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Carole Haller of Spring Garden Township shared this photo of the front of the former Mount Rose Elementary School. She said she took photos when her daughter, Susan, began her school days there. "Mount Rose Elementary School consisted of two buildings," she wrote. "The lower grades were housed in the older building facing Mount Rose Avenue and the upper grades, through sixth grade, were in the former high school building that faced Ogontz Street and was located across a playground, in back of the older building. When the older building was demolished in the summer of 1978, all of the students were combined in the remaining building on Ogontz Street. After the 1982 school year, Mount Rose School was closed and students transferred to other schools in the York Suburban School District. The remaining building, still standing, was bought and is being used by a church."

Ask Joan: School-themed memories continue

Last week, I talked about one of the biggest events in my life – my wedding. This week, I’m stealing my topical inspiration from another milestone; I’ll be getting my master’s degree from Penn State in May, so educational things are high on my mind.

With that said, I thought it might be fun to round up some local school-themed memories I’ve received over the past year or so. I hope you’ll enjoy!

An image shows the phrase Ask Joan in large letters above a line and the phrase What's to love about York County below it.

What’s inside

1. California resident recalls York’s schools
2. More memories of Mount Pleasant School
3. Sharing recollections of Franklin School

1. California resident recalls York’s schools

Today’s first letter came to me from Dianna Campbell, who titled it “Hello from California!”

Dianna wrote after her sister sent her a copy of one of last summer’s columns on school memories.

She wrote, “I was born in the West York Sanitarium/Hospital … and raised at 1423 Mount Rose Ave., just across the street from Mount Rose School. It was the single-family home next to the row home in which my grandparents lived. I also attended the junior high and, as York Suburban was not built, I commuted to William Penn Senior High School.”

Dianna continued, “During the summers between college semesters, I was the playground supervisor on the school grounds. We had a Mr. and Miss Mount Rose contest. We also made a mug that looked like a face wearing sunglasses on a saucer edged in red rickrack. A plant was put into the mug, and we sold them. We made enough money for a trip to Washington, D.C. While on top of the Washington Monument, one of the students had a panic attack, outstretched arms, turning in circles and had to be taken down the stairs by my physical education major assistant!”

She also remembered, “I was in elementary school when I first learned a bad word. Someone had written it on the bricks and not having any idea what it meant or that it was bad, I just read it. The girls with me knew and made sure to tell me I should never say that word again! Seems like now it is common, but is bleeped on TV! Each time, I remember my shock to be told it was bad, but no one ever told me what it meant! That was a later lesson!”

And, Dianna concluded, “You may wish to check on a school in York New Salem. My grandfather, Curtis Harbold, was the teacher there. My mother, Anna Campbell, gave me a photograph of Grandpa and his class. I taught vocal music at North Hills Junior High School (now Central York Middle School) in the ’60s and ’70s prior to moving to California in 1977.”

Dianna, it was so great to hear how our various schools wound their way through your history and your family’s!

2. More memories of Mount Pleasant School

Earlier this year, several readers shared their memories of the former Mount Pleasant School in Conewago Township, Adams County, just outside Hanover.

Following that, I heard from Gary Eline, who wrote, “I was secretary of Mount Pleasant School Alumni. I attended the last two years it was open, 1957 and 1958. It was placed in the Conewago Valley School District. The school only had two grades, third and fourth, as first and second were in Midway and fifth and sixth was Sand Hill on Oxford Avenue, McSherrystown, until they built the new Conewago Township Elementary on Elm Avenue.”

He recalled the Mount Pleasant teachers as Ruth Kump for third gradea and Elsie Miller for fourth.

Gary notes that he attended that school from fifth through eighth grades, then went to Hanover High School for ninth through 12th. “The schools became part of Conewago Valley Schools in the ’70s,” he concluded.

3. Sharing recollections of Franklin School

Today’s last note is more than a year old, and involves the former Franklin School in York.

It comes from Don Jones, who wrote, “I went to elementary school at Franklin, but when I went I attended grades K through sixth. I also remember Mr. Kornbau, Mr. Young, also Miss Plitt and Miss Mead. Unfortunately I can’t remember my kindergarten teacher’s name, although I do remember I went in the morning. I started in 1959 or 1960, not sure which one. Age requirements were different back then.”

He noted, “I just wanted to make mention of this because one of your readers mentioned that there was no kindergarten. I wish I could remember all the teachers names, they were all great. I just wanted to make sure they all get their well-deserved recognition.”

Well, Don, though it may be late, I am glad to be able to help recall those teachers from Franklin! Thank you so much for sharing that information.

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.

1 comment on “Ask Joan: School-themed memories continue

  1. I wish I could remember Dianna Campbell as the vocal music teacher at North Hills Junior High School but I can’t seem to remember her. I was in the very first classes to enter the new North Hills Junior High School. I went to Central High School for seventh Grade and most of eighth grade. At the beginning of April of 1960 or 1961 we all cleaned out our desks and lockers at Central High School and carried all our books and personal belongings to waiting school buses which transported us to the brand new North Junior High School atop the hill overlooking North Hills Elementary School. The new school was a showcase. Unfortunately during that first year we experienced one or two problems. I remember someone in our class took a knife and sliced through the brand new vinyl sofas in the main lobby of the school. I believe it was that same year that a number of our class members were expelled or suspended for selling switch blade knives at school. So, we had some problems even 60 years ago. I think it was that same year that the school had a flag designing contest and a girl from our class won. The official flag was black and white and pictured a black falcon in the center of the flag. I believe the lettering on the flag had the following lettering – “North Hills Falcons”. The North Hills Junior High marching band was known as the “Falconaires”. Hopefully Central York School District preserved that flag in their archives. I also remember the old barn which remained on the property or adjacent property. Some kids would go into the barn and smoke at Lunch recess. One of my sobering recollections was when the principal, a few other classmates and I stood against the barrier at the south end of the front parking lot and looked over the city of York. Earlier in the day we had one of those nuclear air attack drills where we all sat under our desks for protection from nuclear attack. Of course the Cold War and all the fears of nuclear attack were on the minds of most students and everyone else. I remember discussing with the principal if there was a direct hit on the city of York, we would not even have a chance in the North Hills Junior High School Building. Just to clarify, the North Hills Junior High School eventually became Central York Middle School when the district reorganized and created a middle school in place of a Junior High.

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