SKSD News

North Salem High School

NORTH SALEM HIGH SCHOOL
By: E. A. Carleton, Principal

The story of the Salem High School begins in the 1890’s when a 9th grade was established in the school known as the East School on 12th street. This is the building which later became the Washington Grade School and was torn down and replaced by a Safeway Store. In the year 1903 a 10th grade was established, and in 1904 an 11th grade.

In 1904 the superintendent was L. R. Traver and the principal was J. M. Powers. In 1904 the high school work was conducted in three rooms in the East School. An election was held in the summer of 1904 to decide whether or not a high school should be built and a full high school course given. , After a spirited campaign, the election was conducted and the vote was 279 for a high school and 205 against. This new building was built at a cost of $70, 000, including equipment, on Marion Street between High and Church.

The building was dedicated on January 1 of 1906 and at this.time. J. M. Powers was superintendent and E. T. Marlatte was principal. The first graduation class of 20 students to complete the 12th grade Was graduated in June of 1906 in this new building. In 1909 Mr. R. L. Kirk was made principal, and In 1912 Mr. Earl Kirkpartrick became principal. In the f all of 1914, Mr. J. C. Nelson was made principal and the school came under its first lengthy administration uncle his direction.

The High School on Marion Street received an addition at the west end in approximately 1915, and in 1923 a wing was built at the east end with a gymnasium on the second floor of this wing. In the year 1915 there were 97 graduates of Salem High School. Mr. Fred Wolf was named principal in 1929 and in June of 1930 there were 274 graduates. Mr. Wolf served as principal until 1943 when Walter Snyder was acting principal of one year.

In 1944 Mr. Harry Johnson became principal and in 1946 Mr. E. A. Carleton was named principal. In September of 1937 the high school moved to the building which is now occupied by North Salem High School. This building was a P. W. A. project and cost the district approximately $750, 000 with a total cost in the neighborhood of $1, 000, 000. Supplementary gyms and a heating plant to serve both I Parrish Junior High and the High School were built in 1948 at a cost of $243, 000. It . is interesting to note that at the first commencement, in .Tune of 1906, the address was given by J. I-I. Ackerman who was then the State Superintendent of Public Instruct. ion. He later became president of the Oregon Normal School now known as the Oregon College of Education. E. A. Carleton, present principal of the North Salem High l School, is the grandson of J. H. Ackerman. The steadily increasing enrollment of the Salem High School reached a peak of 1, 950 students in the year 53-54 with a graduating class on June 8, 1954, of 545.

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