Dorri Partain

A handy book that fits in your hand, this student handbook from the archives of the Northeast High School’s Alumni Room offers a glimpse of the early days of education in Kansas City.

Compiled and edited by the Student Council, Volume V was published in 1933, with student Donald Kerr as chairman of the Handbook Committee and mathematics instructor Eva L. Packard as the advisor.

The preface explains the purpose of the handbook that “offers to the pupils a comprehensive outline and description of the academic courses and activities available in Northeast.”

The foreword was written by principal A.T. Chapin and artist Henry Zahn, class of 1930, explained the significance of the school emblem, a viking long boat, that he designed for the cover.

“The vikings are known to be men of strength not only in war but also in wisdom. So is Northeast Senior High a strong school, not only in sports but also in learning… As the vikings explored the northern seas, so does Northeast explore the great sea of wisdom.”

The 80-page index card-sized booklet contains a complete list of school honors from 1914-1932, class descriptions, societies and clubs, sports, the school song “Thou Dear Northeast,” and school cheers, along with a long-forgotten school creed: “To Northeast High School, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance. I shall live for my school with honor in both word and act. I shall give the fullest of my strength, the best of my thought, the truest of my conscience, and the whole of my spirit. In victory or defeat, I will keep the faith.”

Along with rules, regulations, and requirements for graduation, the handbook describes how students should navigate the staircases between classes, with one side used exclusively for ascending and the opposite for descending and states, “The northeast stairs are exclusively for the boys and the southeast are for the girls.”

The signature on the front cover reads G.W. Davis and the inside back cover indicates the book was produced by the Northeast High School Printing Department, which produced all the school’s printed materials, including a weekly newspaper. Davis was the vice principal from 1928 to 1954.