FHSD Celebrates 100 Years

By Zoe Lawson

Not many can say they have celebrated their 100th birthday, but during the 2014-15 school year FHSD is doing just that. FHSD plans on having a wide range of celebrations throughout the year to ensure that it is one to remember, from the sale of T-shirts, to a school district centennial book. The District also founded a district-wide alumni association, for which it will have a trivia night in spring.

“One hundred years is a long, long time for anything and it’s a pretty big accomplishment that our school district has been around for this long,” junior Tessa Smith said. “I’m glad we’re celebrating, to help motivate us to keep up the good work.”

Individual schools within FHSD are planning their own celebrations as well, so each school can showcase their own traditions and history. Later this spring, the District is planning on burying a time capsule to commemorate the centennial for later generations.

“The district was thinking about putting in photographs and documents, things that if it is opened 50 years from now that will help explain 2015 to whoever opens it up,” former superintendent Dan Brown said. “They were talking about putting a copy of my book on District history in as well. I think it’s a very interesting idea, and a nice way to commemorate not just history, but such an historic year.”

In 1821, the first schools run by Francis Howell Jr. and his family

were opened, seven weeks after Missouri became a state. They found that by 1910,

they were quickly running out of funds and becoming unsustainable. Over the next five years, a group of smaller rural school districts decided to band together to form a single district known as Consolidated School District No. 2, with 12 one-room school houses and one four-year high school. Officially founded in 1915, Consolidated School District No. 2 was the beginning of FHSD.

“It’s amazing that a district was established here because there was nothing really out here,” FHSD school board member Amy McEvoy said. “It is an undertaking. That someone 100 years ago thought enough about education that they put the work into getting a district out here is pretty incredible.”

Over a span of 34 years, from 1881 to 1915,  FHSD expanded from a collection of one-room schoolhouses into a district servicing grades one through 12 and containing one high school. Today, FHSD includes ten elementary schools, five middle schools and four high schools.

“It’s important to show how far the district has come and how hard they’ve worked to reach 100 years,” sophomore Lavanya Kolluru said. “It helps show our progress from then to now and display how much we’ve changed since we started 100 years ago.”

Overall, the district has come a long way since its inception a century ago, which many believe is more than enough cause for celebration.

“I think a 100th birthday is such a great milestone,” McEvoy said. “Now let’s have 100 more.”