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Neshannock Jr/Sr High School - Neshannock Twnp PA

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In the early 1950’s overcrowding in the various small schools of Neshannock Township was a serious problem and most of the older students were forced to attend classes in New Castle. It was soon decided to build two new modern schools on property acquired along Mitchell Road. The new Neshannock Memorial (Elementary) School was opened in September 1956, although it was initially used as a junior high school. At the same time plans were being formalized for a new high school to be built right next door. In September 1959 the $2.1 million Neshannock Junior-Senior High School (shown above) was officially opened for classes for students in grades 7-12. It is believed this was first time 12th graders had attended formal classes in the township. The school was formally dedicated during a ceremony and open house held on Saturday, December 5, 1959. (c2011) Full Size

Thomas P. Smathers, a veteran educator, served as superintendent of Neshannock schools from 1946-1966. He previously taught for 16 years at George Washington Junior High in New Castle. (1963)

William J. Wallace, who served with the Marine Corps during World War II, served as principal from 1960-1964. He retired in January 1965 after 35 years of service. (1963)

Vern W. Alderson served as principal from 1964-1966 and then took over as superintendent in 1966. He retired in 1974 and moved to Arizona. (1967)

The front of the high school. (1963)

The biology class taught by John Peterson, a graduate of Penn State University. (1963)

Senior class officers from the 1963-64 school year. (1963)

Neshannock High cheerleaders from the 1963-64 school year were led by captain Linda McCann. (1963)

The Lancers varsity football team from late 1963 were led by head coach Francis Paolone. The squad started out 1-4, but rebounded to finish with a record of 5-5. (1963) Full Size

Robert D. Stevenson took over as principal in 1966. He suffered a stroke while swimming at Pearson Park in July 1969 and died a few days later. He was only 43 years old. (1967)

Harry S. Zurasky, a mathematics teacher, took over as football and basketball coach in 1966. In late 1969 he was elevated to assistant principal. He resigned in 1980 to became principal at Mercer High. (1967)

Robert S. Ketterer, an Ellwood City native, served as the longtime principal from 1969-1992. He departed in to take a position at a school for troubled kids and was briefly held hostage by a crazed gunman a month later. (1967)

Another view of the front of the high school. (1967)

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  1. I was the first chemistry teacher at the new high school beginning in 1959 after graduation from Penn State. The Spring of 1960, I coached the first golf team and the following school year became athletic director. The golf team (Spring 1964) went on to be the first Neshannock sports team to win a WPIAL championship. It was against Latrobe, PA. Arnold Palmer was there and signed all the players score cards.


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