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Before We Were Monarchs

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Before We Were Monarchs

Mrs. Yates, English Teacher

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Before we were Monarchs, we were Trojans, Rams, and Ironmen. John Marshall High School was established with the consolidation of Moundsville High School, Sherrard High School, and Union High School.  The tale of John Marshall High School, as told by a 45 year veteran of all things Monarch, includes information and recollections as spirited and varied as an imperfect teller of tales—please excuse my imperfections.

Many factors led to the combining of three Marshall County High Schools. The Sherrard High School building was aging and severe overcrowding was the situation at Moundsville High School. Students at Moundsville were attending in shifts; some students started their day at 8:00 AM, and some students started their day at 10:00 AM. This staggered schedule led to numerous students just “hanging out” in and around Moundsville businesses. Bob’s Lunch on Third Street became the unofficial lunch room for many students. Most downtown businesses were concerned that the students were driving away legitimate customers. Marshall County Board of Education President, James Kinsey and the other members:  Paul Harler, Mary E. Voltz, Kenneth Rogerson, and Joseph Cassis realized a larger high school was necessary. The board began discussion about where a school could be built and how to pay for it.

So, in the spring of 1965, the Marshall County Board of Education requested a special election to attempt to pass a bond to secure $3 to 4 million to build a new high school in Marshall County. Only about 30 % of the voters in the county voted, but the bond received a yes vote from over 60% of those voting which assured passage. Another $1.7 million was acquired through accumulated interest on the bond and grants from the Federal Housing Authority, the Vocational Educations Act, the Appalachian Development Act, and the Elementary-Secondary Education Act.  With the money in place, construction began!

Thirty-seven and a half acres in Glen Dale that belonged to the Cockayne family became the site decided on for the school because there wasn’t a big enough area within the city limits of Moundsville that was cost efficient to use.  At the time, it was just an open field; the field wasn’t being used as part of the family farm. The Marshall County Board of Education purchased the land through eminent domain. The ground breaking was celebrated in April, 1966. Architects chosen were Joseph Baker & Associates of Newark, Ohio. The educational consultants were the Educational Administration & Facilities Unit of The Ohio State University.

The building was state of the art for the time; it was a true break from the traditional classroom arrangement. It was equipped with many walls that could be moved and adjusted to accommodate various class sizes, a mini-auditorium for large lecture instruction, modern science laboratories, an Instructional Materials Center (library), seven different vocational areas, and two large common areas for student gathering and eating.

Superintendent, Ernest D. McNinch, was pleased that the building was ready for students by August, 1968 with a total cost of approximately $5.5 million. Head Principal Sam Wiseman was the first leader in administration with Assistant Principals Donald Haskins and John Gillespie in tow; the first Curriculum Director was Charles Fazzaro. They worked tirelessly to have the building ready; however, students attended amid construction issues during that first year. (Current Monarchs can truly empathize with that situation!) Everyone was very excited to be part of such a new and modern school and very proud to begin new Monarch traditions. As we end the first 50 years, here we are, with an even newer, more modern school, ready to continue our long-held traditions into the next 50 years.

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About the Writer
Mrs. Yates, English Teacher

Miss Yates is a lifetime Monarch and the school's 'unofficial' historian.

11 Comments

11 Responses to “Before We Were Monarchs”

  1. Diane Wyman on February 1st, 2017 2:35 pm

    My father Dan Hamill was the first football coach at JM!

  2. Carmen Howard on February 26th, 2017 7:44 am

    I remember him

  3. Cynthia (Wolfe)Hildebrandt on February 1st, 2017 5:21 pm

    Lots of special memories here…

  4. Francie Brak-Myers on February 2nd, 2017 3:14 am

    I was in the first graduating class of John Marshall. I attended Union High School. Mr. Fazzaro had much more input on this project then mentioned. It was an exciting and at times an apprehensive endeavor but I managed to make lifelong friends with the other students from Moundsville and Sherrard. An excellent academic opportunity was provided. My one memory was every morning at the front door Mrs Ealy was there to ensure that no female student entered the facility with too short of a skirt. Diane Wymsn I remember your father and your brother.

  5. Angela Laurie on February 2nd, 2017 5:15 am

    Great article!
    I am proud to be an alumni!
    My dad, Mr.Alex Salvatori taught Math at JM for over 35 years and it was great to be able to share my High School experience with him!
    #onceamonarchalwaysamonarch

  6. Carmen Howard on February 12th, 2017 5:54 pm

    What a wonderful arrival! I was class of 1974.
    Great teachers. ” If you didn’t get caught in the hall during mods
    Mr. Bryan
    Mr. Pascoli

  7. Teri Stegman-Toothman on February 2nd, 2017 9:43 am

    I graduated in 1976 from JM. I loved JM then and to this day I feel pride in saying I am a Monarch alumni. The teachers were your friends and believed each of us had a hidden potential. They provided us the tools to succeed in life and it was our choice to use them.

  8. Marti Muldrew on February 2nd, 2017 2:18 pm

    I absolutely enjoyed reading this article. I actually graduated with the last graduating class from MOUNDSVILLE High School in 1968. My sister graduated the following year with the first graduating class at JOHN MARSHALL High School. The information was accurate and brought back a lot of memories. Thank you to the students, and to Mrs. Yates!

  9. Deborah Renzella Del Re on February 8th, 2017 11:54 am

    I am a 1969 graduate of John Marshall and one of the first varsiyy cheerleaders. I remember meeting as an executive committee to choose our colors and our mascot. I was joined with many different students from each school to make suggestions. The decision was made to be known as the John Marshall Monarchs, with the Lion as our symbol, and colors of Brown and Gold. Reva ICard composed our school song. I have many great memories of JM and continue to be supportive of my school. My children and my grandchildren continue our tradition. Go Monarchs.

  10. Carl Pettit on February 26th, 2017 3:47 pm

    Still proud! Keep after the “Paw Print”. Well done.

  11. Rex Lasure on February 27th, 2017 8:53 am

    I was a sophomore when it opened. The innovative “mod” system of class scheduling was new and Ohio State computer students were doing the programming. It did NOT work. None of the schedules came out right. Some of my friends and I were put into service to use the reams of computer printouts to do all student schedules by hand in the weeks before school opened. I think we got paid with sandwiches and cokes. When one of our schedules came up we would get to do it ourself. Second year: same thing! Computer did not work and we did hand scheduling again. The first couple of years it seemed that the students knew the John Marshall system better than the teachers (but they caught on).

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