JOHNSTOWN - A representative of the Greater Johnstown School District's museum says it had 500 visitors in 2011.
"It has grown and it just continues to grow," museum advisory board member Kathy Zajicek told the Board of Education last week.
Zajicek and advisory board member Barbara Skoda gave a report on the museum, which opened in 2003.
The Johnstown School Museum is in the district's "white house" on Knox Field, behind the junior high building. It's the oldest building used and maintained by the district. The museum was established as an effort to preserve the history and tradition of education in the city. Retired teacher William Pollak serves as curator. Admission is free.
The museum collection is from the late 1700s to the present. It contains photographs, scrapbooks, newspaper articles, uniforms, jackets, shirts, jewelry, equipment, trophies, plaques, awards, books, journals, historical documents and ledgers, school furnishings, textbooks and supplies, nostalgic and period items, artwork, posters, programs, maps, school newspapers, score books, tests, report cards and other items.
"It's a piece of Johnstown history," Superintendent Robert DeLilli said.
DeLilli said the museum is "truly a gem."
The superintendent urged students to visit the museum.
"For the youngsters in our audience, which is our future, you'll get an appreciation for those who have come before you," DeLilli said.
Zajicek said some businesses support the museum, such as downtown's A&E Sportswear, co-owned by school board Evamarie Mraz. The business has displayed museum items in its windows.
Skoda said she enjoys being involved with the museum.
"There's essays from the last century that kids made in the sixth grade," Skoda said.
Zajicek said museum representatives appreciate the support that has come from the school board and community.
Pollak said the museum is open from June 1 to Sept. 30 on Fridays and Saturdays. To visit on other days, people can make a request through Pollak by calling 762-7646.
"It's very satisfying," he said of his work at the museum.
Pollak said he recently received a 1932 diploma for display. He has five reunion groups lined up this summer to visit the museum, he said.
Michael Anich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org