Alumni Stories

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Memory from 1934:
In 1934 I attended the old P.S 87, then called The William Sherman City School. It was a very imposing fortress-like building which had once been a military academy. The grades went from 1 to 8 for the boys and to the 5th for girls. It was an excellent education with civics being a major part of their teaching. The school was run like a city, with a mayor, judges, district attorneys and public defenders. It also included a commissioner of safety, fire and other city like departments. The students totally ran the administration of justice at the school with the supervision of the teachers. The student officers were elected democratically by the other students and had to come before judges if they made any infractions and had to abide by their rulings. I am now a man of 88 years old and still have the fondest memories of the school and the excellent teachers there, particularly Miss Muller, who taught 5th grade, Miss Adolph who taught 6th grade. They were strict but excellent teachers.
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Memory from 1940:
I attended dear old PS 87, The Sherman School City, 1935-1940. I was commissioner of the Nature Patrol, and that is by no means the only thing I recall from those days. In that period of antiquity, of course, the school was at 77th & Amsterdam. When I entered, the boys' latrines were outside. That was corrected a couple of years later. The Principal's name was Lisson. I was in love with 2 teachers and 1 fellow student: Mrs Hirsch and Mrs/Miss Young, and one Joan Greenwald.

Some great teachers back then and a few not so good. I did some teaching myself, in my role as Nature Patrol commissioner and guardian of the nature closet

Don deKoven

Memory from 1945:
On April 15, 2011, I turned 80 years old. I attended the old PS 87 and have not only memories but memorabilia's as well. Among my possessions are, the armband I wore as a”street monitor” [pictured at right], 3 GO (member of General Organization) pins with school name, my autograph album with PS 87 on the leather cover with some classic sayings inside and a medal for service with the PS 87 logo in enamel.

I lived on 74th St. and West End Avenue. We moved there from 72nd Street and Riverside Drive mainly to have my sister and I be in the school district. My sister, Joan Herzog, was the first female to be elected President of the General Organization.

I have clear memories of my attendance at PS 87:

  • The steel stairways that made a racket when the classes changed
  • The rolling wooden classroom doors to be opened for the weekly assembly making one big room(I was on the flag patrol)
  • Strict teachers and boys being put under the teacher’s desk if they misbehaved(I never made it)
  • The shop teacher administering “stingeroos” (a hard swat with a 3 foot ruler to the open hand) for unruliness(misssed that too)
  • The economic divide with the kids from below 69th Street and the constant undercurrent of Anti-Semitism.
  • The penny candy shop directly across the street. Quick access to Mary Jane’s and button candy.
  • My first date after graduation with my heartthrob,Dorothy Mc Partland , the prettiest girl in school. We went to Radio City Music Hall and then rowing in Central Park Lake.

Three buddies went to the same high school and after high school would bump into them now and then. One of them was among the first to give his life for our country in the Korean War.
Ralph Schoenberg was the brightest kid in school and became a well known writer for Look Magazine and other publications.

Would love to hear from anyone from this era and thanks for this opportunity.

Don Herzog ‘45


See also Don's "Memories of the Beacon Theatre"
"Hank Zipzer"
PS 87 alumnus Henry Winkler has co-written a popular series of children's books inspired by his time at P.S. 87.

The "87 News" from November 1958
Precursor to the current "Backpack News" -- this edition from November 1958 was graciously provided by alumna Wendy Mandel.
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Gillian Mollod,
Jun 30, 2016, 12:47 PM
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