It seems like Almost Yesterday that the Reverend J. C. Berryman, founder and Superintendent of Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Missouri, received a report from a committee of observers who had visited the school in order to submit an overall evaluation.
The distinguished observers, J. M. Kelly; John Hadlee; James Relfe; and William Newberry, were so impressed with what they found that they wrote a letter to the Western Eagle newspaper in Cape Girardeau for wide distribution. Here the Arcadia students were commended for their achievement, depth of understanding, and promptness of response.
The instructors were praised for their high qualifications and the extent of order and discipline of the students. The observers especially called attention to the high level of student proficiency in mathematics.
The committee expressed pride in what they had observed, as they wrote that as southern Missourians, they looked upon the establishment of the school in Arcadia as one of the great events in the history of “our portion of the state.”
The committee members found that Arcadia High School was “in one of the most romantic valleys of south Missouri,” a pristine rural location that assured parents that the innocent nature of their children would not be exposed to “the contaminating influences” so often found in large towns and cities.
The report was concluded with congratulations for everyone associated with the school, and extending wishes that Superintendent Berryman’s fondest hopes for the new institution – in the beautiful and “interesting little valley of ‘Arcadia,” would “become as celebrated for its rural happiness, and the wisdom of its inhabitants as was Arcadia of ancient Greece.”