The School District No.5 account of the 1867 annual meeting is the first recorded testament of Randolph schools. Our educational system roots in the year 1857 when Laura Stark, daughter of pioneer Abiel Stark, began a one room school. Jennie Hopkins story in the Alpha continues the story until the year 1901--"Two years later a school house was built on the lot now owned by Griff L. Thomas. As time rolled on this building was found too small and the site was also changed. In October, 1867, two and one-half acres were purchased from Clark Alvord. This is the present site. The old building was first used for a workshop and then moved to its present place. It serves as a store for John W. Owens. The following summer the new schoolhouse was built, costing about $4000.00.

picture of Randolph public school in 1886

Randolph Public School 1886

The first teachers in this building were A. W. Millard in the upper department and Ett Shepard in the lower. Up to this time the district consisted of the original plot together with six forties. In 1880, sixteen of the surrounding forties were added to the district and seven years later a second sixteen. Thus we find the district today composed of the original plot and thirty-eight of the surrounding forties. Other changes were made which showed our advancement. The wooden benches were replaced by new patent seats in 1880. In 1882 the recitation room was converted into a study room and a third teacher was employed... All this time the number of scholars was increasing and it was soon found that a new building was needed. Accordingly the old one was moved to its present site where it serves as the Woodman Hall. During the year 1895, a new building was erected which cost about $8000.00. Through the efforts of Mr. Lea, a high school was established in 1896... There are 216 pupils in the school, 52 of which are in the high school.

The humor, human passion, and pathos were glimpsed even in the terse, factual teachers daily record and school board minutes. In 1869, the newly elected clerk failed to assume the responsibilities of his position. In a postscript to the annual meeting, the treasurer and director decided to perform a coup d'etat and reinstated the preceding clerk. The resignation and heartfelt sigh of the third, fourth, and fifth grade teacher employed at Randolph in 1896 can almost be heard as she records in the "days tardy" column for the entire class, "WITHOUT NUMBER."

picture of High School Building 1915

High School Building 1915

picture of high school and 1942 addition

1915 High School and 1942 Addition. The Addition part is currently used as PreK-8

Entering 1925, signs of conflict arose in the form of a petition from members of the community to the school board. They were objecting to the dismissal of teachers without any explanation to the instructors or the public---"Whereas, we are desirous that all teachers, students, and residents…be given a square deal." Following this petition, the clerk of the school board received a letter from the State Superintendent of Schools saying that the voters could in no way dictate the hiring of instructors. This conflict was followed in 1938 with what appeared to be another skirmish. This was grounded in a PWA grant for school repairs and construction which the voters of Randolph defeated. In a personal, "historical" message the board clerk condemned the action as "a sad loss to our public school." In 1942 on a Sunday evening, the first of February at 8:15, the Grade School at Randolph burned. After much price haggling -- and a community drive for the desperately desired gym, --the new building was completed for the sum of $77,612.00.

Twenty years later Randolph met growing population pressures by erecting the present $500,000.00 High School in 1962, replacing the 1915 structure.

The comparison of a school district that encompassed about eight forties with one which requires seven buses to reach all the pupils and whose expenses have risen from five dollars for the "clearks" wood piling and repairs to one hundred fifty-five dollars a month for one bus driver, tells the story of the growth of public education in Randolph.

The preceding is from the book Randolph Centennial 1870-1970 by Nancy Schreiber

picture of Randolph High School 1962

Randolph High School 1962