This position in the class was an elected position. The job of class leader was first of all to make sure to alert every student in the class when a teacher arrived. He/she would shout "stand up" as soon as the teacher arrived at the door, then say "sit down" so that he or she could start the class right away without wasting any time. Every student was ready to show respect to every teacher in this fashion. Once in a while, the class leader would represent the class at a meeting for school-wide affairs. Most importantly, this position was a seal of honor. It meant that your classmates had decided that you deserved their respect. This is certainly very different from our children's classes; they elect people who they deem to be popular.
I was elected as the class leader the semester after I reached the top of the class in my grade point average. Later I was elected as the president of the High School student body by all the class leaders of the whole campus. Two pictures were taken during that time, one was at school and the other was in the front of our home, all in uniform without the hat.