Stadium, teaching bond generations

September 9, 2006 

Nancy Foote will have the opportunity to walk through the “new” halls of Stadium High School, just as her grandmother did 100 years ago.

Alumni of all ages will tour the remodeled school during the centennial celebration, including many who descend from generations of Stadium alumni.

Ellen Sophia (Carr) Beardsley, Foote’s grandmother, was in the first class to graduate from the hotel-turned-high school.

Beardsley was in the class of 19061/2. That is, she graduated in February 1907.

A News Tribune article of the class’s 60th reunion indicated that the 1907 graduation party was limited because dancing wasn’t allowed in the school. Instead, they went on “promenades.”

“Music was provided, and students chose partners for promenading through the halls. When the number ended, partners were exchanged and the walks continued,” the article said. Parents chaperoned the young adults to make sure they returned to the library between partners.

Foote’s grandmother went on to become a teacher – a tradition she also passed down to two generations of Stadium grads.

She had two children and four grandchildren graduate from Stadium: daughter Barbara Beardsley in 1934, daughter Emily Beardsley in 1939, granddaughter Barbara Jones in 1964, grandson Jim Jones in 1966, granddaughter Nancy (Jones) Foote in 1969 and grandson John Jones in 1971.

Emily Beardsley, Foote’s mother, was a teacher. She married a man who went on to teach at Stadium. Two of their children, including Foote, became teachers. Foote married a teacher.

Foote remembers telling her kindergarten teacher that she was going to grow up to teach. Instructors at Stadium further influenced her. She taught for 31 years, retiring in 2005 from Point Defiance Elementary School.

The castle on the hill was also in her future.

“You couldn’t have caught me dead at any other school,” she said. “I liked going to a school that didn’t look like a school.”

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