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Skiatook Public Schools


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The first school in the new town of Skiatook was started before statehood in 1905 and was located in a house at the southeast corner of 4th and Broadway. The teacher was Mr. Henry Milhorn. It was a subscription school. Soon after it opened, the women of the town held a supper and raised $100 to buy desks. The school was moved to the southwest comer of 3rd and Broadway, and D. C. Quay became the teacher. The Christian, Methodist and Presbyterian churches also used this building to hold their services.

After statehood in 1907, the first school board was elected with six members: president – Edmund Glass; clerk – C. F. Rogers; members George C. Smith, Dave Acklin, Willis DeShazer and John Pennington. At about this time, a building was purchased from the Midland Valley Construction Company and moved to the northeast corner of 2nd and B streets. This building had two rooms and two teachers who taught there from 1906-1908.

In 1908 bonds were voted for a new school building. It was to be more centrally located. This building was completed in 1909 at the cost of about $15,000 and was located in the block between 3rd and 4th streets and Osage and B streets. In 1913 additional bonds were voted, and an addition was added for about $15,000. This housed grades 1-12. The entire building was made modem with water, electric lights, steam heat and sewer connections. In 1920 it became very crowded so an annex building was provided to accommodate the growing student population. It consisted of four classrooms and a gymnasium 30′ by 80′. This was located at the northeast corner of 3rd and Osage (present site of EMS).

By 1921 school enrollment numbered 650 students with 20 teachers employed. In 1922 because of overcrowding, bonds were voted for a new high school and junior high to be built at the comer of Osage and Maple streets. Now there would be three buildings housing students. Dedication of this building was held on March 2, 1923. This three-story building had a gymnasium in the basement, classrooms in the first and second floors plus a large auditorium on the top floor. The cost of this building was $80,000. At the time of its opening 120 students were attending.

In August 1929, the first school building was destroyed by fire. Elementary students were crammed into the subsidiary building until a new grade school building was erected in 1930 which housed grades one through five. It was located on the southeast corner of 3rd and Osage on the same block as the first school building.

From 1930 until after World War II, no new school buildings were erected. About 1947 additions were made on the south of the grade school building, four classrooms were added and later four more. (The Education Service Center is presently housed in this wing.) An agriculture building was also added on the south side of the high school at this time.

Sometime in the early 1950s classrooms and a cafeteria were added to the east side of the elementary school (now the Joyce Jech Early Childhood Center). The homes on the southeast side of this campus were moved, and more playground space was made available. In the 1960s it was evident that more room was needed for the junior high students who were using the first floor of the high school. Bonds were approved for a new junior high south of the high school (now called Johnson Central fourth through sixth grade building) to accommodate this growth. A few years after this building was constructed, it partially burned and was rebuilt and made larger.

It became evident at this time that more space was needed for the elementary school so land was purchased farther south on Osage, and in 1968 a new elementary school was opened at 1100 South Osage. This was the first school named for an administrator, Dr. Charles A. Marrs. This school has had several expansions throughout the years including a large gymnasium at the back. It now houses PK through 2nd grades & has a student enrollment of 528.

In the 1970s the old high school was becoming too crowded so a new high school was proposed, and land was purchased west of Lombard Lane and 4th streets. In 1976 the new high school was completed and dedicated. The football field which had been located on the north side of Rogers Blvd. in the 300 block (called Wiles Field after prominent businessman L L. Wiles who donated this land to the school) was moved to the new location and renamed Dunlap Field (after long-time coach A. A. “Hap” Dunlap). When the new high school was about two years old in 1978, the sports complex was built adjoining the high school on the east and named in honor of Coach Wayne Rowden. In 1979, a 900+ seat auditorium was constructed on the south end of the new high school and named the Herbert Pinc Auditorium (after one-time principal and superintendent, Herbert Pinc). The vocational agriculture building was built on the southwest side of the high school and complimented with a woodshop and art building. Several more additions have been made to the south and west of this high school plus a baseball field (Bob Patterson Field) and soccer field. Because of the rapid enrollment increase in the school system, it was necessary to purchase more land for another campus, and 80 acres were acquired. In 1990 the new middle school (named for Superintendent Jim Newman) was built at 2000 West Oak. This building houses grades seven and eight. In 1993 a gymnasium was constructed east of this school, and in early 1999 a new sixth grade building and gymnasium is being erected west of the middle school with hopes of occupancy by September 1999.

The Skiatook Public School system now has five campuses in Tulsa and Osage counties. From a small beginning in 1905 in a house with a few students, it now is looking at a proposed enrollment of2,300 students in the school years 2000-2001 with over 150 teachers and administrators.

Skiatook graduating classes include: 1914 – Ruth McDowell, 1915 – Katherine Kernodle, 1916 – Flavell Tolleson, Clarence Stephens, Zella Plumple and Bessie Jewett, 1917 – Miriam Kernodle and Clarence Miller, 1918 – Goldie Hatfield, 1919 – Pearl Howell, Frances Rogers, Katherine Stephens, Florence Stephens, Daisy Hatfield, Marie Hensley, Elizabeth Holt and 1920 – Leona Kreger.

Superintendents include W. A. Toole 1908-1909, A. McDonald 1909-1910, T. E. Jones 1910-19ll, George E. Eastham 19ll-1912, A. G. Bowles 1912-1915, Belle Goodnight 1915-1917, J. W. Owen 1917-1919, W. R. Ruyle 1919-1920, Charles B. Taylor 1920-1921, H. G. Creekmore 1921-1927, W. D. Johnson 1927-1945, L. W. Collyge 1945-1950, Charles A. Marrs 1950-1969, Herbert Pinc 1969-1981, Jim Newman 1981-1994, Ron Bowman 1994-1995 (interim superintendent) and Harry Red Eagle 1995-2001, Gary Johnson 2001-2010, Keim Kiethly 2010-2011 (interim superintendent), Rick Thomas 2011-2022, and Dr. Melissa Bush 2022 to present.