top of page

Frank A. Duvendack           Inducted 1987 - Principal

It was a felicitous - - for Woodward High School - - decision that a young Frank A. Duvendack made when he chose education rather than law as the career to which he would devote himself. That decision brought him to Woodward twice, first as a teacher and later as a principal for an eight-year period during which he established himself as one of the most effective and popular principals in the school's history.

In a way, his arrival at Woodward was somewhat of a homecoming. He had grown up on Ontario street In the North End and had gone through Lagrange School before the family moved to South Toledo.

From Libbey High School, Mr. Duvendack went on to the University of Toledo, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and followed it with a law degree. In his undergraduate years at UT, he was president of his senior class and of his fraternity. He was a student leader in the campaign for

passage of the levy which made possible the construction of the new UT campus on West Bancroft Street, and he takes particular pride in his efforts to assure that the funds were sufficient to guarantee University Hall its landmark tower. He additionally earned two Master of Arts degrees, in economics and in educational administration, from the University of Michigan, and in 1930 he began his career as an educator, teaching in Washington Township schools.

He first came to Woodward in 1934 to teach history, government and economics. In that depth-of Depression year, he was the only new teacher hired by the Toledo public school system, a choice likely made because he was the only applicant with a degree in law. At Woodward he was advisor to the Student Council and the Hi Y Club, and coach of the tennis team. In 1938 he was named principal of Gunckel School and later that year became principal of Garfield School. He moved on to Arlington School as principal in 1942, and in 1950 he returned to Woodward.

He was not only principal of Woodward but one of its greatest boosters. He attended every football and basketball game, where he was readily recognizable if for no other reason than the Polar Bear sweater that Mrs. Duvendack knitted for him and which he wore to all the games.

Mr. Duvendack remained as principal of Woodward until January, 1958, when he was named assistant superintendent for administration of Toledo Public Schools. His career in education also included service as principal of the school district's summer school and 12 years of teaching evening and summer classes in economics at the University of Toledo.

His retirement from the school system in 1965 gave Mr. Duvendack the opportunity to practice some law and to devote more of his time and energy to the civic and welfare life of Toledo. He has been a president of the Toledo Mental Hygiene Association and of the Family Life Board. He has served on the boards of the Boy Scouts, the Child and Family Agency, the Toledo Cancer Society, and the Council on World Affairs. For the United Appeal he has been chairman of its Public Employees Section, its Special Gifts Committee, and its Allocations Committee. He has been chairman of the Board of Management of the Central Y.M.CA., and for 10 years served as unpaid secretary of the Toledo Safety Council. He is a past president of the Downtown Club of Kiwanis International, the Toledo Y's Men's Club, and the University of Toledo Alumni Association. His memberships include the Ohio Bar Association, Phi Delta Kappa education honorary, and Pi Gamma Mu social science honorary.

Two projects in particular occupied his interest. In one, he was a leader in the drive to assure funding for a program of education of underprivileged children – a predecessor of Head Start. In the other, he was one of the founders of Citizens for Metroparks, and has served on its board of trustees.

And always there is fishing. Whenever he can, Mr. Duvendack heads for the one-room cabin he owns on a small lake near Jackson, Michigan, and there he indulges his favorite pastime. He boasts that he can still out-fish his three sons, and proves it with the help of the Duvendack Five-Cigar Method he uses for keeping score: the number of fish caught in the time it takes him to smoke five cigars.

Dan Duvendack, one of the Duvendacks' three sons, has been a science teacher at Woodward for 28 years and chairman of the science department for 22 of those years. That Polar Bear sweater, second-generational now, has been handed down to him and can still be seen at Woodward affairs worn by its inheritor.

bottom of page