St. Francis Kansas Alumni
St. Francis Kansas Alumni
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Garnette E. Greene
Maynard Skinner PhD
Our School History
Garnette E. Greene
Garnette E. Greene served the St. Francis Community High School as principal from 1930 to 1957. During that time, he developed a strong academic, athletic, and activities program. In 1937 Mr. Greene told incoming students that the world was moving fast and “unless one is well informed it is almost impossible to secure a desirable position. Your Community High School is well equipped to give you a superior education. It is rated class A by the state of Kansas and is a member of the North Central Association. You may participate in athletics and many other activities which makes for better students.” Cheyenne Indian News, May 14, 1937.
Mr. Greene, an avid sports fan, introduced wrestling to the athletic program in 1932. He was the first coach and coached until 1935. Through his efforts wrestling was accepted as one of the regular sports in all eight schools in the Northwest Kansas Athletic League. Wrestling had a great impact on the growth in enrollment in the high school because of its popularity with both the young men and adults in the rural area. Young boys began to enroll in high school to participate in the wrestling program, and most of them remained to obtain a high school diploma. Young girls soon began to follow to participate in the activities and to receive a diploma. High school enrollment eventually grew to its all-time record of approximately 325 students.
Mr. Greene stressed the fact that athletes must keep up their grades in at least three subjects in order to participate in interscholastic sports. “Scholarship it what the schools are for and this should be placed first in our requirements.” Cheyenne Indian News, February 19, 1936
“A progressive step insisted on by Principal Greene is that each teacher keeps a carefully detailed and organized plan for the day’s work that can be placed on file in the office each day.” Cheyenne Indian News, September 21, 1938.
Three additions to the original 1917 building were added during Greene’s administration: a new gymnasium, library, principal’s office and classrooms, and auditorium. During the last year of his administration, a music addition was started.
Cheyenne Indian News, November 11, 1938. “A record of Garnette E. Greene’s accomplishments in building up the St. Francis Community High School system is an inspirational success story. A fine new building has been added, enrollment built up, curriculum broadened, and new activities begun. Evidence of top results in diversified fields and a tribute to good generalship can well be found in the fact that last year the St. Francis system led the league in athletics, A Cappella work and publication activities.

One of the stories about “Pop” Greene shows his personal interest in his students. A country freshman boy came into town thinking he was hot stuff as he walked down the street smoking a cheroot. One day Mr. Greene called this young man into his office and said, “Say. I think you’d make a pretty good football player, and I’d like you to be on the team. But you know, you’re going to have to give up that smoking.” The new student followed Greene’s advice and became a football letterman.
One of Greene’s former students commented with admiration, “He could have been a concert violinist, but chose education and came to St. Francis."

Written by Janet Carman


While looking for pictures for this site, we had the help of Sally Wieck at The Cheyenne County Museum, and Kent Kechter at USD297.
And the some of the pictures on this site are from the Cheyenne County Museum, and the USD 297 website.
Used with their permission.