History with Chuck: The late Stoughton ‘Stodie’ Watts, Jenkintown’s all-time boys’ basketball scorer, PA Hall of Famer, and educator for 37 years

According to local historian Chuck Langerman, Stoughton “Stodie” Watts, a 1956 graduate of Jenkintown High School, is still the program’s all-time leading boys’ basketball scorer with 1,972 points.

During the 1954-55 season, he scored 78 points in a game against New Hope, 55 points against Lansdale (which is now North Penn) and 55 points in another game against New Hope later that year. His name is listed among NBA legends and Pennsylvania natives Wilt Chamberlain, Barney Cable and Bob Sura.

He is a member of the PA State Hall of Fame, and his Drakes won the Class A State Championship in 1953 and 1956.

Photo credit: Justin Watts

With his basketball career behind him, Watts went on to become an educator for more than 37 years. The Temple University graduate’s career began on July 1, 1972 at the former Paoli Elementary School of the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District in Chester County. He retired from Valley Forge Elementary School in 1997 and returned to the district as the principal of Beaumont in November 1999 before announcing his retirement from the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District in 2004.

“I will leave Beaumont Elementary having accomplished important goals for our school,” Watts stated in a press release. “I love our kids and have worked to ensure that the students at Beaumont liked each other and learned from each other. The new classes at Beaumont provide a unique opportunity to do this. I leave secure in the knowledge that Beaumont students work with professional staff members who nurture all the children they teach. I will always remain T/E proud and look forward to watching my Beaumont students grow.”

He also taught in the Abington School District for a time.

“Working with Stodie has been an honor and joy for me,” Dr. Daniel E. Waters, district superintendent, told Main Line Media News. “He’s been a mentor, coworker and most of all a friend. His love of children and commitment helping all children achieve and succeed have been the hallmarks of his career. And I have been a better person for having worked with Stodie Watts.”

The article continues:

Wagner, a Berwyn resident who has a daughter in the third grade at Beaumont, said the principal loved to laugh, maintained an open-office policy and encouraged parents to become involved in the school. She also recalled Stodie’s morning and afternoon ritual of sitting on a bench in the school’s lobby and greeting the students arriving and leaving the building.

“Many students would stop by and give him a hug,” she fondly remembered.

Watts passed away in 2018. His son, Dane Watts, is the assistant boys’ basketball coach at West Chester University and played basketball at Conestoga High School and the University of Pennsylvania. 

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