Shawswick School HistoryThe Early Years
In the fall of 1925, Shawswick Consolidated School opened its doors to accept about 300 students and 13 teachers. It was a new, two story brick building with twin front arched door entry-ways. The building had twelve rooms, one for each of the grades 1-12. Previously, pupils in the first-eight grades had attended about 11 small schools around the township, and anyone that wanted to go to high school had to attend Tunnelton, Oolitic, or Bedford.
J.B. Fagan was the first principal of Shawswick. He oversaw the first three graduates of the school, one girl and two boys in the class of 1926. The second class, Class of 1927 had seven members.
Curtis Mattox was the first basketball coach. There are several stories about how the Shawswick basketball team got its nickname of Farmers. One is that the second coach, John Armstrong, made the comment that the boys were shooting just like a bunch of farmers and
that was how the name started.
In the fall of 1928, W.C. Roberts became principal, and the next spring, 1929, twenty-one students were graduated. This was the first class to attend all four years of high school at Shawswick.
In the summer of 1930, the school had to be remodeled to hold the increasing enrollment. An auditorium was built over the gym with a stage at the front. The first class to use this was the class of 1931. In this class was Dorothy Mitchell, who was the first teacher to graduate and return to teach at Shawswick. In the fall of 1931, Charles Collier came as principal, remaining for three years. By now, the Shawswick Alumni totaled over 100.
In 1935, Howard W. Yunker was the principal. He remained only one year.
In 1936, Loren Raines became principal of the school. That next spring, 34 members graduated, the largest class up to that time. By the fall of 1936, the junior high and high school had new facilities and the elementary had more rooms. The addition included three levels of classrooms and restrooms. There were fully equipped home economics and agriculture rooms.
The War Years
By now the school had been in operation for eleven years, and the class of 1937 was the first to complete all 12 years at Shawswick. In all, this class had 21 members. War was beginning in Europe, and not long after these young people completed their high school education, the United States started building up its armed forces, through voluntary enlistments and the draft.
Wesley Emery, a member of the class of 1938, was the first Lawrence County serviceman to lose his life in WW II. He was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on the morning of December 7, 1941. The class of 1939 also lost a member, Esco King. Also lost in the war was Raymond Easton.
The next principal was R.C. Kennedy. He was here for the years of 1940 through 1943. During this time, many boys withdrew from high school to join the armed forces. Several of these boys completed their high school requirements while in the service and then received diplomas from Shawswick. This was true for about three years during which Howard Gee and Fred George were principals here. These classes include 1944 through 1946.
The Baby Boom Era and Expansion
In 1946, John Nice became principal and was here for the class of 1947. This was the first class of seniors to have a member whose parents had graduated from Shawswick. That was Donald Gilstrap--both of his parents were members of the class of 1927.
In the fall of 1947, Orin Flinn assumed the principalship. He had taught grade 5 earlier in the late 1920's and 1930's. During Mr. Flinn's term as principal, he presented diplomas to 17 classes of graduates. The first class under Mr. Flinn was 1948.
Basketball, of course, had been a very important part of Indiana high school life. About this time, the pupils, patrons and school administrators were aware of the need for a new gymnasium at Shawswick. Many games were played in the old, small gym with four rows of seats along one side and with four more in the balcony above the lower four. Many spectators had to stand around the floor, and sometimes out on the floor.
A new gym, lunch room and agriculture room were built during the years of 1948 through 1950. This gym is still in use today. Although the gym was not completed, the class of 1949 held their Commencement in it. A year later, the building was supposed to be completed when the class of 1950 had its Commencement, but while the speaker was giving his address, inspiring the senior to go out into the world and accomplish great things, several of the class members sitting behind him, were squirming around, trying to get out from under the rain that was dripping through the roof!
In the spring of 1952, Shawswick finally won a basketball sectional. The only other sectional win came in 1959. Both wins came under the coaching of Knofel Fortner.
In 1960, the senior class had 61 members and again the school needed more room. In 1963, an addition was put on behind the new gym. It housed a large music room with small practice rooms, a classroom and additional dressing rooms.
In 1964, Robert Edwar
ds was the new principal. Mr. Flinn, who had been principal longer than any other person, continued as a teacher. The class of 1966 numbered 72 and had the distinction of being the largest class to complete high school at Shawswick.
The last class to receive diplomas from Mr. Edwards was the class of 1970. That fall, Raymond Jones took over responsibilities of principal of Shawswick.
School re-organization had been going on for a few years and a new high school was being built. The last class to graduate from Shawswick was that of 1974.
So, just as Shawswick had come into being, a consolidation of 11 small schools, it ended its use as a high school when 7 high schools were consolidated into Bedford-North Lawrence High School.
It is hard to give an exact number of those holding Shawswick High School diplomas, because several left school for war and other reasons, only to work and receive diplomas later. A good estimate would be between 1625 and 1950.
Junior High School to Present Day
In the fall of 1974, Shawswick High School became Shawswick Junior High. The principal was again Raymond Jones, and he continued until 1985.
The Fall of 1981 found the 6th grade moving to the then Shawswick Junior High.
In 1982, Shawswick got its first kindergarten; This class was added when we took the old gym-1925, and built two classrooms in the area it held.
For the years 1986 and 1987, Dr. Dennis Turner was the principal. In the fall of 1987 Dr. Turner became the Assistant Superintendent of the school system. At this time, Mike Humphreys came to Shawswick as the principal, a job that he held for the years 1988 and 1989.
A new Shawswick building was built on the old school site. This took place in the years of 1988-1989. The old school was razed and the new school was attached to the 1949 gym. The 1949 gym was refurbished and remodeled since many in the community wanted to save it.
The official name change from Shawswick Junior High to Shawswick Middle School came in 1990. Block scheduling, associated with the middle school concept, was initiated in 1995.
In 1990 James Terrell came to Shawswick Middle School as our principal. He was with us through the 1991 school year. In the Fall of 1991, he went to Bedford-North Lawrence High School to serve as Assistant Principal. He is now our Superintendent of Schools.
1992 brought us a former student and graduate of Shawswick High School, class of '74. Mr. Mark Vice became principal of Shawswick Middle School. Mr. Vice presided over the graduations of 1992 through 1997.
In the fall of 1994 Shawswick split into Shawswick Elementary School and Shawswick Middle School. Judy Hudson became the principal of the Elementary, and Mark Vice the principal of the Middle School.
In the fall of 1997 Mr. Denver Kennett joined the staff of Shawswick Middle School as principal and presided over his first graduation of eighth graders in the Spring of 1998.
In the fall of 1999 Denise Buckingham, a former student of Shawswick, became principal.
In the fall of 2003 Roger Dean, former principal of Oolitic Middle School, became principal.