Former teachers, administrators left their mark

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Today’s ‘Hancock History Highlights’ is the first in a series over the coming months that will uncover the personalities behind the names on area fields and facilities in each of the county’s four school corporations. First up, Eastern Hancock:

At Eastern Hancock you will find there are three athletic facilities that are namesakes. While the school has other things that are named after former teachers, etc, for the purpose of this article we are only exploring the athletic facilities (as this is a sports history column!). 

Edward E. Knarr Athletic Field

When the Royal football team sets foot on their local gridiron, or the Royal runners race around their home track, they are competing on what is known as the Edward E. Knarr Athletic Field.

Mr. Knarr was a principal at Eastern Hancock Jr.-Sr. High School, and he was the man in charge when my family moved from the Greenfield-Central School district in 1979 as I started seventh grade. I remember Mr. Knarr as a firm disciplinarian who you didn’t want to cross. He kept strict order in the school and had a very defined idea about what could be done and could not be done at EH. For example, our cheerleaders were not allowed to do that “We got Spirit” chant — because Mr. Knarr felt it was unsportsmanlike. I won’t say that Mr. Knarr was a warm and fuzzy kind of guy — he wasn’t.  But, I do know that he knew every student at school by name, knew who their friends were, and probably knew their parents too. One benefit of a small school!

However, behind that “stern demeanor” was a heart of gold combined with passion and caring for his students. Mary Scott Gibble related that one time she got the dreaded “knock at the classroom door.” Her name was called, and there she saw — Mr. Knarr! “To put it simply, we were afraid of him … he looked mean! My heart jumped to my throat. What in the world did I do wrong?” Mary asked.

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