Adolph Robert Stadel         Inducted 1999 - Class of 1950

As a Woodward Hall of Fame inductee, Adolph Stadel's credentials can best be described as EDUCATED and EDUCATOR. The depth and breadth of his studies, both in the United States and abroad, prepared him for a lifelong career in education and administration.

Adolph was born in 1933, to German immigrant parents, during the height of the depression. His father was a sausage maker, earning the same wages then paid to skilled workers - $14.50 per week. His mother worked outside the home, at times when the family needed to supplement their income. "It wasn't easy to manage piano lessons, even at 25 cents per hour, when hamburger cost 10 cents per pound." The family lived on Ashwood Avenue for more than 40 years. "It was an integrated, blue-collar neighborhood of many nationalities and religions."

Adolph entered kindergarten at Spring School in 1938, "trying to learn English while playing in their sandbox." He spent grades 1-8 there, graduating in 1947. The most difficult of these years were in

grades 3-8 as World War II took its toll. "With the name Adolph, there was teasing associated with Hitler. Anti-German propaganda was so pervasive that some children thought I might be a Nazi spy. During childhood, I tried to use the nickname 'Sonny' to avoid any association with Hitler, but it never caught on. In high school, classmate Sonny Smith had dibs on the nickname. He didn't seem to like his given name, Sylvester, any more than I liked mine."

Adolph can still remember when he first used a dictionary ... in third grade. He was looking for the word "barbarians", which his teacher said meant "Germans." Such incidents strengthened his resolve to work in the public sector, especially against discrimination. His work ranged from publishing articles to participating in protest marches at The University of Michigan. While trying to "make a difference", Adolph lived through sit-ins, walk-outs and other acts of civil disobedience. Woodward High School was home for Adolph from 1947-1950 when he gradated at the early age of 16. He remained close with pals from Spring School: Morris Reichlin, Nancy Timmel, Mary Helen Jones, Tommy Valdez, and Marshall Swan.

"Singling out favorite WHS teachers is difficult because everyone was so caring. Math teacher Bianca Russell took a personal interest and stimulated my 45-year career in education." Other memorable teachers were: Hazel McMananamon and Dorothea Bishop (English); Dorothy Matheny (Speech); Watson Welever (Health); Edna McLaughlin and Camilla Savage (History); and Edgar Sorton and George Rohrer (Music).

Adolph's most treasured high school memory was being named "highest ranking male graduating senior", despite the fact that he was one year younger than his fellow graduates. "It can be told that there were 11 girls ahead of me." Adolph was awarded an honors scholarship to The University of Toledo. In addition to excelling in his studies, Adolph was active in the German and Latin clubs, Future Teachers of America, and National Honor Society. He admired the athletic opportunities available at WHS, but didn't feel he could compete with the abundant talent there. He fondly remembers that the cheerleaders were all beautiful; many had Polish surnames.

In 1953, Adolph earned his B.S. in biology and chemistry, followed by an M.Ed. in 1957 from The University of Toledo. He subsequently earned a diploma in child psychology, with honors, from the University of Vienna, Austria. Next came an M.S. in Zoology (1960), M.A. in history (1961), and Ed. S. (1962), all from the University of Michigan. Adolph spent summers studying at the University of Lund, Sweden; University of Salzburg, Austria; University of Morelia, Mexico; and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where he was the only gentile among Jewish scholars.

Professionally, Adolph began his teaching career in 1953 as a long-term substitute in math at Libbey High School. There he later taught German. He went to Waite, then served as a counselor at DeVilbiss; school psychologist at the Board; Director of Special Education for 10 years; and Principal of Franklin and Birmingham Schools. Adolph's career was interrupted from 1954-1956, during which time he served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict. After this service, he taught at the University of Michigan in both the zoology departments and the School of Education. He also taught Special Education for many years, evenings and summers, at Bowling Green State University. Adolph retired in 1986, but continues to substitute for special education and German classes, as well as for principals who are out for meetings or illness. In total, Adolph has 45 years of service in education and is still going strong!

Adolph holds many certifications in the State of Ohio: Teacher; Elementary Principal; High School Principal; Superintendent; School Psychologist; Education Administrative Specialist; and School Counselor. He is also a member of several education associations, as well as the German-American Festival Society of Toledo.

Adolph is the author of 20 publications, including a German Reader for Beginners. He wrote the Ohio Scholarship Tests in the 1960's, expanded special education classes in the 1970's, and has served on scores of local, state and national committees to improve curriculum and teaching. "My name is no longer a source of embarrassment."

Adolph had a brief marriage, which ended in 1980. His sister, Caroline Renz (Class of 1957) is principal of Longfellow School. He has a nephew, Jack ,and a niece, Laurie. Adolph's mother is 90 years old. His father is deceased.

Adolph's hobbies include gardening. Reports are that he has one of the most varied and beautiful gardens in Sylvania Township. He also maintains a tropical garden at a winter home in Cape Coral, Florida.

When informed of his nomination to the Woodward Hall of Fame, Adolph said it would be "one of his best Christmases ever. Though I have received honors through the years, nothing will compare to this because of my caring for Woodward and my gratitude for a good education." Adolph goes on to say "Besten Dank," best of thanks, from a grateful and happy alumnus!

We say "Gratulieren", congratulations, to Adolph!

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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