An Interveiw with Mr. Clayton Huey

Mr. Clayton Huey started teaching at Center Moriches over 50 years ago in 1955. He was originally hired as a physical education teacher and coach. He coached varsity basketball, junior varsity baseball, varsity soccer and varsity track. He also taught mathematics and regents biology. In 1960 Mr. Huey became the principal of the school. Before teaching at Center Moriches, Mr. Huey worked for BOCES setting up physical education programs in small schools as part of his job he taught one day a week at the East Moriches School.

When Mr. Huey first started, teaching pay was about $3000 a year. He was not paid extra for activities such as coaching or supervising a school dances and other functions. Men and women received the same pay based on a step system. While teaching in Center Moriches he taught students from Center Moriches, the Poosepatuck Reservation, and students from William Floyd. The William Floyd students attended Center Moriches schools until 1959. The graduating class of 1959 consisted of 115 students.

In the 1950’s our current elementary school was also the high school. Back then there was no cafeteria so during lunch hour the gymnasium would have tables set up so students could either bring lunch to eat at school or they could go home for lunch. Instead of an extra help period like we have now, students would have to get extra help during their lunch hour or after school. There were a lot of activities for students to do at night, and during the weekends, unlike now. There were dances almost every Friday night and Teen Town, where you could go to hang out with your friends, which was located in the upper level of the drive in bank. Teen Town served refreshments and had a record player, ping pong table, pool table, and card table available.

On April 10, 1980 the current high school opened. Mr. Huey wanted the school to open in September of 1979 but construction delays postponed the opening. Because of construction costs, Mr. Huey did not want to pay professional movers to move furniture and equipment to the new high school. Instead, he thought, “why not use the students?” He figured that students could always use some extra money, so he made an announcement for any high school students to come to the office, get their working papers apply for the job. Local businesses donated the use of their trucks. The custodial staff drove the trucks packed by the students from the old school to the new high school.

After retiring from Center Moriches, Mr. Huey continued to teach as an Adjunct Professor at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University until a few years ago. The Clayton Huey Elementary School in the Center Moriches School District is named for him.

~ Written by Alex B.

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