San Francisco Genealogy - State Normal School History, 1862-1889



State Normal School
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PRINCIPALS

Source:  Historical Sketch of the State Normal School at San Jose, California, with a Catalogue of Its Graduates and a Record of Their Work for Twenty-Seven Years [1862-1889]. State Office, J.D. Young, Supt. State Printing.  Sacramento, California. 1889.

C.W. CHILDS.
(Principal from July 1, 1889 - )

    C.W. Childs was born in 1844, in Geneseo, New York; graduated at the Wauwatosa High School, Wisconsin, in 1860, and at the outbreak of the rebellion served for a short time in the army.  Subsequently he came to California, and began his life work in teaching a public school at Cold Springs, El Dorado County.  Mr. Childs at that time was not of age, yet achieved marked success at the very commencement of his career as a teacher, and as years have roiled on fresh laurels have been added continuously to his pristine success.  After teaching several years in California, he entered the State Normal School, and was graduated in 1867.
    Finally he took a course in a commercial college in San Francisco, and, thus equipped, returned to his life work.  Shortly after finishing his commercial course he assumed the duties of Principal of the High School at Suisun, which position he held for eight years.  Here he won a brillian reputation as a progressive educator, and gained for the school the reputation of being one of the best in the State.  By his efforts the school was supplied with efficient apparatus for all necessary purposes, and among other things not especially in the cirriculum of a public school, he taught the boys how to set type, both as an accomjplishment and for recreation.  In acknowledgment of his worth as a teacher and his eminent fitness for the position, he was nominated and elected to the office of County Superintendent of Public Schools of Solano County for two successive terms, almost without opposition.  Capable, energetic, and enthusiastic, his administration of the office could not but be a success, and as a sequence of well earned laurels, at the close of his term of office, in 1878, Mr. Childs was elected to the position of teacher in the State Normal School, and in 1886 he was elected Vice-Principal.  In June, 1889, he was made Principal.  Here has he especially accomplished beneficial results in the interests of education.  The State at large feels his influence for good.  Popular with the students, possessing the confidence and esteem of his fellow teachers, he has won an enviable reputation.  Mr. Childs is an untiring student, and, though not a collegiate, is a fine scholar.  He is the author of "Topical Outlines of History," "Topical Outlines of the Constitution," and "The Essentials of Bookkeeping," three exceedingly valuable handbooks for the use of teachers and pupils.  In conclusion it may be said:  As a teacher, he is progressive; in methods, direct and comprehensive; clear and explicit in explanation of knotty problems, and one who recognized the value of drawing and of Normal training in schools carried to the highest extent.  As a man, genial, courteous, affable, not puffed up with conceit, but modest and unassuming.  A man among men.  His pupils love him, and the teachers of California respect him and acknowledge his worth.



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