The History of Anthony Wayne Schools
The following is from the Anthony Wayne Local Schools website. Under “About AW” is a section titled “History.” (At the end of the story, credit is given: Anthony Wayne Schools gratefully acknowledges the following contributors to this history – Becky Jacobs, Mark Knerr, and Roy Williamson.)
Here are the first three sections:
60 Years and Counting – A Closer Look at the History of Anthony Wayne Schools
Over 60 years ago, Anthony Wayne Local Schools evolved from the vision of the citizens and school boards of Monclova, Waterville, and Whitehouse. Students attended classes in their respective home communities and no central educational facility existed. Today, the Anthony Wayne school community includes six education buildings, over 4,400 students and hundreds of teaching, administrative, and support staff, within 77 square miles; and serves Monclova Township, Waterville, Whitehouse, and parts of Swanton, Middleton, and Providence Townships. The school district that began as an attempt to relieve some of the financial burdens of three small school systems has emerged as a statewide educational leader and a model for sound financial management.
In the Beginning . . .
Talks of consolidation were initiated in early 1950 by school board members Robert Shelton (Waterville), Willard Schaller (Monclova), and Rodney Boyer (Whitehouse) as a logical solution to the financial challenges facing all three districts. Convincing each community was difficult since each was proud of its own school district. However, a core group of supportive citizens rallied and were able to convince voters by highlighting the advantages such a school system could offer all students. In addition, community leaders, including Harry H. Dudrow, longtime Superintendent of Waterville Schools, voiced their support for the project. The newly created Board of Education was sworn in by Lucas County Superintendent Harold Ryder, on July 6, 1950, and included Robert Shelton (Waterville), president; Willard Schaller (Monclova) vice-president, Rodney Boyer (Whitehouse); Jay C. Dennis (Whitehouse); and Owen Wilder (Monclova). Walter Grimm (Waterville) was appointed clerk-treasurer. Each member was to serve until January 1, 1952. At this meeting, Superintendent Ryder recommended the appointment of John C. Rudolph as superintendent of the new school district. Rudolph was hired with a three-year contract amounting to $4,500, $4,800, and $5,100. Harry Dudrow became assistant superintendent and work began immediately to build a high school on Finzel Road in Whitehouse. A levy for $856,000 appeared on the November 7, 1950, general election ballot. Although a number of attempts to defeat the levy occurred, the levy passed creating Anthony Wayne Local Schools. Following the passage of the levy, a contest was held to name the district. Although a number of suggestions were submitted, the community decided to honor General Anthony Wayne, who successfully led his army in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Local legend attributes the winning entry to Olive Dudrow (Waterville) a local historian.
Anthony Wayne High School
The first combined graduation was May 5, 1951, in the Whitehouse School stadium. Clyde Hissong, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Ohio, served as the keynote speaker. The second graduation was held in the Whitehouse Auditorium on May 23, 1952, with Congressman Frazier Reams as the guest speaker. Ground breaking for the new Anthony Wayne High School took place August 14, 1951. Students moved into the school, situated on a centrally located 35.5 acre Finzel Road site in Whitehouse, January 19, 1953. Local citizens helped by moving boxes, books and equipment. The original building was 57,400 square feet and designed to hold 600 – 650 students. The dedication took place on April 19, 1953, and featured Dr. Walter A. Zaugg of Bowling Green State University as the keynote speaker. AWHS was able to add a 602-seat auditorium as a direct result of savings achieved on the original bids for building construction. During the 1954-55 school year, a field house and football stadium for 2,000 fans were erected. In 1968, the original high school building was expanded at a cost of $1,450,000. The addition included classrooms, laboratories, a new cafeteria, and an enlarged music and theatre wing. High school renovations were celebrated in a 1997 rededication of Anthony Wayne High School (still on its original Finzel Road site). Additions included a second floor of classrooms, a new 2,200 seat gymnasium, a state of the art performing arts center, enlarged band and choir rooms, upgraded science labs, and expanded computer labs. In addition, other improvements were made to facilities located on the campus. Additional high school renovations included the addition of a Technology Wing and an outdoor sports complex in 2002.
If you wish to complete the story, we encourage you to go to; https://www.anthonywayneschools.org/untitled-1508331889-0.40474700
The Anthony Wayne Alumni Association is proud to work with and represent the thousands of members of the Anthony Wayne communities.