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Alumni Hall of Fame
Service to St. Marys City Schools (2015)

Mr. Harold H. Cook

Harold H. (H.H.) Cook, a native of Wyandot County, Ohio, graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, and experienced educator and administrator was named the 15th Superintendent of St. Marys City Schools in May 1945 following the death of his predecessor, Charles C. (C.C.) Mc Broom. With Mr. Cook's arrival in St. Marys, came the Allied victory that brought the end of World War II which would deliver a period of extraordinary American growth as soldiers returned home, went to work, married, started families and moved on with their lives. The marriages resulted in a "baby boom" that unbeknownst to education professionals, like Mr. Cook, would require school districts nationwide to address growing student populations and the need for additional facilities in order to offer a quality education in their communities.

Mr. Cook and the Board of Education, first addressed the needs of the district by proposing the construction of a new building adjacent to Memorial High School that would become the junior high school and home to the district's seventh and eighth grade students. This new facility would also offer space for courses like music, art, physical education, home economics, and industrial arts was well as a gymnasium and cafeteria that could be used by the both the high school and junior high school. The St. Marys voters approved a construction levy in November 1949 and in the fall of 1952 McBroom Junior High School, named for Mr. Cook's predecessor, was occupied by students of St. Marys City Schools.

In 1954, with an ever growing student population, Mr. Cook would oversee a voter approved expansion of McBroom Junior High School that provided additional classroom space and a two level music department expansion on the southeast corner of Memorial High School.

By the mid 1950's many of the township schools surrounding St. Marys were facing difficulty in complying with new state standards and the financial burdens that came with them. Therefore, students who attended the township schools from all grade levels began to attend St. Marys City Schools. Although some of the township schools could be used, all of them could not and the old East and West School facilities were no longer able to handle the needs of the district. In November 1957, the citizens of St. Marys approved a construction bond issue to build an elementary school on the west end of town on land purchased from Edsel Quimby and an elementary school on the east end of town on land purchased from William Mackenbach. Appropriately named West and East Elementary Schools opened in 1959 and 1960 respectively. Both facilities serve our school district currently.

In 1963 construction would soon find itself happening at the Memorial High School and McBroom Junior High School site with the addition of the L-Section which connected the two facilities. The L-Section received its name due to the large second floor library that was part of this project.

In 1964, more construction was necessary at Memorial High School and McBroom Junior High School that resulted among other things in the building of the Vocational Agricultural Building just south of the L-Section that ready for use by students in 1967.

At the time of his retirement in 1968, Mr. Cook oversaw the single greatest era of construction and expansion in the St. Marys City Schools. His outstanding leadership was recognized in 1987 as the gymnasium added to McBroom Junior High School which stands today just beyond Skip Baughman Stadium was named the H.H. Cook Addition. For his outstanding and superior service to St. Marys City Schools, Mr. Harold H. (H.H.) Cook, joins his son, Dean, to become the first father and son inductees to the St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Foundation Hall of Fame.

The above text, in its entirety, is embossed on a St. Marys Memorial High School Alumni Hall of Fame plaque permanently on display in Memorial High School.

Copyright St. Marys MHS Alumni Foundation