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George C. Crawford, the first of four Pioneer School District superintendents, was recognized Sunday when the high school auditorium was named in his honor.

The school district celebrated its 35th anniversary Sunday with events at all four of the school buildings. The main program showcasing the district's history was in the high school auditorium.

Crawford, 87, lives in Delevan with his wife, Faith. The couple has two children.

He is a native of Camden and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in education from Syracuse University, school officials said.

He served in the military during World War II, then taught at Jamesville and Chenango Forks school districts. He also served as an administrator in the Nichols School District before joining the former Delevan-Machias Central School as supervising principal in 1954.

The Delevan-Machias and Arcade school districts centralized to become the Pioneer School District in 1966.

Crawford and his counterpart at Arcade Central, Joseph A. Kemp, first proposed the idea of a merger of the two districts in the mid-1960s.

"We faced similar problems of overcrowding, and we knew that asking for new construction within our districts would be a tough sell to taxpayers," Crawford said. "We thought a merger would be best."

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