19 August 2009

First Day Anxiety?

With the start of the new school year just a few weeks away, it's only natural for students to feel some anxiety. New teacher, new classroom, possibly even a new school - all add to those first day jitters.

Students aren't the only ones who may be feeling the pressure. Consider these two news items from the 20s recounting the tragic deaths of a teacher and an administrator just prior to the start of the school year.

Teacher Ends Life at Trenton

TRENTON, N.J.. Aug. 29. - The body of Miss Hulda Schulz, 22 years old. principal of a school at Ringoes, N.J., was found beneath a tree near the Delaware River in StacyPark here today. Police said death was caused by poisoning. Two letters signed by her said that she had troubles, but did not divulge their nature. [The New York Times 30 August 1928]


Body is Found in Car Near Home in North Branch, N.J. - Mother Lays Act to Melancholia.
SOMERVILLE, N.J. Sept. 5. - Miss Enola Skillman of North Branch, five miles west of here, who was to have started teaching in Bedminster this morning, committed suicide late yesterday afternoon by shooting herself through the head with a bullet from a 25 calibre German automatic pistol. She is the second New Jersey school teacher to commit suicide with[in] a week. Last Wednesday Miss Hulda Schulz, 22 years old. principal of the school at Ringoes. N.J. took her own life by drinking poison.
Miss Skillman, who was 20 years old, was graduated from Somerville High School in 1926, and from the Newark Normal School last Spring. The Bedminster School was to have been her first place at a teacher. [The New York Times 6 September 1928]

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