Why The Graham School?

Why The Graham School?

The Graham School is committed to helping students discover what our namesake knew: that to live a rich, full life of value to ourselves and others, we must take responsibility for our own learning and pursue both knowledge and truth with a sense of excitement and adventure, not just during our school years, but throughout our lives.
Man with Bowtie
Russell E. Graham

Russell E. Graham was educated in a one-room country schoolhouse near Zanesville, Ohio. Because he needed to work on the family farm, Russell could attend school only part-time during the spring and fall. In eighth grade, he failed the Boxwell exam [a qualifying test for high school similar to today's proficiency tests], and therefore he could not attend high school. Nevertheless, Russell read and studied independently and as an adult became the state property appraiser for a federal agency. He then opened a real estate office at the corner of Torrence Road and Indianola Avenue. Later, Russell moved the business to the building he built in Beechwold on North High Street, where The Graham School originally opened in 2000.

Russell was a successful broker and a respected community member. He was also a lifelong learner long before we invented that term. With an open mind and a generous and adventurous spirit, Russell encountered the world, learned from it, and gave back.

Some of his accomplishments:
  • Traveling for three-month around the globe at age 74
  • Taking his teenaged grandsons to Africa at age 91
  • Learning to use a computer and computerizing his business at age 91
  • Learning to read music and play the organ at age 95
  • Having failed his driving test at age 95, practicing in his driveway for a year and passing the test at age 96.
When he was 94, Russell Graham memorized this poem:

The Man in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Who judgment upon you must pass;
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back in the glass.
Some people may think you a straight-shootin' chum
And call you a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him in the eye.
He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may find the rest of the world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you cheated the man in the glass.
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