Chester Gooding was one of the most respected and beloved principals in the 100 year history of Stivers High School. He served the student body first as secretary of his Stivers class of 1943, and he served the student body as principal from 1959 to 1971.
He graduated from Stivers during World War II and answered the call of his nation by volunteering his services to the U.S. Army. He wanted to drive a tank but was too tall at 6’3”. He wanted to be a pilot but was too heavy. Chester wound up in Newfoundland as a weather specialist for two years, then transferred to the Aleutian Islands. It was there that he met his future wife, Dorothy. Chester was discharged by the Army in February 1945, and shortly thereafter enrolled at Denision University.
After graduating from Denision in 1950, Chester taught at Wilmington for one year, then came back to Stivers to teach. While teaching at Stivers, Mr. Gooding earned his Masters Degree in Education from Miami U. in August of 1954. He was promoted to assistant principal in 1958 and then to principal in May of 1959.
During his twelve year tenure as principal of Stivers High School, Mr.Gooding served as chairman of the Dayton Public Schools 71 principals, served on numerous legislative committees, and was an evaluator and consultant to the North Central Association of Educational Institutions.
He championed equality for all students and was very proud of starting vocational education classes for students not planning on college. Mr. Gooding was known for the following quotation, “Stivers tradition binds us together like no other. I’m one of him and he’s one of me.” Long hair or short hair, long skirt or short skirt, college bound or special needs, he treated all the same way. That quality made him a special principal.
Mr. Gooding passed away June 18, 2008 at age 83. He and Dorothy had two sons, Mark and Chester, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.