In the days of World War II there was a teacher shortage due to various reasons. Some of the male teachers had been called to service while others had resigned to take on higher paying jobs in industrial plants where war necessities were made. As a result many small schools were faced with closing by 1944.

Although it was nearing the end of the school year, the state had barely enough teachers to operate. Predictions were that there would be an even greater loss of teachers the following year.

The state’s Department of Education was working with the local superintendents in solving the problem. Some of their suggestions were:

1. Dropping the bars which many school districts had erected against employment of married women.

2. Urging retired teachers to return and making it easier for them to renew their certificates.

3. Closing small non-essential schools with their small enrollments and sending the pupils to nearby schools.

4. Dropping some special courses to permit reduction of staffs in larger school systems.

5. To make it easier for teachers to renew teaching certificates the state colleges offered special summer extension and correspondence courses and the state department issued special one-year certificates.

A later survey revealed 1,765 vacancies in 9,000 schools in the state, exclusive of Kansas City and St. Louis. Further plans to alleviate the situation were the issuing of special emergency teaching certificates to people with two years of college work and the combination of some school districts. Some 700 districts had been merged so teacher’s could utilize the same materials.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin

These are the members of the 1940-41 softball team playing for Altamont High School.

These students studied under the direction of Mabel Parker at Bell Tower School in 1948-49. Students are, front from left: Dorla King, Jenelda Shipers, ?, Mabel Parker, Marvin Wright, Gerald Wright; standing back, Ronnie Buck, Wayne Burris, May King, Frank Shipers, Irwin Shipers, John Strait, Merwin Buck, Donnie Wright. (courtesy John Strait)