2016

Distinguished Educator

Margaret Collins 

In 1935 Margaret Houston, an art teacher, arrived in Hamburg fresh out of State Teachers College in Buffalo. The yearbook took note of her: “This talented art teacher, while chummy with her pupils, commands their utmost respect. Her youthful spirit has been contagious in Hamburg High School.” Students could be seen working on stage scenery, library windows and decorations for various dances. “The art department enters into almost every important curricular and extracurricular activity in school and we all should appreciate how directly it affects the very soul of Hamburg High. Opening portals of beauty, the art students are taught to apply the basic principles of color, harmony and artistic design in many fields.” Yearbook Dedication: “To Miss Margaret Houston who has so graciously given time, effort and wise counsel to help us successfully through our first major portal, we the Class of 1938 sincerely dedicate our yearbook, Portals.” Margaret and Bronson Collins began dating in 1935. Board Policy prohibited both a husband and wife from being on the faculty. They continued to date and when tenure laws went into effect in the late 1930’s, they put off marriage until Bronson was tenured. They decided to marry at Eastertime 1941. After six years of teaching, Margaret resigned to become a homemaker in their newly built home.  When Bronson was called to serve in the Army, Margaret followed. Camp Upton got its own yearbook, with Margaret doing the art work and Bronson doing the verse, a team effort. Bronson returned to teach at Hamburg High in 1946-47 and Margaret began substitute teaching. In 1958, Margaret became the art teacher, Echoes Art Staff Advisor and Sophomore Class Advisor. Through classroom experiences students learned the fundamental disciplines of art. Learning to work with a wide variety of media, students were prepared to create visual images for the world to appreciate. Whether works of art are to sooth and reflect upon images of our world or applied toward the corporate world of advertising, Margaret Collins expanded the world for her students to see.