Who was Paul D. Schreiber?

Becky Han, Staff Writer

Who was Paul D. Schreiber? This is a question that Schreiber students are constantly asked by friends from other schools, and it is a question that they most likely never took the time to look into. However, Mr. Schreiber’s life story and the history behind how our high school got its name is definitely worth reading.

As a graduate of Bucknell University, Paul D. Schreiber became the principal of Port Washington High School, and then went on to become appointed as the first Superintendent of the Port Washington School District in 1921. 

After 32 years as a greatly admired and beloved educator, Mr. Schreiber retired from his position in 1953. During his time as superintendent, he guided the school to unification as a community for over three decades.

The tribute from Schreiber’s Class of 1953 wrote, “The enviable reputation of our schools throughout the East is due in no small measure to his [Schreiber’s] foresight and industry. May you, Mr. Schreiber, join us in looking forward to many more productive and interesting years ahead.” 

Following Mr. Schreiber’s retirement, many new principals came and went, which resulted in an array of changes that were established into the school’s education system over the years. The 1950’s post-war situation, for instance, led to many major alterations to school life. The student government grew to be much more active and many different types of student political parties even began to appear. Additionally, Port Washington High School was turned into a middle school and renamed as Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School.

According to the PDSHS 2009 Alumni Directory, two Port residents began a campaign to gain voter approval for a new high school in the late 1940s. Their campaign advocated for the construction of a high school that prepared students more about subjects, such as business and industry, rather than one that existed only for the purpose of gaining admission into college. The two residents wished for the school to be built with science labs and art rooms. Once the idea finally received approval, the high school was completed on Dec. 22, 1952. The school was named Paul D. Schreiber High School on March 1, 1953. 

As years passed, the student body began to consist of teenagers who were interested in world issues such as hunger and human rights. Famous speakers like Eleanor Roosevelt even came to speak in front of the students at Schreiber during this time. Furthermore, many of the school spirit activities like “Blue and White Night” and the Junior Prom grew to become integral parts of Schreiber’s tradition. Several of these traditions are still alive and held to this day. 

As time went on, the school curriculum began to undergo many changes. Now, common core, the new education system that has received mixed feedback, has been implemented into our school. The alumni directory also notes that many years before, the nationally recognized research programs in mathematics, science, and social science were established here at Schreiber. In addition, the tradition of academic excellence has carried on. Although an “end of an era” had occurred with Mr. Schreiber’s retirement, the achievements he accomplished during his time as Superintendent greatly influenced the school’s growth for many years.

Throughout the years, Schreiber High School has grown into a thriving and friendly community, thanks to dedicated educators like Mr. Paul D. Schreiber. From what started out as simply an idea has now developed into a very successful and renowned school.