Loretta C. Gates: Pershing Class of January 1955

June 16, 2014

[column type=”1/4″] [/column] [column type=”3/4″ last=”true”] I attended Greenfield Park Elementary until my family moved and then I transferred to Greenfield Union in the fifth grade.  At that time, Greenfield Union only went to the sixth grade.  The student body were the kids form the neighborhood, so you went to school, played and socialized with the same kids.  When I went to Nolan for junior high school,that was the first time I experienced an integrated education experience and it helped to broaden my horizon and instilled in me a passion for education and helping others.[/column] [clear]

Back in those days, students were seated in class according to your height.  I’ve always been small in stature, so I always landed in the front of the class.  Being the youngest and only girl with five brothers, who had quite a reputation, most of my teachers knew I had the ability, but sometimes needed a little nudge to get going.  At Greenfield Park all of my teachers were warm and friendly but they demanded that you behave and follow the rules in their classrooms.

My math teacher Mr. McCarthy was very helpful, patient and always took extra time to explain the lesson to make sure that we understood.  Back then, Detroit Public Schools were rated in the top ten education systems in the country.  The teachers, students and parents all took pride in education and did their part to make sure the kids went to school and learned.  I remember being introduced to poetry by my English teacher, and I didn’t appreciate it back then.  We put on live theater in the auditorium and attending those performances taught use poise, etiquette and manners.  I remember being caught one time in auditorium chewing gum.  The teacher made me stand in front of the class with that gum on my nose for the entire period.  You can rest assured I never chewed gum in school again!

I made some lifelong friends while at Pershing and in fact a group of girls formed a sorority while we were in the 11th grade.  The name was Delta Phi Sigma.  We started with 8 girls but grew to 12, and we still get together to this day, once a month.  My favorite subject was history and I liked math also. 

At Pershing, we were all taught college prep courses and when you graduated no one ever had a problem securing a job.  Upon graduating from high school, a lot of the women became secretaries, went to work at Michigan Bell, which was the telephone company back then or went on to college.  We had so much fun and had a great football and basketball team. While in high school, I got a job at school working for my guidance counselor.  I enjoyed that experience and that counselor was instrumental in influencing me to go on to college.  I attended Wayne State University and became a social studies teacher with Detroit Public Schools.  I taught for the Detroit Public Schools for twelve years and one of the schools I taught at was Farwell Junior High.

Detroit Public Schools gave its students a quality education and the teachers took pride in making sure that their students achieved their highest and best potential.  I enjoyed my days as a student of DPS immensely and wish that today’s kids get to experience the fun and to have the same quality education that I did.

 

Dine-In With DPSFWhat A Year It Has Been

ROUSH EMPLOYEES: You can help the Central-Durfee K-12 Campus of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) Students get a STEM/ROBOTICS LAB!

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