SHS Educator Thomas Gartside Remembered with Scholarship
SHS Educator Thomas Gartside Remembered with Scholarship

Scholarship in Honor of Educator Thomas Gartside available to Springfield School District Students

"Served as Dean of Boys, Guidance Counselor and Assistant Principal, SSD" (1951-1984)

May 17, Springfield, PA - The Springfield Area Educational Foundation (SAEF) is proud to announce the Thomas Gartside Memorial Scholarship Fund to benefit Springfield School District students, in memory of the former administrator who passed away in 2003.

The memorial scholarship, administered by SAEF, is designed to support and encourages the educators of tomorrow by contributing $2000.00 each year to Springfield students pursuing degrees in education.

"The Springfield family was deeply saddened to lose Thomas Gartside, a trusted friend and administrator at the school district for over thirty years," Stanley Johnson, President of the Foundation, said. "And although he is no longer with us, Mr. Gartside's contributions and legacy of support continues to make a positive educational impact through the Springfield School District and community."

Inspired by his passion for education, and understanding the value of a solid high school education, SAEF and his daughter, Dr. Roberta Gartside, SHS '72, joined together to create a recurring annual scholarship and build an endowment to honor his memory, Johnson said.

"As an English and history enthusiast, my father enjoyed teaching at Springfield and was a strong advocate for both students and teachers during his tenure as Vice Principal and other positions," Dr. Gartside said. "I am grateful to SAEF for the opportunity to honor my father in such a personal and meaningful way; one that is felt by aspiring educational professionals year after year with the hope they are contributing to bright futures for generations to come."

"Mr. Gartside spent the majority of his career at Springfield doing what he loved, education," Johnson added. "The school district has always held a special place in his heart and the countless hours he dedicated as an administrator made an impact on the students who attended the district. I am pleased that SAEF is acknowledging his deep passion for Springfield with the Thomas Gartside Memorial Scholarship Fund. I hope recipients of the scholarship will continue his same sense of passion for teaching and will be able to meet their educational goals and pursue a field that they love. SAEF hopes to raise more funds to build an endowment fund to honor this special educator."

Springfield Cougar Donation
As part of the Scholarship drive this year, Dr. Roberta Gartside plans to donate her father's original cast of the 'Springfield Cougar' (mascot) for presentation and display in the high school lobby.

Contact the SAEF Development Office, 610-938-6034 or contact

About Thomas Gartside

Thomas Arthur Gartside was born at Chester Crozier Hospital, Chester, PA. Because of a forceps delivery, he was partially blind in one eye. That disability, however never stopped him. His father was a welder at the shipyards in Chester, and his mother worked from home and at a local cafeteria as a cook. Neither completed a high school education. With the onset of WWII, he enlisted and worked in the medical technology field and was a lab assistant at Fort Monroe, VA. Mr. Gartside never took a driving test but was issued a permit to drive an ambulance during the war. While on leave, they shipped his unit overseas and upon return, he stayed in Virginia. It was at Fort Monroe, he first became aware of the woman who was to be his wife, Lois Ketran, R.N. of Philadelphia. Because she was an officer and he was a NCO Staff Sergeant, they did not connect until after the war. It was during his time at Fort Monroe, that Thomas Gartside continued to form his strong sense of what was 'fair and right' which he carried on into his career. In particular, he was dismayed that the Army withheld lifesaving penicillin from German POWs housed at Fort Monroe. After the war was over, Mr. Gartside took advantage of the GI bill and received his bachelor's degree in teaching and then a master's degree in psychology. He first started teaching in Chester at Smedley Middle School. In 1952, he came to Springfield High School where he served as Dean of Boys, Guidance Counselor and Assistant Principal. Affectingly known as "TAG," he was an advocate for both teachers and students for over thirty years at Springfield. Mr. Gartside loved learning and English and History. Both his daughters attended SHS, Roberta, graduating in 1972 and Judy, graduating in 1973. His daughters are members of the Springfield High School Achievers Hall of Fame.

About SAEF

Our mission is to enrich the academic, artistic and athletic experiences of SSD students. As a non-profit organization, SAEF's responsibility is to secure funding designed to enhance the lives of our students within the Springfield and Morton communities.
Powered by Finalsite