A 1936 Terry High School graduate, Lucille Revell stands at the main entrance of the Grandey building where she attended school beginning in 1924. Terry Schools is celebrating 100 years of graduating students during the Yippee! weekend, July 27 and 28.
By Kay Johnson
For a six-year-old country girl from Brockway, who grew up 15 miles south of Circle, enrolling in Terry Schools was no small matter. Walking through the newly constructed two-story Grandey building, then only 16-years in existence, was more than just a little intimidating.
“It was so big when I first came,” 93-year-old Lucille Revell recalled last week as she stood in the building’s main hall.
Surrounded by the Grandey’s polished woodwork that frames doorways and staircases, the building’s impressive stature still rings true. “I think it’s amazing they’ve kept it up as well as they have.”
Revell began school in Terry in 1924 as a first grader, shortly after her family moved here. She and her three brothers attended school in Terry. Three of the four children graduated from Terry High School.
There wasn’t a student orientation program in place in those days, Revell explained. “It was just go to school and you went to school.”
At noon hour when it was time for students to walk home for lunch, 6-year-old Revell was left unsure of how to get back home. It was a frightening first day of school experience she can still vividly recall.
“I was standing there bawling,” she shares now smiling remembering as her older brother Lee came down the staircase of the Grandey building. He quickly saved the day giving his sister a very detailed lesson on how to get to and from school from their home, located on the northside of the railroad tracks.
Scanning the foyer, Revell reminisced on her school days spent in the now 104 year-old building. Pointing to each of the rooms, she recalled which classes were housed where. The northeast room, now serving as Ms. Prete’s fourth grade classroom, then housed fifth graders. Today’s library once served as the homeroom for third graders. Elementary grades were located on the main floor while sixth through eighth grades were housed on the second floor.
The basement, now used as the school’s weight room, was used then as the school gym. An annex building, now located on Towne Avenue, kitty corner to the school, and used as a duplex, once sat near the school’s blacktop, housing 9th through 12th grades. By the time, Revell’s Class of 1936 reached high school, the new and current high school building, minus the gym, had been constructed.
Physical surroundings are not the only differences, according to Revell when asked to compare today’s education with her time.
“We knew we had to go to school,” she shared. “We didn’t expect any mercy at home. If we got in trouble at school, we got in trouble at home too. The teachers were always right.”
Education offered in Terry was respected, Revell shared. Much of that credit she lays at Professor Grandey’s feet.
Revell holds her 1936 class ring that includes her initials inscribed on the
inside of the band. The ring cost $7.
“We were very proud of Terry. We had a very advanced curriculum. We had Latin. Mr. Grandey saw that we stayed on top.”
Of the 55 students from the Class of 1936 that entered high school, 37 graduated. Of those, five are now living. Fellow living classmates include: Glen Young of Miles City, Ells Hardesty of Portland, Ore., Jeni Folk of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Evelyn Pehl of Wyo.
Terry Schools Grandey building was built in 1908 and dedicated to C.W. "Prof" Grandey as superintendent of Terry Schools from 1907-1947.
Published July 18, 2012