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ABOVE, The Missouri Boatride is photographed by Jason Jenkins, managing editor of Rural Missouri, on the steps of Wooley Creek School. The Wooley Creek School Community Association is participating in the Summit. August 1, 2011, StateoftheOzarks Archive.

“We have members that own still-standing one-room schools, members who are former one-room school teachers or students, members who want to take on historical renovation projects and members who are just local history buffs,” said David Burton, civic communication specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The first Historic Schools Summit will be held Friday, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic, Ave., Springfield, Mo. and is open to anyone interested in the one-room school experience.
The conference is organized by MU Extension in Greene County as part of a new community development program known as the Ozarks Country School Association.
The two-day program will include the Missouri premier of a documentary, “Country School: One Room, One Nation,” along with other interesting speakers addressing a number of topics relevant to the one-room school experience.
The first day of the conference will include a presentation by Burton entitled, “Why Bother Saving a One-Room School” and a presentation entitled “Early Life in the Ozarks: Humor, Customs, Remedies and Music” given by Dr. Jim Wirth, a human development specialist with MU Extension.
Virginia Snyder, a former teacher who restored Little Moore School and moved it to Snyder Music Park in Lawrence County, will speak and sing her program “Legacy of the One-Room School.”
At noon, attendees will watch the 1956 movie, “A Desk for Billie” and then hear from the lady that was the subject of the movie: Dr. Billie Davis. When the “Saturday Evening Post” published her story, “I was a Hobo Kid” in 1952, Dr. Davis became a highly sought after speaker for state and national teacher conferences.
Tiffany Paterson, National Register Coordinator at the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, will lead a three-hour session in the afternoon entitled, “Taking the Mystery Out of Historic School Nominations.” Paterson writes historic nominations for the state of Missouri and is working on a multi-property nomination for one-room schools in the state.
Velynda Cameron, a 4-H youth development specialist with MU Extension, will lead a session entitled, “Working with and Inspiring Volunteers” prior to dinner.
The first day of the conference will conclude with the Missouri premier of the 75-minute documentary, “Country School: One Room, One Nation.” The movie has been getting rave reviews throughout the Midwest.
Several volunteers from southwest Missouri will present topics specific to one-room schools in the Ozarks on Saturday.
Peter Maki, from Top of the Ozarks RC&D, will present a program on the “Texas County One-Room School Driving Tour” and another program entitled, ““Finding Schools in Ozark, Douglas and Wright Counties.”
A group of volunteers led by Mike Collins will present a program about the restoration and maintenance work being done at Wooley Creek School near Cape Fair, Missouri.
Helen Hunter of Carthage, who is currently writing a book about the one-room schools in Jasper County, will give a presentation on that topic and also share information about the restored Cave Springs School.
Carolyn McLean of Galena, Kansas, will round out the day’s program with a presentation on her recent restoration efforts entitled, “Saving Union Chapel School.”
On Saturday, attendees will also enjoy lunch at the Gray-Campbell Farmstead during the annual 1850s “Lifestyle Days” held at the farm. One of the goals of the Friends of Gray-Campbell Farm group is to move Liberty School to the historic Gray-Campbell Farmstead and restore it.
Membership in the Ozarks Country School Association is open to anyone with an interest in one-room schools, including current owners, former students and teachers, or local history buffs.
The goals of the OCSA are to work with historical and community groups, interested individuals and building owners, to raise funds and awareness to maintain historic one-room school buildings in Missouri and to develop them as community centers. This new program has a national affiliation with the Country School Association of America.
A complete conference agenda can be found online at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene.

— DAVID BURTON, Civic Communication Specialist
February 27, 2011