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In Memory

Marion L Stuart (Bates)

Marion L Stuart 

MARION STUART BATES, 86, CITY TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice
Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - April 1, 1987
Marion Stuart Bates, 86, a teacher and school administrator in Philadelphia for 50 years, died Thursday at her home at Normandy Farm Estates in Blue Bell. Trained in a school system that for years was ranked among the nation's most conservative, Mrs. Bates was principal of Olney High School during the 1960s, when the community was rocked by protest and civil unrest. Under her leadership, the system flexed. She liberalized the curriculum of the fortresslike school, recasting it to emphasize the importance of the individual. It was important, she felt, that the school give full emphasis to the worth of the individual, particularly in a school found to contain what sociologists said was the city's "richest ethnological mixture." She noted that at the end of the '60s, the school contained a "full mix" of students - Ukrainians, Kalmucks, Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Koreans, blacks, Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox. She had long had a stake in the community. Raised in Olney, she attended Germantown High School, graduating in 1917. She attended Philadelphia Normal School and won a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and then a master's degree, both on scholarships at Penn. Mrs. Bates also worked as she studied, starting as a substitute teacher in 1919 while attending classes at the university. She taught at Germantown High School until 1931, when she transferred to Olney High. She became head of the math department there and, later, served for two years as vice principal at Abraham Lincoln High School. In 1954, she returned to Olney and a short time later became its principal. Mrs. Bates served as principal until her retirement in 1969. She married lawyer Franklin H. Bates in 1979. Mr. Bates, who covered boating for The Inquirer for 50 years, died in 1982. Mrs. Bates is survived by a sister, Margaret Stuart. Services were held at her church, St. James United Methodist Church. Contributions may be made in her name to the church, Tabor Road and Water Street, Philadelphia, 19120.
Edition: FINAL