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South Side High School - About Us

South side High School History

South Side High School opened its doors on September 11, 1922.  At the time South Side opened, it was the largest one-story school building in the United States. It was also one of the very first school building in the nation to use a series of ramps instead of stairs. As the school population increased, additions to the original structure were made in the late 1930’s, the late 1950’s and in 1970-1973. The 1970-73 addition included several classrooms, a new media center and a new auditorium. A new physical education facility was completed in 1981, and in 1995 South Side completed a 39.5 million dollar renovation which includes Fort Wayne’s only Olympic-sized swimming pool named the Helen P. Brown Natatorium.

For over 60 years, South Side High School has been a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a special first-class commissioned High School by order of the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). In the spring of 2000, South Side received full accreditation in the Performance Based Accreditation system of the Department of Education. From 1963 to 1966, 1968 to 1974, and again from 1976 to the present, South Side has been privileged to be a member of the prestigious College Entrance Examination Board of New York City which serves the colleges and secondary schools of the nation. In 1982, South Side was elected to permanent membership in the College Board - one of only thirteen Indiana high schools at that time to be so honored.

Eight principals have served the school: Robert Harris, 1922-26; R. Nelson Snider, 1926-63; Jack E. Weicker, 1963-90; Jennifer Manth, 1990-2001; Thomas Smith, 2001-10; Carlton Mable, 2010-18; Adam Swinford, 2018-22; and Zachary Harl, 2022-Present.  The school boasts over 95 individual staff members who have served the school for twenty-five years or longer. South Side High School has had as its philosophy since 1922 that it is a school’s task to help students acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to do better in those endeavors they pursue. As the school continues its second half century, this philosophy will enrich and strengthen the lives of all the young people who leave South Side High School to take their places in the community, in the nation and in the world.

Two pictures of the South Side High School building, one from 1933 in black and white.
Two images of South Side High School from the air. One is black and white from 1931 and the other is a view from Google Maps
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