The Model School

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The Model School


The Model School, later known as The Training School, and still later as Model Laboratory School, opened September 11, 1906, four months before classes began at the Normal School. It was, in a sense, a continuation of the Walters Collegiate Institute.

The full twelve grades were operated from that date until 1922, when under pressure from the State Superintendent and the Richmond City Superintendent, the high school division was shut down. A junior high was opened in 1925, and in 1930, Model High School opened for business again after an eight year lay off. From 1927-1930 a Normal High School had operated on the eastern campus during the transition of the Normal School into a State Teachers College.

Model first occupied the old Central University building, then moved to the Roark Building. In 1918, the school moved into the Cammack Building, and with the re-institution of the high school in 1930 the Model school occupied both Cammack (Elementary) and University (Junior High-High School).

During its early years, Model had a cadet corps and participated in interscholastic sports such as football, baseball, track, and basketball. A rural School network was operated within the Model system from 1918 until about 1958. One operated on the college campus, another (Kavanaugh) m the Irvine Pike, a third (Green’s Chapel) on Barnes Mill and the last on the Lancaster Pike where the new Model High building was constructed in 1961. Model also participated in a joint scholastic and athletic program with Madison High from the late 1930’s until the middle 1960’s. The Madison-Model teams became too powerful and the combination was broken up.

For many years Model had both a director and a high school principal. Serving as director during this time were Col. Edgar Hesketh Crawford (1907-1908), J.A. Sharon was acting for Col. Crawford during the fall of 1906, Ira Waite Jayne (1908-1909), E. George Payne (1909-1910), held a PhD from University of Bonn, Germany, President J.G. Crabbe of the Normal-School (1910-1916), President T.J. Coates of the Normal school (1916-1918), Richard A. Edwards (1918-1954), M.E. Mattox (acting, 1924-1925).

High school principals during this time were David Caldwell MacBryde (1907-1911), Howard Dwight Billman (1911-1912), J.H. Hoskinson (1912-1914), Paul A. Greenamyer (1914-1915). Homer W. Duller (1915-1917). C.H. Moore (1917-1918), G.L. McClain (1920-1922), Samuel Walker (1930-1935), J. Dorland Coates (1935-1961). Ben Ashmore served as principal from 1943-1945 while Dr. Coates was in the Army.

Upon Mr. Edwards' retirement in 1954, Dr. Coates became director. Dr. Henry Martin became elementary principal, a position Mr. Edwards had also filled, and Dr. Coates continued as high school principal in 1955. In 1961 both Dr. Coates and Dr. Martin moved into college positions as associate dean for teacher education and dean of students, respectively. The positions of principal were abolished, and, from 1961 until the present, Model has had only a director.

Serving as directors have been Dr. Dixon A. Barr (1961-1964), Dr. Walter Marcum (1964-1967), Dr. Helen M. Reed (1967-1969), David B. Gover (1969-1970). Dr. Jim G. Henry (1970-1972), and Dr. L. Stephen Traw (1972-present).

As can be seen Mr. Edwards and Dr. Coates served the longest Mr. Edwards is still active working with old books and only recently retired from his lifelong hobby of beekeeping, The writer it indebted to him and to Dr. Barr for some of my information.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “The Model School,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed April 15, 2024,