POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- Classes begin this fall at School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school of College of the Ozarks. The school's five new faculty members are ready to take it into the future, but first they needed to get a glimpse of its past.
"You have the opportunity to open the doors wide once again to impact the lives of young people," said Becky Roberts, granddaughter of the school's first graduate, Joseph Gideon, as she taught School of the Ozarks' new faculty about her grandfather.
"The history of the school is to provide an education for those who are found worthy but who are without sufficient means," said the school's new headmaster, Brad Dolloff.
Dolloff wanted his five new faculty members to get an appreciation for that history by learning about the school's first graduate, Joseph Gideon.
"In 1913 the first high school graduating class had only one graduate; Joe was nearly 29 years old," said Roberts as she shared her grandfather's history.
"He came from a little place on the edge of Taney County. He had no funds, no resources to get an education and he yearned for that, so he borrowed a horse, he came to Forsyth, he found the school and, at the age of almost 29 in 1913, he was the first and only graduate of the School of the Ozarks," said Roberts.
"These young men and young women really fought for an education, really stayed with the education no matter how long it took, the work ethic, the life changing experiences that school became a part of; to be able to be a part of that is so exciting," said Cindy Williams, the school's literature professor.
If School of the Ozarks' future is anything like its past. "Meager means and no way to obtain an education, and that school provided them with that opportunity and launched them on a path to success," said Dolloff.
Dolloff thinks his new teachers will be just as successful.