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Newport Schools


Newport Elem 40's.jpg

NEWPORT SCHOOL

            Back in the early pioneer days the children in the neighborhood were first instructed by Caleb Greene, a son of John and Mary Greene, at the family residence.  This was as early as 1801 or 1802.

            The first school house was erected near the present site of the old Barkwill home.  It was very rude in its structure, being built wholly of rough, round logs and having split logs smoothed on one side for the floors and seats.  School was held for only a few months in the winter, and the teachers boarded around among the families. 

            To those pioneers who in the early days had to keep the school going largely by subscriptions, let us pause and think of the sacrifices that must have been made.  But they were men and women with a vision, and in the progress of time, the development in the school system has continued.

            A brick building, which was later destroyed by fire, replaced the primitive log houses; and then another school was started, still on the same site, but this has been torn down by the hand of progress many years ago.  In its place, two grade schools were started, one in the lower part of town, the former site of the Laundromat, the other at the crossroads in what was called the back neighborhood.  This is now the home of Joe and Mary Coyler. 

            In 1866 largely through the efforts of J.B. Greene, a native son and state representative, the Newport Special School District was established.

            At this time the upper grades were taught in the old Methodist Church building which stood where the present old brick school building stands.

            School continued with the three schools in the district until 1889 when a large frame building replaced the old Methodist Church.  The three schools were consolidated and a charter was granted for a high school.  John McDaniels was the first superintendent, from 1890 to 1892.

            One of the requirements for graduation was that each graduate should deliver two self written orations, one in December and the other at commencement time.  In January of 1894, the school burned.  School was then held in vacant buildings in the town.

            The completion of a new brick building in 1895 was located at the bottom of Turkey Knob Road.  F.L. Bailey was the superintendent, from 1895 to 1899.  The facility consisted of three teachers, one for the high school, one each for the intermediate and primary grades.  Up until 1907 the superintendent was the sole instructor in the high school.  The recitation was fifteen minutes in length and no study halls.  Another year was added to the high school course in 1900, and the school became a third grade high school in 1903.

            In 1907 an assistant teacher was added to the high school faculty, and it became a second grade high school.  The first piano was purchased in 1915 through the efforts of the pupils. 

            The new grade school was voted in November, 1925.  The three acre lot was secured from William J. Todd.

            On Friday, April 22, 1927, the present grade school building was dedicated.  The first auditorium was a dream come true. 

            During 1929-1930 the two buildings, grade and high school, were separate units and were under different supervision.  Lynn N. Nicholas was high school principal, Grace Reckard was grade school principal in charge of the eight grade and several one-room buildings which had not become a part of our new consolidated system.

            On December 24, 1915, the Ohio State Department of Education recognized the Newport Number 1 Rural High School.

            In 1917 the present building was ready for occupation and the four high school grades were transferred to the new building.

            Class plays were held in Room A on a stage which since has been removed.  Basketball in 1919-1920 was played in Room B, under the direction of Arthur Buchanan.

            On May 25, 1931, a six year high school charter was granted.

            The first school paper, “The Mirror,” was published in 1940.  The 50th Anniversary Book published in 1940 was dedicated to Miss Nora Ferguson, the first graduate in 1890.

            In 1948, The Civic Club, redecorated the gymnasium, located in the grade school, and purchased a new electric score board.

            The first kindergarten class was started in September of 1967.  Mrs. Sue Herlan was teacher.  Members of the class were: Rebecca Barnhouse, Joni Board, Sherri Boley, Suzanne Cline, Cheryl Cornell, Jay Eichhorn, Karen Fenton, Bobby Garret, Jane Ann Greenwood, Bryan Harris, Kim Hearn, Kathy Hewitt, Tony Hurte, Maxolia Martin, Debbie Murphy, Randy O’Neal, Eddie Pryor, Jamie Rouse, Faye Seevers, Alesia Smitley, Shelia Summers, Penny Thomas, Kevin Tidd, Brian Wolfe, Jody Wolfe. 

NEW NEWPORT GYM

            Funds for the gym and school addition were appropriated in a school bond passed by voters in November, 1954.

            The concrete block and steel building provides a music room and two class rooms, lockers and restrooms.  Architects for the building were Scott and Easley from Marietta.  The contractor was O.J. Paul of Zanesville, Ohio.

            The old gym in the grade school building was made into a cafeteria.  The new gymnasium was open for the first game of basketball on January 18, 1956.  Mr. Charles Morus joined the staff at…Newport this year 1955-1956, as a coach and teacher of history and physical education.  A graduate of Salem College, Salem, WV.  Coach Morus, (Hank) ended the basketball season with…16 wins and 10 losses, won third place in the county tournament and first place in the sectional tournament.  He later became principal at Newport and transferred to Frontier High School with the consolidation of schools in 1968.

            Members of the Varsity team were: Dick Harris, Harold (Bevo) Francis, Blaine Mendenhall, Dave Riggs, Bernard (Buck) Murphy, John Pritchett, Dave Bookman, John Herlan, Dave Nott.

Members of the Varsity Cheerleaders:  Judy (Hoff) Murphy, Sue (Hoff) Herlan, Patty Riggs, Patsy (Roe) Stalnaker, Shirley (Thomas) Rogers