Interview with Jesse L. Gardner, October 20, 1988
Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project
Interview SummaryJess Gardner, a former teacher at UK's University School, was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. He attended Purdue University, from which he graduated in 1944. He served in the Army during World War II, and was wounded. Gardener explains that being wounded changed his focus since it allowed him to teach in a military academy in Columbia, Tennessee. He decided to become a teacher and came to the University of Kentucky to work towards his teaching certificate. Gardner recalls doing his student teaching at Lafayette High School and the University School and describes the vast differences. When offered a job at the University School, he took it citing the higher pay and better facilities.
Throughout his career, Gardner taught math, social studies, and science to junior high school students. He also taught sociology and geography at the senior high school level. He taught at the university school until it closed in the mid-1960s. Gardner recalls that teaching at the University School was fun. He describes the student population as consisting of children with high motivation and very low motivation. He remembers few average students. He explains that the parents were also very cooperative and that they were willing participants in school activities. He recalls activities available to the students including the opportunity to learn by doing such as participating in a mock United Nations and participating in music programs and many different clubs. He discusses the view in the Lexington and UK community that the University School catered to the well-to-do families, but does little to refute this allegation.
Gardner also talks about the teaching methods of the University School in comparison to other schools, and problems with funding. He recalls how most of the students came from Central Kentucky, but that he and other faculty members wanted to bring students to the University School from other areas of the state, but did not receive the funding to do this. He states that the closing of the school was mainly due to a budget crunch and recalls the outrage of many of the teachers and parents.
Interview RightsAll rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Gardner, Jesse L. Interview by Janice Crane. 20 Oct. 1988. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Gardner, J.L. (1988, October 20). Interview by J. Crane. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Gardner, Jesse L., interview by Janice Crane. October 20, 1988, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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