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'Mr. Logan Loves Us'

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"By my example and my teaching I could help my students to become good American citizens, to find their plan in life and to be happy," said retiring Pioneer High teacher Harold Logan, as he summed up his philosophy of teaching the other day. As he sat in his chair, he crossed his legs and talked easily. While he talked the photographer snapped pictures and then, puffing his pipe, Logan caught himself: "Oops, I almost forgot: Let me put my pipe down. It wouldn't be good if the kids saw me with my pipe. I never smoke in front of them." This may not surprise many, yet it does represent Logan's deep commitment to his philosophy of teaching. And from all accounts, this philosophy worked extremely well. He has won several teaching and administration awards and in addition has won the love and respect of fellow teachers and students. "I wasn't an iron-fisted person but the kids knew I could handle myself," Logan said. "The kids knew that if I didn't care for them I wouldn't punish them." Logan then told a classic ball-through-the-window story which revealed the firm but gentle hand of Mr. Logan, the principal. "Tony stood in front of Slauson School and threw a hard ball to the catcher who crouched in front of the main door. The catcher couldn't handle the ball and it went through the expensive window in the door. "I was standing behind Tony the whole time and after the ball went crashing through the glass I went up to him and tapped him on the shoulder, as if I crawled out of the woodwork, and said, " It was a beautiful slider but you better get a catcher who can hold you. That'll cost you $18 bucks. You know it's less expensive to pitch out there in back of the school on the playing field.' " Harold Logan was born April 8, 1908, in Niles, near South Bend, Ind. He was an outstanding student at Niles High School and received a $600 college scholarship from the high school upon graduation in 1926. Next he attended Alma College where he majored in history and chemistry. In addition to working part-time, Logan was a second string football player and continued to excel academically. 'popular fellow, Logan was president of his senior class, yet with his many extracurricular activities he managed to graduate in 1930 at the top of his class - summa cum laude ("with highest praise"). And, he won a state fellowship to the University of Michigan and did graduate work here in history. He received his master's degree from the University in 1931. Logan's first teaching job was at Hastings High School near Grand Rapids where he taught journalism, history and English literature for five years. 1936 was a good year for Ann Arbor and Logan because that is the year he began teaching here, and that is the year he married his wife, Zatae. She works as a public health counselor for the Kellog Foundation and they have two daughters, Nancy and Martha. Both are trained teachers. When Logan first came to Ann Arbor he taught at Mack School for a few months and then went to Slauson as soon as it was completed. In addition to teaching social studies, he kept up his interest in sports and helped Lou Hollway start the football program there. In the summer of 1937, he went to Harvard to study social studies and guidance, and in later summers did work in administration, guidance, education and communication here at the University. In 1941, Logan was named principal of Slauson School and remained in that position until 1968. He described the faculty at Slauson in glowing terms: "The faculty at Slauson was terrific. The most important things in a school system are the teachers and the kids." In 1962, at the suggestion of the Slauson faculty, Logan was named the national Secondary Principal of the Year, an award given by Croft Publications. Also in that year, the Board of Education recognized him as "One of the best loved and highly respected members of our staff." After his term at Slauson, Logan returned to classroom teaching at Pioneer High and in the 1968-69 school year he promptly won the "My Favorite Teacher" award given by the Detroit News. Logan, who earlier was twice elected president of the Michigan junior high school principals' organization, told of his experiences at Pioneer: "I just loved teaching at Pioneer. In fact I was so anxious to get there in the morning I always arrived a half-hour early. But I do want to say this. You know there has been talk of young people being this and that and I want to say it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience at Pioneer. The kids were really great." Asked if he detected any differences between kids today and those of years past, Logan said: "The difference in today 's kids is they are knowledgeable, but they have no more horsepower." Thad Carr, principal at Pattengill, and Ted Rokicki, former Pioneer principal, described Harold Logan as a real humanitarian. Carr: 'I've known Harold since 1945 when he was the principal at Slauson School. Harold was the kind of person that made everyone feel welcome. He made the students feel good about themselves and he made them feel important. "I remember when data processing was being instituted in the schools and Harold just couldn't accept it. He said it was an impersonal treatment of the kids. He's one of the few principals who could step into teaching and have the love and respect of teachers and students right up until the time he retired." Rokicki:, "I came to the system in 1958 and taught English under Logan at Slauson. I was hired by Logan and he encouraged me to go into administration. It was quite ironic that in 1968 our jobs were reversed: I was the principal and he was a teacher. "Logan was a junior high principal for 27 years - one of the real humanitarians. He had great respect from teachers, students, friends and the community. "At graduation I said that because of his tremendous contribution to this community and to the youth of this community, the Board of Education should give consideration to naming the sixth junior high school after Mr. Logan. Before I could ask him to stand, everyone spontaneously stood up and clapped, leaving him the only one sitting down." Behind Logan's gentle but firm guiding hand and his example lies a simple philosophy. A student once summed up this philosophy in these few words: "Mr. Logan loves us." (over for picture of Mr. Logan)