The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
Virgil N. Sloan Inducted 2003 - Principal
The leadership baton was passed from Robert Rettig, to the firm hand of Virgil Sloan, in 1963, when Mr. Sloan was named Principal of Woodward High School. He was prepared to maintain the high standards and enthusiastic spirit of Calvin M. Woodward High School. He encouraged students to make the most of all the opportunities at Woodward to develop themselves mentally, physically and spiritually.
Mr. Sloan was born in Grelton, Ohio. He graduated from Defiance College, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, and received his Masters Degree in Education from Ohio State University. He also studied at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Mr. Sloan taught in Florida, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Ohio; and Defiance, Ohio before coming to Toledo. He was a 29-year veteran of Toledo Public Schools. Before coming to Woodward in 1947, he taught history at Harvard, Robinson, and Longfellow elementary schools. At Woodward, Mr. Sloan taught
American History and World Government. In 1954, he was named Assistant Principal of Activities. He served in that position for nine years before being named Principal. He also served as Assistant Principal of Counseling.
Mr. Sloan led Woodward during a period of unprecedented growth and change. Student enrollment increased dramatically in the mid-1960's. The student population topped 2,000 in 1965 and 2,400 in 1967. Woodward no longer had any facility, including the Boys' Gym, which was large enough to allow the entire student body to attend a program at the same time. Graduation ceremonies "outgrew" both the Art Museum Peristyle and the Lucas County Recreation Center, and were moved to the Sports Arena. In awards and positions of importance, the trend was for two award winners or co-leaders.
In addition to being a school resounding with the chatter of an increasing number of students, other changes and milestones occurred during Mr. Sloan's tenure as Principal. A "School Spirit Trophy" award was instituted. The Speech Department, under Bernice Donovan, grew, became a powerhouse in area speech and debate tournaments. and became affiliated with the National Forensics League. The Projectionist Club was born, and its members served the school as audiovisual experts. A vocational counselor was added to the staff. Two new career programs were added at Woodward: Occupational Work Experience (OWE) and Distributive Education (DECA).The cafeteria was extensively remodeled. The1968 varsity football team defeated the powerhouse Sandusky Blue Streaks by a score of 19-16. The first WHS Pep Band made its debut.
The Woodward Woodworkers completed a long overdue project during the summer of 1966 and built a redwood sign, embedded in a brick planter, on the front lawn. For the first time in 38 years, our school name was on the outside of the building!
In addition to his service as an educator, Mr. Sloan served his country as a Medical Corpsman in the Army in World War II. He was also a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Toledo Federation of Teachers, the NAACP, Phi Delta Kappa professional fraternity and the Masonic Lodge in Holgate, Ohio. He was married to Mary Eva, and they had a son, Hal.
Woodward High School suffered a great loss when Mr. Sloan died on June 27, 1968. The1969 Saga reflected on his dedication:
"Quiet . . . dignified . . . a man to be respected . . . devoted to serving his school . . . working alone . . . to improve . . . to set down a foundation to build up . . . designing deliberating . . . deciding . . . standing firmly on policy . . . a strong leader . . . committed . . . conscientious . . . concerned . . . imparting strength . . . instilling pride . . . inspiring . . . involved . . . interested in people . . . the intense spirit . . . the unquestionable loyalty . . . the total dedication . . . one cause . . . one dream . . . one man . . . a man to be remembered."
Mr. Sloan was a quiet, reserved man, who led by example. His strong and commanding presence inspired respect and admiration. This sentiment lives on as we honor him tonight.
The Hall of Fame Association would like to thank Dan Duvendack for accepting the award and speaking on behalf of Mr. Sloan tonight. Mr. Duvendack has memories of Mr. Sloan from the 1950's when Mr. Duvendack 's father, Frank, was the principal at Woodward and also from the 1960 's when Mr. Sloan was the principal and Mr. Duvendack was beginning his career as a Woodward teacher. Dan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. Thanks, Dan, for tonight and for your strong support of Woodward High School for many decades!