Remembering When

by Jerry Person
Huntington Beach City Historian

Dedicated to the people of Huntington Beach

Yesterday's Heroes of the Chalkboard


This week we will remember some of those individuals who through their efforts gave the knowledge to those who ran our government, our churches, homes and businesses in our community. Yes there were such individuals of unsung greatness that we call teachers.

Huntington Beach High School can justly be proud to have had so many fine heroes of the chalkboard.

As students we don't think of these individuals as having a life of their own, just someone to assign homework to do when we would rather be out doing something that was more fun.

We going to lightly touch on some of these unsung individuals from Huntington High and hope many of you have fond remembrances of having been in their classes.

Having an electrifying personality helped Robert Ankerman teach his students electrical and mechanical drawing.

Ankerman came from Piqua, Ohio where he graduated from Central High in that city, Ankerman would then travel to Southern California to attend U.C. Santa Barbara and then south to Long Beach where he received his masters degree at Cal State Long Beach before coming to Huntington High Ankerman served his country with the 328th Fighter Squadron. Ankerman and his wife Ann were the proud parents of two children Walter and Lucia.

Having a good grasp of the English language is a necessity is the business world and it was William Brooks who would prepare his students for that day. Brooks received his early education at St. Anthony high school in Long Beach before attending UCLA and like Ankerman, he too received his masters degree at Cal State Long Beach. Brooks then taught for a short time at Franklin Junior High in Long Beach.

Brooks met his wife Edith while on active duty serving with the Army Signal Corps in Salzburg, Austria and it was in 1952 that their daughter Edina was born. When not at his post in the classroom, Brooks could be found surfing for the perfect wave.

Libraries are a vast storehouse of knowledge and to administer the library who better to run it then Beth Brown.

Brown grew up in Garden Grove and after completing high school there she attended Cal State San Diego and it was here that Beth earned her bachelor of arts degree and at USC she earned her masters degree.

Before coming to Huntington High, Brown served in the Civilian Library War Department in Japan and when not in the library Beth and her husband Giles were off touring the world.

Being able to type a neat business letter fell to Helen Carey and her students in typing class. Carey grew up in Fonda, Iowa where she attended the University of Iowa and pursuing her hobbies of swimming, tennis and photography. Helen joined the Waves during World War II and was stationed in San Francisco. After the war ended she attended Cal State Long Beach and taught school in Redlands before coming here to teach.

Keeping her girls in good physical condition came to Meryle Caro. Caro spent her educational youth at Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach and after graduating she went on to attend both Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach.

A name familiar to many Huntington High students is that of legendary coach Elmer Combs our beloved basketball legend who was a product of our town's fine educational institutions. During his days at Huntington High Combs played on some of the finest teams under the direction of coach Lee Mossteller.

Combs went on to attend USC on a basketball scholarship and it was there that he gained his degree and with this in hand Combs taught school in both La Habra and in Vista, California before coming to Huntington High to coach basketball. His teams would further the school's reputation as a basketball school. Combs and his wife Carolyn and their children Randy, Jennie and Terri resided in Westminster.

Our last teacher for this week held a masters degree from Columbia University in New York .Arts and Crafts teacher Floyd Cornaby had been lucky to have had a good Mormon education having attended Spanish Fork High in his youth in Utah and later at Brigham Young University in Provo.

After spending four and a half years in the Army, Cornaby traveled south to Mexico to study that country's arts and archeology. He also spent a couple of years in Washington D.C. as a medical rehabilitation consultant for the Veterans Administration. So of you may remember his posters around campus that he designed. He may have even painted a picture of his wife Myrtle and their children Camille, Diana, Candis, Valerie and Paula.

In the coming months we will remember more of our "Heroes of the Chalkboard."