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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2005

Oregon: 2 long-time educators win Clay hall of fame places

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The love and devotion they had for their schools has landed two past Oregon educators into the Clay High Alumni and Friends Association Hall of Fame.

Former superintendent Josephine Fassett, and Henry L. Spring, a former educator, coach, and principal, will be inducted posthumously into the hall of fame at a ceremony on Saturday.

Miss Fassett was born in 1884 and took her first teaching job while she was still a teenager.

In 1914, she was hired as a district superintendent, where she supervised Oregon and Jerusalem Township schools. She was later named full-time superintendent, and was instrumental in promoting the construction of Clay High School, and Coy and Wynn elementary schools.

Ruth Cousino, 82, of Jerusalem Township, remembered when her aunt would buy eye glasses, books, and shoes for students who couldn't afford them.

"She was a pioneer in education, and she devoted her wholewhole life to education," she said. "She was a sweet woman, and she was a good person."

During her 46 years with the Oregon system, Miss Fassett obtained degrees from Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo, and attended Miami University and Ohio Northern University.

She became part of the collection of replicas of pioneer women in education at the Ohioana Library in Columbus in 1951, and retired in 1954.

Miss Fassett was a founding member of the Oregon-Jerusalem Historical Society of Ohio, and her book, titled History of Oregon and Jerusalem, The Story of Two Communities, was published in 1961.

Oregon officials honored her when they named Fassett Junior High School and Clay's Josephine Fassett library.

She died in 1975 when she was 91.

Mr. Spring, a life-long Oregon resident, was born in 1934 and graduated from Clay High School in 1952.

After receiving a bachelor's degree in education from BGSU in 1956, and a master's degree from UT in 1960, Mr. Spring began his career in education - one that would last 32 years.

During 31 of those years, Mr. Spring was a teacher, a coach, a counselor, the dean of students, assistant principal, and finally Clay's principal for four years. Clay's athletic field house was later named Henry L. Spring Gymnasium in his memory.

After he retired from education in 1988, Mr. Spring became the executive director for five years of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce, and retired for a second time in 1994.

Because of his dedicated interest in the community, Mr. Spring received the Fredric E. Hansen Humanitarian Award by the East Toledo-Oregon Kiwanis Club in 1996.

"He was a real community leader and really loved Clay High School and the city of Oregon," said his wife, Margene, 70, of Parkside Drive in Oregon.

He passed away in 2000 at the age of 65.

CHAFA members voted to induct the two individuals into hall of fame from a pool of 10 nominees.

The ceremony to induct Miss Fassett and Mr. Spring will be held at the Chippewa Golf Course as part of the CHAFA's Chopper Dropper, a scholarship fund raiser and dance scheduled from 6 p.m. to midnight.



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