle gym, monkey bars.

Science: Mrs. Carolyn Harris

Everyone who had her class loved her. Not only did we learn about dinosaurs, and have the coolest education about the space program (while it was happening!). we also did regular experiments with magnets, batteries, prisms, and rolie polies. I remember making something with vinegar and baking soda that stank. Some kind of fire extenguisher? It was the most science I ever took.

The best part of having Mrs. Harris's class was that sometimes on a Friday we'd end class early and play math bingo. The bingo winners would get Jolly Ranchers. Everybody loved bingo in her class!

One thing that made her unique was she had a newspaper clipping of a photo. I don't recall what it was about, but Mrs. Harris believed that you could see Jesus in the clouds. And I cross my heart, when she showed it to me, I saw it too! She brought it out every now and then and showed it to us.

History: Mrs. Dorothy Buzzard 1925-2008

Dorothy Buzzard3rd grade at Hearst: Cursive writing
4th grade at Bates: George Washington, and the declaration of independence, Jim Crow, emancipation proclamation.


English: Mrs. Kay Blanche Hamra, Mrs. White, Mrs. Mathieson, Mrs. Younger, Mrs. Westerberg

Mrs. Hamra taught 2nd grade. She may have been the teacher at Hearst who taught me to read. I remember seeing her at Bates, but not having any classes with her.

Mrs. WhiteMrs. White was a Hearst/Bates teacher who also taught lower grades, I believe. She had a little poodle that she'd bring to school sometimes. Her dog did tricks. One trick was "going to the store." The dog would stand, poised in wait, while Mrs. White did this bit about picking out the lettuce and paying for it. Then when she told the dog it was ok to eat, the dog would eat the piece of lettuce. To us it was magical.

There was a teacher of the name Mitchell who taught at Hearst. According to my sister's 1968-69 2nd grade report card. Mitchell was the assigned teacher for her to have for 3rd grade.

Mrs. Westerberg appears on my sister's sixth grade report card for '72-73 at Hearst. I don't know exactly what she taught.

One of the teachers at Hearst would have the class celebrate birthdays. We would all make a card for the birthday person during class. Then at the end of the hour, we would give our cards to the teacher, who would give them to the child. After that, she'd pass out a Brach's royal to each of us. It was like a birthday for us too!

Mrs. MathiesonMrs. Mathieson used to whistle her s's. Isn't that sad that that's all I remember about her? She was was fairly slim, plain, and middle aged. Felicia and I did a lot of chatting in her class. She seemed somewhat unaware of the micro social units that were in her class.

Mrs. Younger was my upper grade teacher. She had us zipping through reading books. I also remember taking the color-coded SRA tests in her class. I won some sort of certificate for penmanship in her class, so I guess she helped us with our writing.

Art and Humanities: Mrs. Kilgore

Mrs. KilgoreTempra Paints and newsprint paper on easles. What a fun mess we made. Her art class used to be located by the music room, but then that area became the library. Miss Kilgore started holding Art class in the East edge of the cafeteria I think because for some reason, I seem to remember a mock trial going on in her the cafeteria. We role-played a trial. Not very art-related. I remember this project as confusing but fun.

Instrumental Music: Hearst--Shirley Hill; Bates--Mrs. Beard

I was already in the All School Elementary Orchestra in 2nd grade on my violin, so instead of playing violin in the 5th grade beginner's class, I took up the cello. I loved my cello and named it Otis. I alternated Otis with another named Bertha. I learned all the songs in the Mueller Rush book and played it at an assembly, even though I was much better on violin. In 6th grade I was told I couldn't play cello any more -- something had happened to Otis, and Bertha had to go to a kid that wanted to begin cello. So I took up the flute. I taught myself to play, "The hustle" and would play it in class.

Math: Ms. Bullen, Mrs. Gifford

Ms. Bullen would refer to our two math books by their publisher. So she'd ask us to either pull out our Houghton Mifflin, or our Addison Wesley. We were re-taught multiplication using a strange table. I don't know if that was "new math" but it was weird. I picked it up, but never really took to it. I guess once I learned it the long way, that is how my brain processed it. I never was very strong in math.

Mrs. Gifford was a dear old gal. She was more approachable than the other teacher, and a bit older. I actually have trouble remembering which parts of math they taught. I think Mrs. Gifford was more basic math, while Ms. Bullen introduced us to fractions. Does anyone remember?

Mrs. Crowe

What did she teach?

Mrs. Powell

What did she teach?


Did you go to Bates? Do you have a memory to share? Do you have a correction or addition?
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