Folsom A to Z: Blanche SprentzBy: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
Editor’s note: Folsom A to Z is an intermittent series in the Telegraph where readers can learn facts and history about Folsom. Each week, the Telegraph will select a landmark, place, historical figure and major historical event that start with the next letter of the alphabet. This week we continue with “S.”
- Blanche Sprentz was born in Jackson in 1903.
- Sprentz had two sisters and one brother.
- She graduated from grammar school in Amador County in 1917 and attended Jackson Joint Union High School where she graduated in 1921.
- After high school, Sprentz attended the State Teachers College of California in San Francisco, graduating in 1921.
- At 19 years old, she began her teaching career as an elementary teacher in Plymouth, staying two years at the Amador County School.
- Sprentz moved to Folsom in 1925 and began her career at Granite School.
- During her 40-plus years at Granite School, Sprentz taught second grade, third grade, music, coached the girls’ basketball team and served as vice principal for almost 10 years.
- Sprentz played the piano in a small orchestra called, “The Knights of Jazz” for many years.
- In addition to her coaching, she was the “jump center” on a women’s basketball team with two other staff members.
- Sprentz was an excellent painter and especially enjoyed painting landscapes.
- In 1938, she married George Sprentz, a railroad man.
- Sprentz once shared, “George and I loved to hop on the noon train to San Francisco for dinner and a movie at the Senator Theater.”
- Sprentz retired in 1966, the same year that Granite School closed, with more than 40 years of dedicated service to the district.
- As Sprentz told friends at the time, “I didn’t want to retire, but George asked me if I didn’t think it was about time I stayed at home.”
- Her retirement saw a turn-out of more than 500 people to honor her and her long tenure in the district.
- Sprentz said, “I taught because of my love for children, even though I had none of my own.” Students said, “We loved Mrs. Sprentz and we all wished we could have had her as our teacher in all grades.”
- Blanche Sprentz Elementary School was named after her for spending almost half a century teaching, coaching and nurturing students.