I was introduced to Emily C. Reynolds when my mother took me to Kuser Elementary School for registration in 1937. I don't remember being scared, she seemed kindness itself. But she was the Principal of the school, so there was a certain amount of respect which welled up in my chest as I sat in a chair next to my mother and studied the face of the middle-aged woman behind the massive desk.
One of the things that I remember best about Miss Reynolds is that she played the piano for our weekly meetings in the great assembly hall. We would all sing the National Anthem while standing then sit down in our seats. During Christmas we would sing carols, and in the spring there would be Easter songs. There was a song we used to sing in the fall, which went "Down, down, yellow and brown, the leaves are falling all over town."
During one of our assemblies, Miss Reynolds proudly informed us that our school system, the Mercer County Educational system, was named in the top 10 per cent of the United States Educational Systems. Her face glowed as she talked about this achievement. I had no doubt that it was because of her and all of her contemporaries who had proved invaluable in making this feat possible.
Miss Reynolds, though I have mentioned earlier about her being kindness itself, was forthright in her discipline of misbehaving students. She was not allowed to hit students to drive home a point; just a stern look quelled transgressors.
Kuser Elementary School
Another memorable assembly that I never forgot was when Miss Reynolds announced that "The Star Spangled Banner" had been chosen as our National Anthem by an act signed by President Hoover on March 3, 1931. Then while Miss Reynolds played the notes we sang the Anthem with the words penned by Francis Scott Key in 1814 in commemoration of the awesome sight of our stars and stripes still flying over Fort McHenry despite the enemy's unceasing barrage of shells. Like her other important announcements, I remember to this day the pride in her voice as she recalled the patriotic moments of the United States of America. Miss Reynolds was a true patriot who infused in all of the children who were blessed to be taught by this courageous woman the love of the country given to us by Providence and our God fearing founders.