Springfield Public Schools is the largest school district in Missouri, with more than 23,500 students enrolled. The school district consists of 35 elementary schools, an intermediate school, nine middle schools, five high schools, and four early childhood centers.
Springfield’s first high school was established in 1867. Its first graduating class had just two members. As Springfield’s population grew, the school’s student population quickly outgrew the school itself. The Springfield High School, or the Senior High School, was built in 1893. It had 44 rooms, including an auditorium on the second floor. The school’s first yearbook, featured here, was created in 1902. Three years later the yearbook was renamed the Resume, which it remains titled today.
Several additions to the school were made as the student body continued to grow. In 1907 the center section of the present building was completed, which added 11 rooms. Six years later, the east section was built, increasing the building’s capacity by 21 more rooms. In 1931 a larger gymnasium was constructed behind the west section of the main building. The gymnasium was commonly referred to as “The Pit” because the floor was about seven feet lower than the bleachers. In 1940 a new upstairs auditorium was added as well as a cafeteria on the first floor. Parkview Highschool was built in 1956, and Springfield High School was renamed Central High School.
Until 1954 Springfield’s Black students attended Lincoln High School and its predecessors. Linda Brown, whose father was the litigant in the famous civil rights case “Brown vs. The Topeka Board of Education,” graduated from Central High School in 1961. In 2000 a plaque honoring Linda Brown was placed outside of Central High School.
Subject: Annuals; Springfield Public Schools
Contributing Institution: Springfield-Greene County Library District
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