Historic Principals- Mr. Bruce Eymann

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Mr. Eymann talks to Just Print It reporters Robert English and Tristan Mawyin.

By Robert English, IV and Tristan Mawyin

Mr. Eymann was the second principal of Morse school. He served this position from 1989 to 2003. He came back to Morse to talk about the school’s fiftieth birthday.

“I was a principal for 14 years,” he said. He started in the junior high as a Social Studies teacher and then moved to the position of dean of students. “I was a social studies teacher for the grades 7-9. I was selected principal in 1989 and ended in 2003.”

While at Morse, he took over when the first principal, Mr. Buonfiglio, retired. Mr. Eymann tried to keep the school in good shape as he led the school. He was able to keep the school at the top of the Saugerties School District while dealing with many changes in the staff and the building. “There were a lot of changes in the school from the time I started to the time I ended. The library is one room now and the computer lab is at the end of the hall that was never like that. Also some of the programs changed when I was a principal. We had the program A.R.L (Assured Readiness for Learning) that thought kids how to read and
write better. The program wanted the students in grades K-6 to write in cursive instead of print,” he said. “We also had the Saxon math program come in to help students prepare for the NYS tests.”

Mr. Eymann saw a lot of changes during his time at Morse. “When I came to this school there was only one computer. The only person in the school that knew how to work computer really well was Mrs. Grant. She was the best in the school!” In the 1990’s computers became popular in the classrooms. The first classroom computers were Apple IIe models with dot matrix printers. They were very basic and had very little storage. They used a floppy disk that was 51/4 inches and held only 1000 kilobytes. Computer technology was not the only thing that changed, though. Teaching techniques and strategies also changed. “All of the teachers started to learn more about the computer.” Mrs Tucker was the original computer lab teacher and then became a certified teacher. “Mrs. Maines, the current computer lab teacher was an IBM programmer so she got hired and she became the computer lab teacher.”
Teaching moved from being text-book based with emphasis on spelling and math facts to more advanced concepts in math and reading. “We used to have committees in each subject areas and teachers would help develop the curriculum across the district,” he said.

Mr. Eymann also experienced a shift in student population when the Cahill School was closed to finalize renovations in 1994. “When Cahill School closed down they split the school Morse got all the 5th and 6th graders, there was almost over 575 kids in the school. We had to change the art and music room in to class rooms be-cause there was so many kids.”

He had to devise a way to allow the art teacher, Mrs. Rockwood, to move from class to class with her sup-plies. “One day after we changed the art room into a class room the art teacher walks up to me a said how am I going to get all my art sup-plies to every class room in 30 minutes? I said you know, your right. That day I went home to my shop and I made a cart for the art teacher. I named it the Art Cart. I went in the next day and gave it to her . She loved it!”
The Art Cart made its return to Mr. Eymann when he retired in 2003. Then fourteen years later when I retired, they gave it back to me as a gift. I brought it home and put it in my garage. I didn’t have the heart to burn of throw it out so I put all of my tools on it.”
Mr. Eymann was a wonderful principal and is a great man. Many of the teachers he hired are still here. Mr. Eymann was responsible for all of the hirings at Grant D. Morse school from 1989-2003. He hired Mrs. Detweiler, Mrs. Averill, Mrs. Ryan, Mrs. Sullivan, Mrs. Zicot, Mrs. Constable, Nurse Beth, Mrs. Buda and many more.

Grant D. Morse school would not be the school it is today without the leadership and vision of Mr. Eymann.