Remember When: NFA benefactors in 1800s had forethought of education in mind –

by | May 12, 2022 | Education

I remember when I first went to the Norwich Free Academy on a Thursday in September 1962. I had left St. Pat’s as an eighth grader, top of the heap, but I was heading onto the vast campus as a Greasy, oh sorry, I mean a freshman. There were almost 1,000 freshman students (980 incoming students, 876 graduates) for the Class of 1966 on campus when I arrived, the largest ever entering. It was nice to see some of my friends, but the size of campus and just remembering where I would have to get to on time seemed a bit confusing.I ended up in homeroom in the basement of Commercial with Mr. G., a science teacher and football coach. Attendance started my day, and then my locker assignment came next but, where it was — well, I got lost, and it wouldn’t be the last time.During the middle of the 19th century a new push in education spurred the population to seek a free education for students who graduated from eighth grade regardless of social and economic standing. At that time, those who attended high school matriculated at private schools with great cost to their parents. A staunch proponent of free education was Daniel Webster …

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