With the start of the 2014/2015 school year, the Josef-Schmitt Realschule is celebrating a double anniversary. Not only has it been 60 years since the existence of a secondary school in Lauda-Konigshofen, but the secondary school building is also celebrating its 45th anniversary. Birthday.

1954 – 1964: Beginnings
One cannot document the history of the Realschule Lauda without mentioning the merits of the community, the municipal council, the city administration and the mayors of the city of Lauda-Konigshofen. With the unanimous decision of the municipal council on 8. March 1954, in the elementary school in Lauda a 5., 6. and 7. to set up an advanced class, which was to be opened if there was "sufficient interest" (Municipal council meeting minute book no. 152) later by a 9. and 10. The foundation stone for what would later become the Realschule was laid when the school was expanded to include a second class. On 17. In May 1954, the Ministry of Education approved this decision. The city’s commitment was also evident in the financing: in 1956, it agreed to pay 50 percent of the teaching fee, despite the tight budget situation. Since the middle school is only "provisional", the school is not yet in operation the school was not allowed to charge fees for visiting students, although almost 90 students from outside the town attended the middle school in 1958. This financial problem was the reason to apply for the final recognition of the middle school section, which was approved on 13. March 1959 was approved. This milestone marked an important phase of urban development for the community. In 1959, 201 students attended the secondary school, 88 of whom were guest students. In 1960, the number of students rose to 230, with 110 guest students accounting for 48 percent of the total. Across the country, middle schools were growing and needed more and more space. In Lauda, this space problem was met with an extension building (today’s Werkrealschule), which somewhat alleviated the space shortage in 1961. After the secondary school had established itself in Lauda, it was logical that ten years after its start, the conversion into an independent secondary school was requested, which the municipal council approved on 16. November 1964. At that time 487 pupils attended the elementary and secondary school.

1964 – 1974: Pupil numbers rise
By decree of 29. In April 1965, the Ministry of Education approved the transformation of the middle school into an independent middle school as of the 1965/66 school year, as decided by the municipal council. Rector J. Horner was appointed to run the school until a secondary school principal was appointed. Paul Faulhaber was elected on 15. Inaugurated as the first principal in June 1966. Faulhaber had been lecturing for several years as part of the adult education program. In 1966, a new building was erected for the "Realschule" (secondary school) the school’s new name. Am 4. September 1967, the first phase of construction began with the groundbreaking ceremony by Mayor Boxberger. In December 1968, the topping-out ceremony was celebrated and for the school year 1969/1970, 400 students moved into the twelve classrooms, which also included ancillary rooms such as workshops, music and drawing rooms. Although it was a new building, the shortage of space already became apparent here, which was to become even more acute in the years to come. The Realschule, which was planned to have two classes, grew to three or in some cases even four classes. Space problems and high teacher turnover defined the work of Principal Faulhaber and his staff. Only the construction of the neighboring high school was to bring relief.

1974 – 1984: Growth
In the meantime, the Realschule had established itself and was proving its necessity with increasing numbers of students. In addition, the school developed more and more into a cultural institution: musical and theater performances, musical comedies, pre-Christmas school celebrations, Advent concerts and record parties are evidence of the school’s great cultural importance to this day. But also the engagement for others was on the agenda of the school work. In 1974, for example, a school party was held under the leadership of liaison teacher Kilb, the proceeds of which were donated to the special school for the educationally disadvantaged in Distelhausen. The Realschule was also successful in sports, for example in table tennis, soccer, archery and fencing. 1977 Principal Faulhaber celebrated his 25th anniversary of service.

That the Realschule always took its educational mission very seriously is shown by events such as the commemoration of the Reichskristallnacht in 1978. The Realschule was always on the cutting edge with its educational offerings. In the 1970s, innovations such as typing and shorthand were introduced, positioning the Realschule as a competitor to the commercial school of the time.

Cover picture of the commemorative publication 25 years of Realschule Lauda-Konigshofen

Just at this anniversary, the secondary school reached its highest number of students. At that time, 687 students attended the Realschule in 24 classes. In the meantime, the students of the Realschule were distributed among the main building, the Gymnasium and two other buildings. At least during this time it was possible to stop the problem of teacher turnover back to the metropolitan areas.

Cover of the information brochure 30 Years of the Realschule Lauda-Konigshofen

Established as a strong and valued school

1984 – 1994: New beginning
Not only the organization of the thirtieth anniversary was the main focus of the year 1984, but also the efforts to give the "grey concrete box" a new look Realschule to add some color. In a night and fog action, two students had already tried on their own to tackle the gray of the school with large pictures of flowers. This ended with a criminal complaint, which was however taken back by mayor Ansel, who could understand the request of the pupils.
In addition to the commitment of the school and its students, the commitment to environmental protection was also highly praised: under the direction of teacher Josef Gulde, a school garden was planted. In the same year the first computer entered the Realschule.
At the end of the 80s, the number of students decreased, which led to an easing of the space situation, although there were still well over 400 students attending the school. Above all, the lack of science classrooms was glaring. On 14. January 1989 Rector Faulhaber celebrated his 60th birthday. Birthday. In the context of this birthday, he arranged a special feature that accompanies the Realschule to this day: He donated the Rector Faulhaber Prize of 500 DM to the school, which is awarded each year to the best student in the graduating class.

In 1989, the time had come: 1.5 million Marks were to be invested in the conversion and expansion of the Realschule. In addition to new classrooms, the teachers’ lounge was to be remodeled and other requirements of the Oberschulamt were to be met.
As early as 1990, the "Healthy Breakfast" campaign was launched at the Realschule The school also organized a special event, which is highly regarded today, with great support from local businesses.
In 1991, Principal Paul Faulhaber looked back on 25 years as head of the Realschule and 40 years in the school service – Gregor Brendel took over as principal in 1992.

Despite plans to rebuild, disputes arose over how and by whom the premises would be used. First a "word of power of the Oberschulamt, which predicted a shortage of three classes at the Realschule, justified the need for additional classrooms. Nevertheless, no financing commitment was made by the state until 1993. The local council pushed for a start of construction and submitted a building application without the assurance of financial means. The city administration and local council once again set an example and provided funds for the 1994 budget.

1994 – 2004: constant change
With the move into the new building, the time of change began for the Realschule: Under Principal Brendel, school development was driven forward against the backdrop of a new educational plan. Sports competitions, musical performances, banana campaigns, school camps in South Tyrol or on Helgoland, a school first-aid group and a computer club are just a few examples of the lively school life. Brendel also found out in advance – before the local council’s decision was made in favor of the planned extension – how pedagogical concepts could be implemented.

Cover picture of the commemorative publication 40 Years Realschule Lauda-Konigshofen

2004 – 2014: Upswing
The last decade of the history of the Realschule Lauda-Konigshofen was and is characterized by major changes in educational policy, staff changes and strongly fluctuating student numbers. Principal Gregor Brendel handed over the principal’s baton to his former deputy Norbert Linhart in 2005. Under him, the renovation of the school was started, which gave the building a new shine. Once again, the city administration and the city council paved the way for these renovation measures by planning the renovation wisely and ensuring that the money was used wisely. In 2011, Jochen Grob, previously a Konrektor, was appointed principal of the Realschule Lauda-Konigshofen. He completed the renovation work and – after the then Parents’ Council Chairwoman Anita Ballier initiated the process to find a name for the school – was allowed to give the school a new name with the support of Mayor Maertens and the Heimat- und Kulturverein Lauda (Local History and Culture Association). Principal Grob has already had a lot to cope with in just three years in office: the school was hit several times by burglars, who left damage and chaos in their wake. The fire in the administration wing in December 2011 was drastic and caused the school to be replaced by a "mobile administration" had to be steered from.

Cover picture of the information magazine of the HKV Lauda e.V.

Despite all the difficulties, Grob succeeded in stabilizing and even increasing the number of students, which in the meantime had decreased to 320, so that at the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year the JSR had the largest student increase of all Lauda schools. Currently, 375 students attend the Josef Schmitt Secondary School.

The school management team, Principal Jochen Grob and Vice Principal Steffen Siegert, steered the school through the first external evaluation conducted by the State Institute for School Development, in which the Josef-Schmitt-Realschule achieved excellent results, a sign of the successful work of all those involved in school life, establishing the Josef-Schmitt-Realschule as a strong type of school that is desired and appreciated by parents.

School over – memory remains

What is school? If one asks this question, one receives different answers. In this part of the series, teachers and former students take a look at the Josef-Schmitt-Realschule.

Teacher perspective
Heidrun Kilb and Ilse Tischler have over 80 years of service to the state of Baden-Wurttemberg for students and the school in Lauda. They joined forces and wrote a birthday greeting from the teachers’ perspective.

"We have enjoyed working at this school since the 1974/75 school year. We have witnessed changes in educational plans and educational mandates. We are happy about the solidarity of former students who entrust their children to us. We like the exchange with former students at class reunions", according to the teachers.

Talks with alumni and their parents showed that the school has left its mark on the community. That’s why the staff is always educating itself in order to be "up-to-date" for future students to be. "We think that the Realschule still offers all students a good basis in the linguistic, technical, scientific and artistic areas for attending a secondary school or starting a career."

The view of former students
Many students completed their schooling at the Josef-Schmitt-Realschule. Many of them went on to start an apprenticeship, while others continued to go to school.

The fact that the Realschule offers a wide variety of career paths is shown by questions posed to former students from the graduating classes of 1974, 2004 and 2014: Thomas Gotzelmann (Lauda), Anna Wagner (Grunsfeld) and Lukas Arbinger (Lauda) ask questions about their time at school.

You remember, for example, the change of building from the former "school hotel" to the new "school hotel" at the station into the new school building Becksteiner Strabe. Or also to the strong class cohesion, projects and a good relationship with the teachers and classmates.

Among the biggest "upsets" during their school years include a stink bomb that a classmate set off in the classroom. The musical "The Lion King" remains one of his fondest memories in mind, for which the students had rehearsed a lot.

School on the way to becoming a service provider?

School on the way to becoming a service provider?

When one celebrates a birthday, as the Josef-Schmitt-Realschule does, then it is also an opportunity to look to the future. Organizations change continuously: a new education plan is launched, a mission statement is implemented or a school program is introduced. Changes in the environment and forces of change such as new technologies, organizational autonomy, rankings, demographic shifts, and evaluations are forcing decision makers in school and educational institutions to rethink their organizational structures.

This becomes clear when looking at the school and its stakeholders. Starting with the state and school supervisory authorities, school employees, education providers, companies, the media and society, all these groups have demands, values that need to be conveyed and resources that they make available, but also expect in return.

As part of this new focus on school quality and instructional development, terms from the business world were taken up and passed on to schools as specifications.

Also the "mission statement was such a concept. Every school must have a mission statement. The principle of Mark Twain: "If you don’t know where you’re going, don’t be surprised if you end up somewhere else was often ignored. Mission statements emerged, the development of which was in many cases not only time-consuming, but the result, due to unrealistic goals, was inadequate. Only with the concession of greater organizational autonomy and the support of the schools by trained personnel could the necessary changes be approached in a structured way. "Nothing is more constant than change." This quote from Heraclitus shows what schools will face when they move into the 61. Year of its existence goes.

Interview with RR i.R. Paul Faulhaber and RR Jochen Grob

The first and the current principal of the Josef-Schmitt-Realschule met – together with the questioner Steffen Siegert – for an interview to discuss the 60th anniversary of the school. to talk about the Realschule’s birthday.

Mr. Faulhaber, you were probably one of the first to enter this school building in 1969. How do you feel today when you enter this building 45 years later?
Paul Faulhaber: I feel the same way as all the people who lived at that time and who today marvel and admire the economic, technical, and probably also educational upswing that our federal republic, including of course our state and our municipality of Lauda-Konigshofen, has taken. It is tremendously amazing to see what is now possible here, when a municipality lives up to what it claims to be, namely a school town. And that has come true through the construction of the first stone of the school center, which was the Realschule and the then subsequent buildings, which really here now functionally, in my opinion, meet all the requirements that one – so I have been able to convince myself with you – today to a school.

Mr. Grob, you yourself were a student at the Realschule under Principal Faulhaber. Where do you think his merits lie for this school?
Jochen Grob: Mr. Faulhaber was certainly the main person responsible for establishing the Realschule in Lauda and making it flourish. Fifty or sixty years ago, it was certainly not a matter of course to let one’s children, especially one’s daughters, participate in higher education and send them to a Realschule (secondary school). Through a lot of persuasion, the Realschule in Lauda was finally able to establish itself as a secondary school that subsequently leaves all options open. In the early years, it was mainly about getting the best possible education, later also about a foundation for possible studies. It is the great merit of Mr. Faulhaber to have established the school type Realschule so early in Lauda. Other cities and communities were much later in the process.
Paul Faulhaber: I would like to add that it was not easy, that the wind was blowing in our faces at that time. The very fact that a high school is now coming here and that people had ideas about the high school, even in the city council, means that suddenly there are no end of parish priest positions here. Not a single one came!
One had to see at that time also, Lauda builds itself up, as competition city and overtakes at the moment even Tauberbischofsheim as school city. And that was an important development for Lauda, which has always been located between Bad Mergentheim and Tauberbischofsheim. In our heyday, we had many more students than the Realschule Tauber. Even as the Realschule Bad Mergentheim. So that has turned out, also in Lauda school life is possible, reality and is also now let’s say to bring to a climax.
Jochen Grob: The fact that Lauda has been a mid-center school for many years is certainly due to the early establishment of a secondary school. Later, as an addition to Lauda and as competition to Bad Mergentheim and Tauberbischofsheim, the Martin-Schleyer-Gymnasium followed.
School principals, mayors and councillors with vision, as well as good transport connections, have contributed to Lauda becoming an important school location.

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