July 6, 1953: Boyertown High School Transforms into Unified Jointure


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

July 6, 1953: Boyertown High School faced the monumental task in 1953 of transforming 12 independent secondary schools into one unified jointure that spanned the largest area of any district in the state. To accomplish this, Supervising Principal George B. Sweinhart had to cajole, beg and coerce an unwieldy 60-member school board into accepting his mandates, a seemingly impossible task that many of those directors believed only Sweinhart could have done.

The result was a high school that was the envy of administrators everywhere. It then became necessary to expand the capability of the existing building, which comfortably housed 750 students, because the enrollment had reached 1200 in grades 7 through 12.

There were 25 homerooms in the existing school with an average of 45 pupils in each room. Classes were held in the auditorium, cafeteria and library, most gym classes had 150 students. Beginning in the fall of 1954, Boyertown High School conducted double sessions, with students in grades 10 through 12 attending classes in the morning, and 7th through 9th grades in the afternoon.

In September 1957, the “new” school was opened, connected to the rear of the existing building. The “old’ school became the Junior High, and the “new” addition was the Senior High School. The Boyertown Area School District was created with the addition of the elementary grades in 1956.

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