From the Historian: Mr. and Mrs. Reed, two educators remembered

Anita Mance

For most students, the month of June is a time of joy and anticipation — summer vacation awaits. For educators who are retiring, it is a time of mixed emotions, a time to remember the rewarding moments of helping children learn and a time for looking ahead to new challenges and joys.  

In 1967, six teachers retired from the East Rochester Union Free School District: Sherman and Marian Reed, Mildred Beardsley, Betty Yonkers, Helen Williams and Alex Cannioto. 

Sherman and Marian Reed were the first husband and wife faculty members to retire together from our school district. Both were graduates of SUNY Cortland and began their years as ER teachers in 1929, hired by then Superintendent John E. Demorest (the superintendent who followed Louis E. Bird). As Miss Smith, Marian was the district’s first kindergarten teacher. Sherman was hired to teach physical education. In 1934, Marian and Sherm were married. They had two sons: Dick (ER Class of ’55) and Dave (ER Class of ’58). The family lived on Madison Street and, like many teachers in our district at the time, Sherm and Marian were able to walk to work. 

Mrs. Reed’s kindergarten, 1952.

Marian taught kindergarten for 27 years, leaving teaching for a while to be with young sons Dick and Dave. Nick Verzella speaking at her retirement mentioned Marian’s “friendly smile, warm and tender manners, and enthusiastic and inspiring approaches to teaching.” Outside of school, Marian was a member of the ER Study Club. She and Sherman were both active members of the First Presbyterian Church. 

Sherman taught physical education for 37 years (35 years in East Rochester) at all levels from primary school to high school and adult education. He served as basketball coach, commissioner of the former ER Community Basketball League, director of the student safety patrol, Boy Scout leader, director of our summer swimming program, ambulance corps member and instructor of first-aid classes. For a short time in the late 1940s, Mr. Reed left education to be co-partner with Ed Hazzard at the Pierce-Hazzard Drug Store, but he soon returned to teaching, the career he loved. Known for being a quiet-mannered, soft-spoken person, Sherm was described by Nick Verzella as someone whose “friendly and charming manners have earned you the respect of your colleagues at East Rochester and the county of Monroe. Your exemplary personal life has adhered to the high principles of your profession — a sound mind and a sound body.” 

Mr. Reed’s gym class.

After retiring, Mr. and Mrs. Reed moved to Boynton Beach, Florida. Sherman died there in 1985, Marian in 1988. For those of us who remember them, they exemplified the best in teaching.  

Anita Mance serves as historian for the town/village of East Rochester.