March 13, 2014 | Vol. 117 -- No. 47

Helen Boots and the story of Sanders Branch School

We continue the story of the Sanders Branch School, nicknamed Brush College. The remarkable Mrs. Smouse, who began teaching there in 1913, made a tremendous impression on the students.

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Helen Boots, pictured above returning from a 2011 honor flight, learned much about this country from her teacher Mrs. Smouse at the Sanders Branch School.

With a lively imagination she often turned a hard or boring lesson into a game. "Her classroom," Helen Boots said, "was often a babysitting area when some of the farm families needed to be gone. They would stop at the school and drop the pre-schoolers off. Mrs. Smouse would take this as an opportunity to teach baby care to the older students."

Never a waster of time, Mrs. Smouse sometimes took her daughter,...

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