Lordstown showcases 100 graduations

LORDSTOWN — In its 100 years of existence, the largest graduating class for Lordstown Schools was 80 students. The first year — 1918 — saw three graduates.

This month, Lordstown High School opened its doors to showcase the history of the 100 years of graduations, with a display set up in hallway cabinets containing photos, news clippings and graduation artifacts and memorabilia, as well as narrated video.

Courtney Gibson, government teacher, said an event planning committee, the Lordstown Alumni Association and the Lordstown Historical Society set up yearbooks and photos.

“We have display cases showcasing each decade for the school district,” she said.

Gibson said before the current school district formed, there were seven school houses.

The first three graduates in 1918 received three-year degrees. Glenda Bailey Betteridge of Conneaut, who grew up in Lordstown, said her grandmother, Martha Boore, was one of those three. She said her grandmother told her about being picked up by a horse-drawn school bus, which was a large wagon.

Dean Bailey, a retired school superintendent, said the earlier Lordstown schools included an academy and one-room school houses before the public schools opened.

He said after World War II, there were some of the largest graduating classes in the 1960s and 1970s.

“The school district has had wonderful educational programs,” Bailey said.

He said he left Howland to come to Lordstown as superintendent when the Gordon D. James Career Center was being built.

“There were the golden years for Lordstown when GM first started and the money came into Lordstown. Things later changed and had to be scaled back,” Bailey said.

The event also displayed students who served in the U.S. military and veterans.