West Genesee Teachers' Association

Download the 1950's History

Royce Newell

WGTA President

1956 - 1957

WGTA Local 3106

West Genesee Teachers' Association © All rights reserved.

History from The Early 1950’s

The West Genesee School District consolidated in 1952 and formed Central School District #1,which included the towns of Camillus, Onondaga, Van Buren, Geddes and Elbridge. At a special meeting of the Board of Education on March 25, 1952, a teachers' salary schedule was adopted effective July 1, 1952. It had 16 rows going down the schedule, but only 2 columns going across. A teacher was paid either as a "regular" or if they had 30 hours BEYOND their Master's degree. Step 1 paid $2,700 and step 1MA+30 paid $2,900. A teacher received an additional $200 for a Master's plus 30 hours! Step 16 paid $4,600 or $4,800 with a MA+30.

 Consolidation proved to be no problem for the Board when they determined where a teacher was to be placed on the salary schedule. A teacher, for example from Geddes, would get a one year placement on the salary schedule for every two years of service. If a teacher had 10 years of teaching before consolidation, they would be placed on Step 5 of the salary schedule!

Coaches made out about as well. Varsity and JV basketball coaches received $250, football coaches received $175 and baseball coaches earned $150. Elementary sports coaches were paid between $75 and $125. The Board went on to state that "no teacher shall be eligible to be assigned to more than three extra duty assignments" per year, and could not be paid more than $225 extra in any one year. They did go on to state, however, than any money a teacher made beyond the $225 limitation would "be forthcoming as the years pass."


​One of the earlier Presidents of the WGTA was Royce Newell (President from 1956-57). Royce remembers the WGTA to be more of a social organization in the 1950's than a labor organization. Royce also remembers that when he started teaching (in 1949) teachers took the salary that was offered to them. If the teacher was lucky, that was the minimum amount required by the state. Royce tells us that some teachers were hired at the state minimum ($2,000), but in order to keep their job had to "donate" $200 back to the district.