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Published: Sunday, 2/1/2004

Ex-Port Clinton principal founded school programs

PORT CLINTON - William F. Pope, former principal of Jefferson Elementary School here, died of pancreatic cancer Thursday in his home. He was 69.

“Education was his life,” his son Tom Pope said.

Mr. Pope retired in 1988 after serving 18 years as the elementary s principal.

During his tenure, he established several educational programs at the school. He was not the kind of person to say something couldn t be done.

“If he thought it was a worthwhile program and it would help the kids, he ... said, How can we do it? ” his son said.

The outdoor education camp for fifth graders that Mr. Pope established at Jefferson Elementary is now at all the elementary schools. Students learn cooking, botany, and astronomy at a campground.

He started a science trip to Gibraltar Island, home of Ohio State University s Stone Lab. Students spend a day studying aquatic life, observing the lake through a glass-bottom boat.

His love of the arts led him to establish an art fund at Jefferson Elementary to teach children about music, theater, and other fine arts, his son said.

Mr. Pope also worked with the Sandusky Arts Council to expose the students to the arts, said Richard Linkous, former principal of Bataan Elementary here.

The students learned about symphonies and operas, storytellers and actors, he said.

Many of the programs spread to other district schools.

“We saw what he was doing, and it was good,” Mr. Linkous said. “He bent over backward to make sure we got it too.”

Mr. Pope had begun using projects when he was a classroom teacher.

“It was something to break the bookworm monotony of education,” his son said.

Mr. Pope taught social studies at Genoa Junior High for seven years and taught at Arlington Elementary School for two years before becoming principal of Jefferson Elementary.

He was born Aug. 11, 1934 in Ottawa, Ohio.

He graduated from high school in 1952, and received a bachelor s degree from Bowling Green State University. He later received a master s in education from Ball State University.

He married Susan Digby in 1958.

Mr. Pope was an avid Buckeyes and Indians fan, his son said.

He also enjoyed fishing and bike riding. He would get up in the morning, bike to have coffee with someone, and then bike home.

After he retired, he and his wife spent winters in Punta Gorda, Fla.

Surviving are his wife, Susan Pope; daughters, Julie Dunham, Jane Grindley, and Andrea Enderle; sons, Thomas and Michael Pope; brother, James F. Pope, and eight grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Gerner-Wolf-Brossia-Marsh Funeral Home here.

The family suggests tributes to the Jefferson Elementary Art Fund, the American Cancer Society, or a charity of the donor s choice.



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