12 hours ago
Friday, August 22, 2008
At one time, I know it was called R. Nelson Snider but at some point, people just started referring to it as Snider. Maybe they still do - maybe they don't - I'm just tellin' you how it was in my day.
As often the case, Snider was named after somebody significant in Fort Wayne's history - Mr. R. Nelson Snider himself. Until recently, I really didn't know anything about him.
And then, I came across this picture of him. It's from the South Side Totem Yearbook (1927). He was Principal there and kind of a hottie in his day!
So I wanted to find out more about him.
The first place I went - logically - was to the school (R. Nelson Snider) web page.
How sad. Not one mention of him. Although you could click on a link to find out who your legislators are. And they're redoing the web site so there's also a page dedicated to the "Web Design Team".
Kinda shabby that they wouldn't even talk about the history of their high school. Hope that doesn't mean that they are getting ready to rename it.
I did find out at least something at Wikipedia.
"The first high school built by Fort Wayne Community Schools in forty years, R. Nelson Snider High School, named for an outstanding educator, opened in the fall of 1964 with three hundred twenty-five sophomores, twenty faculty members, four administrators, and one secretary.
In April 1966, the students and staff moved into the present facility after having shared Lane Middle School. This building has been renovated twice since then, the latest having been completed in 1982.
There is an area of ten acres of building on a forty-acre complex housing more than two thousand students in grades nine through twelve. Part of the complex includes five tennis courts, a freshman and junior varsity football game field, a softball field, a soccer field, and an all-weather track. There are sixty-nine classrooms, a metal and welding shop, a wood shop, a main gym, an auxiliary gym, a wrestling room, a wellness center, tiered lecture room, three darkrooms, a foreign language cafe, a complete television studio, an auditorium, science laboratories, a cafeteria seating over five hundred, a five hundred-car parking lot, a suite of guidance and athletic offices, a main office, a student services office, an attendance office, and a media center which encompasses approximately 16,000 books and periodicals, 1800 non-print media items, and a 32-station networked computer lab in addition to several stand-alone computer work stations with access to electronic data bases.
In December 1995, the staff voted to restructure the educational day to the 4x4 block format. The 4x4 scheduling format at R. Nelson Snider High School has students taking just four classes every day. There is more time for instruction and learning, with less time used for getting to and from classes and for classroom management. This productive use of school time translates into potential for additional labs, field trips, interdisciplinary activities and intense focus on subject matter.
In 2006 or 2007, a cell phone tower will be built on Snider's grounds. Snider will receive a monetary payment for the tower, and has yet to decide what the money will go towards. As part of the contract, Snider will not be able to use the money towards scholarships."
Huh - not much about the man (one sentence) but now I know about a cell phone tower!
I had to go to non-internet resources to find out about R. Nelson Snider.
1) He was Principal at South Side for 37 years. WOW!!!
2) That "R" - that stood for "Roy".
3) He died in 1976 and is buried in Lindenwood Cemetery.
4) His father was a farmer.
5) He was a Director for the YMCA.
6) He was on the Anthony Wayne Area Council of Boy Scouts.
7) Fort Wayne Education Foundation (now "Questa") credits its roots to R. He was a lender of money to students who wanted to pursue higher education.
Yep. There's more. But maybe those folks over at his name sake high school will complete the story.
Oh and P.S. - they might want to mention the guy that architected their building - John Davis Martindale.