Looking Back: Former T.V. Superintendent Creeden Coulson

Creeden Coulson photo provided

Creeden Coulson was born at home in Adams County on Dec. 19, 1936 to parents John and Kathleen (Yeingst) Coulson. His mother told the story that the doctor came to the house and slept overnight waiting for his birth. It’s unlikely a doctor would do that today.

Creeden grew up in Cumberland County on a small farm. He recalls the party line telephone in their home. They could only listen to the radio when the generator was running. Their only light was a single bulb hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen. Their television was black and white and it was a big thrill when they finally got a color television.

He attended Boiling Springs High School and graduated in 1955.

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As a teenager, Creeden worked on a local fruit farm. Following his senior year, he supervised a group of migrant farmers who were picking peaches. Perhaps this was the start of Creeden’s management skills.

As he was preparing to attend Millersville, the owner of the farm told him that after he would graduate, he could return to work there. He told his mother, “I have no intent of doing all of that school work only to work on a fruit farm.” He received his bachelor’s degree at Millersville University and his master’s degree at West Chester University with further studies in the National Defense and Education Act (NDEA) program at Indiana State University in Terra Haute, Indiana. He received his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Temple University.

He and his wife Lena (Fernbaugh) Coulson moved to the Morgantown area where he took a position as Industrial Arts teacher at Twin Valley Schools in 1959 for 15 years. He then directed AV services at the high school. He set up black/white production class in the English department. He chaired the Learning Resource Department (AV and libraries).

He became supervisor of Operational Support Services including such things as transportation, maintenance and custodial services, after which he became principal of the junior high. Being highly qualified, in 1986, he became superintendent of the Twin Valley School District until 1996, after which he retired. One day, as superintendent, he met a student in the hallway who introduced himself and said, “My grandfather had you as his metal shop teacher.” That reminded him that he had been around the Twin Valley Schools for a very long time.

Mr. Coulson, under a NDEA scholarship, spent a summer at Indiana State University exploring innovative curriculum for Industrial Arts.

He traveled to China as part of an educational exchange program through the University of Pennsylvania. He was a collaborating author of “Satellite Cable Community Interactive Telecommunications.” He was also part of the Superintendent Study Council at the University of Pennsylvania.

Creeden was active in the Morgantown United Methodist Church where he taught adult Sunday school classes, was Sunday school superintendent, chair of the finance committee, chair of the administration counsel and took responsibility of printing the church bulletins.

He was chair of Caernarvon Township’s planning commission for nine years before his position of superintendent of Twin Valley Schools. After he retired, he again returned to chair the planning commission for the past five years.

Creeden has created many beautiful wood works, including a baptismal fount, grandfather clocks and furniture. Lena was also active in the church and Morgantown’s Women’s Club. They have three children, Dolores, John and Dean, and three grandchildren. After retirement, he enjoyed working in his home wood shop, gardening and traveling. He and Lena went to see the Passion Play in Austria. They also traveled to Alaska, Tahiti, Italy, Aruba and the Canadian Rockies, as well as many states in the U.S.