The Herald Bulletin

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Community

January 18, 2014

The history of Fairmount High School

FAIRMOUNT — The history of Fairmount High School dates back to 1885. In this year, the south end of the building was constructed and served as the Fairmount Academy Building. The building was later sold to the Fairmount Public School System and became Fairmount High School.

After the school received its commission in the spring of 1898, construction began to add onto the existing high school. From 1898 through 1902, when the northern part of the school was completed, classes were held in the south building. Though construction of the school was not yet completed, the class of 1900 was the first to graduate from Fairmount High School.

Like many high schools during the early part of the 20th century, Fairmount High School emphasized on the importance of education and extracurricular activities. School days began at eight o'clock in the morning with students dismissed at three in the afternoon. Students had an hour for lunch where they enjoyed one another's company outside of the classroom.

English, math, social studies, science, and physical education were included in the school curriculum and were requirements for all students. Shop, home economics, foreign languages, journalism, writing and music were electives. However, female students were not allowed to enroll in shop class or participate in Future Farmers of America. Though it was permitted, male students seldom took classes in journalism or home economics. Over time, Fairmount High School recognized social change in the United States and opened classes to students of both genders. Before long, female students learned to use the band saw in shop class, whereas male students baked cakes in home economics class.

In 1911, the school's first monthly publication called the "Black and Gold" was printed. The school newspaper featured artwork, poems and stories written and created by members of the "Black and Gold" staff. In 1927, the newspaper changed its name to "The Breeze." It was during this time when Fairmount High School became a member of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. Teachers at the high school were held to very high standards with an extensive curriculum for students. In the fall of 1921, music was added to the curriculum that led to the formation of the school's first orchestra that consisted of fourteen instrumentalists.

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