News Releases - Local Events
Written by Kelly Lao   
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 09:35

Sunday, September 25, 2011, starting at 1:00 p.m. at the German American Heritage Center, 712 W. 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa,


This program presents an overview of German influence in the Davenport area schools, as well as a look at what resources are available to the public at the Davenport School Museum.  The presentation provides a look at some of the people with German heritage who made contributions to the development of education in this area and how settlement patterns influenced the development of the school system.  Not only was Davenport the site of Iowa’s first kindergarten in the late 1860s, but the Davenport schools’ introduction of drawing, physical education, and music classes in the mid- to late 1800s and the offering of “modern” foreign language (German) in 1867 were cutting-edge concepts in Midwestern schools and were all influenced by German Americans.  This presentation will include educators, students, and members of the public who have played a role in education in the Davenport area.  In addition to the program there will be a display featuring people of German ancestry who were important in the development ofDavenport area schools, some school artifacts, early student work, the history of the Kuhnen Medal, and some records of earlyDavenport schools that can help you trace some family history.  Jim Schebler personally found records for his father, aunts, and uncles at Polk School in the early 1900s.  He hadn’t known that they attended that school at 8th and Marquette, along with many other students of German ancestry in that area of Davenport.  Who knows what you might find in the old school records?

Jim and Maureen Schebler have had a lifelong interest in history, especially local and regional history.  Maureen graduated from Marycrest College in Davenport with majors in social studies and secondary education.  Jim graduated from St. AmbroseCollege with majors in political science and secondary education.

In high school and college Maureen was employed in a variety of positions in the Davenport Public Library.  After spending time as a stay-at-home mom in the early years of their marriage, Maureen was employed by the Davenport Public Schools as a para-educator in media.

Jim was employed by the Rock Island Public Schools for 39 years as a teacher of social studies.  After his retirement, he was employed as a part-time instructor in the Education Department at Augustana College in Rock Island for 10 years.  He taught the secondary social studies methods course and also worked with the supervision of student teachers.  Several articles that he has co-authored have been published in the Illinois History Teacher magazine.

Today Jim and Maureen are volunteers at the Davenport School Museum and have been working on digitalizing items in the collection of the Museum and preparing presentations based on these collections.

Red apples and yellow pencils will be given out at the beginning of this program while supplies last.

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