THE EARLY DAYS:FIVE
In the previous posting, Miss Nelson was arriving at Union Station about to embark on her Graland journey. Both Mr. Toll and Mrs. Gorham have noted that Miss Nelson mentioned she would probably stay at the school for a year or two. Mrs. Gorham does mention that Miss Nelson did laugh at her remarks years later.
I must quote from Mr. Toll’s speech, for I love his remarkable sense of humor as he highlights the school’s “courting” of Miss Nelson:
“She had responded to our appeals with some reluctance, and expressly for a single year only. In the best tradition of Deborah Kerr in the role of Anna teaching Yul Brynner's progeny in The King and I, she had been teaching twenty-four children in her kindergarten. Only half-a-dozen of them were Americans, and about a dozen of the others spoke only Chinese or some other language. Each arrived daily with an ahma, who sat behind him or her, ready to serve. Georgia Nelson didn't want the Rockies; she wanted to go back to Shady Hill. But that original one year for which she came to us was extended -- at first from year to year - and then into a life sentence.”
Miss Nelson taught at the Pennsylvania residence for one year. I am relyin on Mrs. Gorham’s book for information about the opening of the Birch Street campus in the fall of 1928:
“The Board of Directors gave a reception in the assembly room (now, the Little Theatre) for parents and teachers. Ninety-four children started classes that September. Grace Laird taught the kindergarten with Emily Simson as her assistant; Genevieve Jones (taught) the first grade with the assistance of Lois Fee; Hilda Holcombe (taught) the second grade; Muriel Fee (taught) the third grade; Georgia Nelson, Director, the fourth and fifth grades. Virginia Braswell took charge of shop and crafts. Chester Preisser was responsible for physical education, half-days only because he was still attending the University of Denver. Margaret Tee started the first of many years as the art teacher. Barbara Kobler (later, Mrs. John Nunn) taught French.”
Should you wish to read more about the Georgia Nelson years, among others, you may access the entries I have compiled or written on the Graland website (look for Alumni at the top of the page, on the Alumni page, click on Graland History According to Mr. Hickey or access Graland Connect). If you have not joined that site -- and you should-- write Kristin Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org for a link.
I am currently editing the entries from last year, so forgive me if you notice any grammatical errors. Also, if you believe there is a factual error, please write me at email@example.com.
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.