Spring 2016 brought sports athletes into action, green leaves on the trees and flowers in bloom. It also arrived with a brief surprise visit from a former S-GI graduate VIP who visited the high school. William (Bill) Starkweather lived in Springville years ago, attended S-GI High School, was involved in sports and was the All Star Football player in 1956. Upon graduation, Bill went on to greater achievements in the field of education.
Bill and his wife arrived for a visit with us and shared photos and unique stories about himself and his memories of living here, going to school at S-GI, and what a great place Springville was and still is for families. At first, as a young boy, his family lived in Buffalo. It was a delight to drive to his grandparents’ farm here and stay overnight in the mansion where the high school now stands. (See photo.) His grandparents were the original owners of the property where the high school and all the grounds are today. In May 1945, his family eventually moved to Springville. We gave him a tour of the high school and he was amazed with the many changes that have taken place to the building, the grounds and the Village of Springville.
After Springville-GI, Bill graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College and taught Social Studies at Iroquois Central for two years. He then went to Kenmore West in 1962 and taught Social Studies, History and Government. In 1972 he became the Assistant Principal at Kenmore West until 1979. During that time, he received his doctorate from the University of Buffalo in 1974. He left Kenmore to be the Superintendent of Schools at Bradford, New York for 2 years. Then in 1981 he became the Superintendent of Schools at Newark Valley Central School District and retired in 1998 after serving for 17 years there.
In 1986 he was listed in the top 100 school executives in North America by the National School Boards Association. Bill shared with us the article from the Binghamton, Press & Sun Bulletin, where Bill is quoted, “National recognition doesn’t come often in one’s life. But it’s certainly more than a personal thing—it’s a reflection of the teamwork here; all our administrators and staff and board members.”
Presently, he and his wife Kathy live in south-central New York and enjoy traveling. We were very fortunate that during one of those travels, they made S-GI High School one of their destinations. It was enjoyable to hear his stories of former times at S-GI and in Springville. As brief as their visit was, we knew we had met a very accomplished, yet humble man who returned to his hometown to say “hello” and remember those times with us. He believes that S-GI “made a big contribution toward his many achievements,” and his years in Springville will always be memorable and special to him.
Submitted by Marcia Donahue, High School Secretary