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William Nelson Pendleton Harris began his teaching career in Lexington, Virginia, as principal of a graded school. “Professor Harris,” as he was fondly referred to, moved to Harrisonburg in 1915 to become principal of Effinger Street School. Through his leadership, Effinger became accredited as a junior high in 1926, a four-year high school in 1929, and a senior high school in 1931.
During his summers, Mr. Harris taught special schools for teachers at Manassas and Christiansburg. He was also active throughout his life in professional educators’ organizations and area civic groups. In 1941, he was selected by the State Board of Education to serve on the committee preparing the administration manual for Virginia’s high schools.
Mr. Harris received AB, AM and STB degrees from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and was considered to be a Greek scholar.
Mr. Harris retired in 1951 as principal of Lucy F. Simms School after serving Harrisonburg city schools for 34 years.Photo courtesy of Carlotta Harris. (CH0002)