Teachers and students
The two room school in the 1930s had two teachers that taught K-8. Elsie Owens taught the early grades in one room, and Belva Ridgeway taught the older grades in the other room. One family that attended Higley Elementary School in the 1930s were the Rebers.
The Reber children were: Meryl, Alvin, Leo, Lorin, Joyce, Lois May and Carolyn. The oldest, Meryl, played softball games against "the Rittenhouse," as Queen Creek was called then. Some of the students were heard by Miss Ridgeway calling Rittenhouse “Rottenhouse” as they drove to a game. She chastised them severely, telling them any future games would be cancelled if she heard that again. Unfortunately, there were some cancelled games after that.
The teachers lived in an apartment above the Grocery Store and Post office on the corner of Williams Field and Higley Roads. The pupils gave oral reports every Friday in front of the class and there were many plays, musicals and special programs performed for the parents.
Recess was enjoyed by all with ball games, jacks, marbles, steal the sticks, etc. There was no bus, kids would walk to school, and there was no cafeteria.
Joyce Reber, one of the children that attended Higley, remembers when they had to take sack lunches of embarrassing homemade bread and an orange from their citrus grove. There was no such delicacy as a banana.
On the days when no bread was available for sandwiches, mom drove over to the school with a hot lunch and all the kids had to climb into the back seat and eat in front of everyone. Joyce Reber later married Edward O. Nevitt and they moved to their farm in Queen Creek in 1956. They have continued to live in Queen Creek since then and raised their family there.
1954School Building History
Archives date back to May 7, 1954, to a dedication held for building 200. This building addition in 1953 was a big deal for those that attended the 1954 dedication ceremony because building 200 was only the second brick building built since the main building in 1915. For many years, grades 1-3 and 6 met in this building.
On that same day of 1954, a time capsule was created, filled with appropriate items leading up to that day. Some of the items included a dedication program, the names of the students that attended Higley from first to eighth grade, the names of the teachers, the names of the parents and patrons that attended the dedication, and a typed poem from Claude Connell.
The time capsule was set into the NW corner of the west wing of the original main school building, behind a granite plaque. The items were uncovered from the time capsule sometime in 2000 when the old primary wing was torn down to make way for the new construction. The original documents are stored at the current district office.
In 1963 building 300 was constructed. Building 300 was mainly used for the cafeteria. In the late 70s, a part of the building was used for kindergarten.
Higley school days in 1964/1965 had grades first – eighth. There were 128 students in total. Kindergarten wasn't added until 1971. There were 13 staff members working on campus on a daily basis. Girls and boys basketball was enjoyed by those in the upper grades.