The Early Years: Genevieve Jones/ Part One
In 1974, the aging building** that the Corkins Center replaced was dedicated and named the Genevieve Jones Building in honor of a lovely woman who taught at the school from 1927-1972. Yes, she worked here for forty-five years. I must admit when I realized I could never break Mrs. Gorham’s record of 62 years,my goal became 45 years.*** I heard many stories from Mrs.Gorham about Graland’s first rhythm teacher; Miss Jones also taught first grade.
Here are heartfelt words, the late Arthur Kent penned many years ago:
“She was a teacher we all held dear. She embodied adjustability, an unusual skill in her chosen field, youth of heart, understanding, common sense, cooperative spirit of teamwork,an abiding concern for each individual, and most important, enthusiasm, and a love for life which springs from a full love of children.”
With his B.A, in classics from Columbia University Mr. Kent established the Latin program at Graland in 1950. He also served as Head of our Junior School (renamed the Upper School in 1973). Mr. Kent also was our Assistant Headmaster from 1965-1970.
**The building was constructed in 1954 at a cost of $68,000; two years after Miss Jones’s retirement, the school renamed the pre-k/kindergarten building after her. It was a wonderful space for “the little ones,” as Mrs. Gorham often called the youngest of Lower School children.
*** I must solve a mystery whether Miss Jones came to Graland in 1927 or 1928. Miss Fetter’s book mentions that Miss Jones worked at Kent School from 1926-1928. Yet, on that same page, the dates mentioned above, 1927-1972, for Miss Jones’ tenure at Graland appear. Typo? Two part-time jobs? Error? I know not. Also, Ms. Fetter does list members of the faculty who were working at the school in 1927; Miss Jones's name does not appear on that list.