West Geauga High School has certainly grown over the years.Although the students, staff and school have seen many changes the Wolverine Spirit still remains strong.
1904 – Chester Township High School was formed. Prior to this, students attended The Old Settlement School, Scotland School, Geauga Seminary, Mulberry School, Ferry School and Wood Hollow Schools. Most of these schools closed in the mid to late 1900’s due to low enrollment and the consolidation of districts.
1910 – The first Chester High School alumni reunion was held. Subsequent reunions were held up until 1968.
From 1901 to 1917, a teacher’s average salary was $30 - $40 per month.
1920’s – 1930’s
1920 – Motorized buses were used for transportation. At that time bus drivers had to purchase their own vehicles. Prior to modern buses, Kid Hacks were used (Horse drawn bus).
A $100,000 bond issue was placed on the November 24, 1924 ballot in an effort to build a new, more modern high school. The bond issue passed 306 to 77 in favor of the new school building.
Chester School was built in 1925 – 1926.
September 1926 – students started the new school year with indoor plumbing and electricity! The first commencement was held in the new auditorium on May 28, 1926.
After the new auditorium was built, movies were held there. On November 25, 1927, The Mysterious Ryder was shown for .75 cents. All proceeds from this were donated to the PTA.
At the April 14, 1930 school board meeting, a motion was approved that stated that the board shall not hire any married women as teachers in the Chester School system.
A new school district was created in 1931, Chester Township Rural School District. The Board of Education board member of: Mr. Battles, Mr. N.C. Patterson, Mr. H.A. Ditto, Mr. Harold J. Richmond and Mr. Christ Petersen.
Teacher’s salaries were cut by 5%
December 1936 – plans were drawn up and work began on a bigger gym and an auditorium with a stage.
1940’s – 1950’s
1947 – Chester High School published its first yearbook titled “Evergreen”
1950 – The state of Ohio was pressuring smaller school districts to consolidate to make one larger district, so they would get more money. It was then decided that the Chester and Russell school districts should merge. The West Geauga School District was formed.
The Class of 1951 was the first class to graduate the newly constructed West Geauga High School.
After consolidation, P.I. Van Brunt was the Superintendent from 1950 – 1953 and Frank E. Samuel was the principal until 1963. Faculty members: Blanche Russell (Social Studies), Richard Hage (Industrial Arts), Paul Shellhammer (Music), Delores Post (Home Economics), William Ryder (Commercial), Charles Jones (Mathematics), Ross Barnes (Athletics), Levi Hartong (Commercial), Jean Gage (English).
1954 – 1958 J. Robert Fox was the Superintendent
The West Geauga Boosters Club began, with William Bebout as chairman. The purpose of this organization is to back the athletic programs and all extra-curricular activities.
1959 - The West Geauga Education Association was formed.
1960’s – 1970’s
1959 – 1977 Robert C. Lindsey was the Superintendent until he resigned.
In 1967 the PTA (Parents and Teachers Association) changed its name to PTO (Parents and Teachers Organization).
Free lunches were made available to needy families and the cost of a lunch in the high school was only $.55 cents.
1971 – Computerized report cards were introduced to the high school.
Enrollment increased by 700% from 1950.
1972 – New tennis courts were constructed east of the high school.
1973 – The bell that hung in the old Geauga Seminary School from 1843 – 1928 was installed in front of the old Chester School in 1973.
The CARE (Chemical Abuse Reduced through Education) team was formed.
1978 – This is the first year in WG history that the football team beat Kent Roosevelt. This was also the first year for the girl’s tennis team.
1979 – Student Council obtained permission to eat their lunch outdoors.
1980’s – 1990’s
1982 – Photography is offered as a new course. Students used 35 mm cameras and black and white film. AP English was also offered for the first time. Seventeen seniors enrolled in the course.
The cost of a lunch was $1.25
1983 – Chester School officially closed on June 10, 1983. A final farewell to the old Chester School was held on May 17, 1985. Douglas Robertson, principal was Master of Ceremonies.
Graduating classes became so large that in 1983 commencement was held at the Front Row Theatre.
In 1984, after prom party became a tradition at the high school. This included an all-night planned activity party with prizes, games, and lots of fun.
1985-1986 The WG Chapter of SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) was organized. Jodey Schwartz was president of the organization.
1990 – A memorial garden was constructed at the south entrance of the high school.
Coach Schutz was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994 at The University of Akron.
1997 - Anthony Podojil was the Superintendent until 2009
2000 - 2015
2007- 2013 David Toth was the principal.
2006 – 2007 Demolition of the Chester School begins.
2009 – 2011 Thomas Diringer, Ph.D. was the Superintendent.
WGHS Salamander Education & Environmental Discovery Project received the 2010 Take Pride in America Outstanding Youth Volunteer Group National Award.
2015 - Kami Goodrich scores a 484 at D-II CSU District to set a school record and become the first swimming and diving district champion in school history.
A recent study by MIT graduates, ranks Geauga County as one of the happiest places to live.