William Harris Elson became Superintendent beginning in May 1906 through 1911. During his 4 years, he instituted one of the first technical high schools in the country (East Technical High in 1908). During his term, 72,000 students were attending the Cleveland Public Schools. Elson always thought of the improvement of the colored race – that should at least have one school supported by the public where they could be elevated in intellect and morals. He was re-known author of several series of textbooks; including the History of American Music and The Elson Readers which were adopted by many schools systems nationwide and overseas. Previously to coming to Cleveland, Elson was Superintendent in Parke County, Indiana (1881-91; Acting Superintendent in La Porte, Indiana (1872; Geographic Society and a member and president of the Department of Superintendence of the National Education Association and president of the Wisconsin State Teacher’s Association (1900). Superintendent’s Report- School Conditions and Needs – 1910-12.
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